Sunday, December 7, 2014

Choceur Hot Cocoa K-Cup Variety Pack (Aldi)

A great deal for those that own no spoons.
One thing I’ve noticed about a lot of other K cup hot chocolate brands is that they are often “fortified” with artificial sweeteners.  This leads to some chemical-y initial tastes, and some medicine-y aftertastes that are completely off-putting.  A quick glance at the flavors in this Choceur collection revealed nothing but sugar, so I was pretty anxious to give these a try.

This collection is 24 K-cups spread out among 4 different flavors, so let’s see how they fared individually:

MOCHA: This was the first one I tried, and also my favorite.  It has a nice, deep chocolate flavor with some surprisingly deep richness for what it is (a water-based hot chocolate made out of a machine).  Of course, it’s not going to match the rich decadence of a nice packet of the powdered stuff, with milk instead of water, but if you have a Keurig, you probably don’t want to be bothered with having to do any manual labor, like ripping open a packet of powder and stirring.  So as far as convenience is concerned, this bests the hot chocolate of my previous review, and becomes the best hot chocolate I've ever had out of the machine. 8/10.

PEPPERMINT: One of my favorite hot chocolates is Nestle’s mint chocolate cocoa packets, which are generally (at least to my knowledge), only available around the holiday season.  It’s got a smooth richness to the cocoa, and a perfect balance of delicious mint flavor that truly shines in milk.  Since using milk isn’t possible (or, at least, recommended) in Keurig’s, I figured Choceur’s version wouldn’t be as rich, but I was at least hoping it was a lot closer than it was.  The peppermint reminded me more of the peppermint found in peppermint tea, and, at least in my opinion, tasted out of place with the chocolate.  Not a good mix at all. 5/10.

SALTED CARAMEL: This was the most interesting flavor of the lineup, at least on paper, and I really wasn’t sure what to expect heading into it.  What you get is a very strong, super-sweet taste of caramel that’s overwhelming to the point of overkill.  "Salt" may be in there somewhere, but there’s not nearly enough of it to counterbalance the ridiculous sweetness.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a sweet tooth when it comes to beverages, but this took it too far, even for me.  4/10.

IRISH CRÈME:  I actually put this off until the very end because it was the one that made me the most nervous.  I don’t know why, but I just pictured it being way too sweet.  It actually turned out to be one of only two flavors worth getting this collection for.  It tastes like hot chocolate with sweetened, condensed milk added.  But unlike the caramel, the sweetness isn’t so strong that it makes you nauseous--instead, it’s a perfect balance that goes down easy.  I really liked this one. 7/10.

Now that we’ve looked at every flavor individually, let’s take a look at the collection as a whole, and let me re-word the rant I provided in the above review:  For $10, you get 24 cups, which rounds up to $.42 per serving.  For hot chocolate.  That won’t even allow you to substitute water for milk.  And that only fills up about six ounces of a cup.  Sadly, that is actually a really good price.  So for what it is, you get some good value, and convenience in spades.  Personally, while I honestly do like using the Keurig every once in a while, just for the fun of it, I’m not so lazy or so pressed for time that I can’t dump a packet of powder into a cup of warm milk and stir for a minute, a method that results in a much better cup of hot chocolate that no K-cup can ever match.

Overall: 6/10.  For Keurig lovers, there is value to be had here, as each up comes out to only $.42.  I also like that you get four different flavors across the 24 K-cups, which is neat, because variety is the spice of life.  The problem lies in the fact that I was only impressed with two of the flavors (Mocha and Irish Crème), which kind of dampens the perceived value.  Also, you can’t add milk, so you’re paying a premium for water-based hot chocolate, which is pretty lame.  If you’re on the fence about buying this, I’d probably suggest you do, simply because taste is subjective and you might end up liking them more than I did.  But then again, if you don’t, you just wasted $10.  Such is the cruel beast known as life.

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