A Better Way to Make Hot Chocolate at Home
Buy a hot chocolate machine designed for the average kitchen, so that you can enjoy perfectly blended chocolatey goodness anytime without the hassle and guesswork.
No more scorched milk, boiled over milk, or milk skin to skim. No more stirring, whisking, waiting, and watching over the stove, and trying to guess when the temperature is right. No more clumps of cocoa mix that didn't get fully dissolved in the milk. All my headaches were solved with a machine that does all those tasks for me in a flash. They make smoothly blended, ready-to-drink beverage every time, with easy prep and cleanup.
One of my best friends, who was quite aware of my Starbucks habit, got me one of these for Christmas one year. I never knew such a thing existed!
Now that I know all about these things, I've researched the best hot chocolate makers online. With some of the popular models being discontinued, and some models not meeting performance expectations (Cocoa Latte, Nostalgia), I'll get straight to the point and tell you which ones to get and where you can get them.
Breville Milk Cafe
If the words "drinking chocolate" instantly transport you to Angelina's or Les Deux Magots in Paris, a cafe in Italy, or to some other place where you had a decadent experience you'll never forget, then the Breville Milk Cafe is for you.
It's another clever kitchen gadget from the genius designers at Breville. The Milk Cafe delivers smooth and creamy hot chocolate. It can handle shaved chocolate, chocolate chips, syrup, and drinking chocolate as well as powder. Use it to make lattes, chai, and cappuccinos, and froth milk for coffee, too.
It's the only hot chocolate maker with an adjustable temperature dial - so you can make drinks at a kid-safe temperature or to suit different people's tastes. Just add your mix into the measuring shot in the lid.
It heats the milk evenly (and quietly), using a wrap-around induction heating element.
You just set the temperature, push the button and walk away, thanks to the automatic shutoff. You'll hear a "ding" when your beverage is ready.
For chocolate connoisseurs, this is the hot chocolate machine for your Valrhona and other premium ingredients. Don't forget a side of crusty bread for dipping.
The stainless steel pitcher boasts a rather large capacity of 25 oz. (3 cups). (The capacity is somewhat lower for lattes or cappuccinos to allow for the froth.) It can froth cold drinks as well, so you can get great use out of it all year round.
Glass and stainless steel are the best materials for the pitchers, because they are safe and they don't leech or affect the taste the way some plastics can.
The pitcher, lid, and mixing discs are top-shelf dishwasher safe.
See how it works:
Popular and Easy to Use, but Hard to Find
This old favorite is a set it and forget it hot drink maker. Just add your milk, cocoa mix, and any other flavorings you want, and turn it on. The nonstick pitcher has the capacity for 4 cups/32 ounces.
The Mr. Coffee Cocomotion machine has an automatic shutoff, but it does not have an automatic reheat function. You have to push the "on" button if you want the it to heat up again. So even though it's got the "Mr. Coffee" name, it won't keep the contents warm like a coffeemaker would.
Also, the Cocomotion does not have a dispenser. Instead, you have to pick up the whole unit by the handle and pour from the pitcher -- so it's not completely kid-friendly.
This popular drink maker is no longer manufactured, but you can still find a few available for purchase.
This lucky lady got a Cocomotion for Christmas. Watch as she uses it for the first time:
Mr. Coffee Cafe Cocoa Hot Cocoa Maker
The New "Cocomotion"
Ever since the popular Mr. Coffee Cocomotion (above) was discontinued, I'd been waiting on something just as good to replace it. Well, here it is!
Not only can the Mr. Coffee Cafe Cocoa handle syrup and powder mixes, but you can also melt chocolate pieces in the special basket to make a richer beverage.
The 32 oz. pitcher is large enough to make cocoa for the whole family (4 cups).
Frequently Asked Questions
Got Questions? I've Got Answers.
Q.I want to know how to use a hot chocolate maker.
A. The gist is this: Pour in the milk, pour in the chocolate, and set the machine, but be sure to follow the instructions for the specific model you purchase. (Or, fill water tank, insert K-cup and select setting for the single serve machine.)
Q. How long does it take for machines like these to make drinks?
A. It depends on how much you're making, and how much froth you want. For just a cup or two, allow 3-5 minutes or so.
Q. What kind of chocolate can I use?
A. Each hot chocolate maker is different. Some are designed for liquids and mixes only, while others can take chocolate bars, shavings, etc. Read each review carefully to see if that machine takes the kind of chocolate you typically use.
This is one kitchen appliance that you'll definitely got your money's worth out of. Get one today and start making moments to savor.
Cafe Latte Hot Drink Maker
A versatile machine for all types of hot beverages that blends, heats, and froths.
Don't let the product name fool you. Though this gadget is marketed for ground coffee and espresso-based lattes, if you use it in "heat & froth" mode to make hot chocolate and chai as well -- which I think this machine is better suited for anyway.
Add mix, melted chocolate chips, sugar, cinnamon, or whatever ingredients you like to the pitcher. The Cafe Latte not only heats and mixes, but it makes froth as well.
It has one-touch operation and automatic shutoff, and the pitcher has a 24 oz. capacity with handy measurement markings.
Use this to prepare your own homemade beverage concoctions.
Hot Chocolate Machine for Single Servings
Want to prepare a treat just for one? Your best bet is a K-cup maker and some hot chocolate K-cups.
Use a K-Cup Brewer with Swiss Miss K-cups (or other brand) to get a piping hot beverage. Plus you can make cider, chai, and of course, coffee.
Everyone in the household (or everyone who's visiting) can get the precise beverage that they want. Plus, it's lightning fast (it brews in under a minute), and it can accommodate travel mugs -- which is what I like to put mine in to keep it warm while I sip and savor the taste.
Here comes the fun part. Now that you've chosen a machine, it's time to taste test to find the chocolate mix you like the best!
Hot Chocolate Hacks
Here are some tips for making hot chocolate even better:
- If you want a creamier consistency, use melted chocolate bars.
- With powder mixes, use whole milk, not skim.
Courtesy of TheKitchn
- For a subtle hint of spice, add a sprinkle of nutmeg, cinnamon (or cinnamon stick), or cayenne pepper.
- Tweak the flavor by adding vanilla extract , espresso, or a caramel candy.