Product Review: Trader Joe’s Sipping Chocolate

(Quick side note: This product is only available at Trader Joe’s during the holidays, which is terrible! Our local Trader Joe’s is out of it and they say that they won’t have any until next year.) OK OK I know it’s not exactly what you call a “breakthrough gluten-free product.” I mean chocolate is one of those things that is naturally gluten-free like a steak or a baked potato. At the same time, it’s sipping chocolate (yeah!) and it’s also now Sienna’s 3 PM snack at work. We got tipped off to the Trader Joe’s Sipping Chocolate by a reader, Lynne. Thanks Lynne!

Here are the ingredients: Cocoa Powder, Cane Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter. A nice short list. Their allergen disclaimer for this product reads: “Made on equipment shared with milk and soy.” The can says a serving is 3 tablespoons, which is 90 calories, 30 mg of sodium, and also contains a whopping 23% of your recommended daily allowance of dietary fiber. Of the 28 grams that make up a serving, 15 grams of that is sugars.

Of course, if you want some hot chocolate, you’re probably not going to fret about the sugar much, are you? Then on the other side of the can are two recipes. One is for making hot chocolate, and the other is to make sipping chocolate. To make hot chocolate, you stir 3 tablespoons of mix into 3/4 cup of hot milk. To make the sipping chocolate, you stir 3 tablespoons of mix into 1/3 cup of hot milk.

Check out the chocolate left on our whisk. That’s thick! We tried the hot chocolate recipe first, and I wasn’t into it. For better or for worse, I like my hot chocolate with more sugar and milk, so the proportions were wrong for me. Sienna likes it that way, though. She doesn’t adjust it at all.

Here is the pour. It’s like we’re pouring molten steel to make hammers or something. (No we’re not. That’s sipping chocolate.)

Here is the finished chocolate drink. It almost tastes like someone melted down a chocolate bar. It’s very thick and really delicious. As the name would imply, it is for sipping, and I think most people are not going to want to drink very much of it in one go. I like it with a palate cleanser like some hot tea or a glass of milk. Little bit of chocolate. Little bit of tea.

One thing that they don’t mention on the tin, but most professional hot chocolate brewers will already know, is that you can’t just stir the mix into some hot milk. If you do it that way you end up with lumps. To make it without lumps, you first stir up the mix with a little bit of hot milk or hot water (maybe a tablespoon or so). Then you mix that up into a paste. Once it’s consistent, then you can add it to hot milk and it will all dissolve uniformly.

This post was originally intended as a companion piece for our review of the Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Brownie Mix, which we love!

We want to know: It seems like sipping chocolate is kind of a new thing. Does anybody out there have a favorite place to get it? Is there anywhere in Portland Oregon to get sipping chocolate? Let us know in the comments.

Times we have visited: 3+ (so we feel confident about our score.)
Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: The same

Comments

  1. oh yeah. that looks heavenly and i might be near tjs today! how convenient. I know Moonstruck has sipping chocolate and it’s divine. Cacao is downtown, and i think new. from those I’ve spoken to, Sahagun is the best chocolatier in town, and I know they have hot chocolate – dunno about the sipping but I’m sure even a trip there to find out not would be worth it. :)

  2. Yay! Glad Sienna liked it. I haven’t tried the sipping chocolate-I just do the hot chocolate with homemade whipped cream.

  3. The Sipping Chocolate is wonderful. But…… now that the holidays are over the sipping chocolate can not be purchased at the store. I have been told it will not be back until November 2010 and cannot be ordered. Any ideas where I can buy some?

    • We just found this out, too, when we ran out. If anybody out there knows, we’re all ears (and Sienna will be your BFF!).

  4. We purchased two tins of this product just before Christmas at our local TJ’s. When we went back the week after New Year to get more. It was gone! Like duncand3 we were told it was a holiday item. Wow! what about the rest of the winter? All I now is when it comes back in stock we’re going to buy a case. 1g fat, 0 cholesterol, trace of sodium, low carbs and sugars, 3g protein, yet it’s the most sinfully delicious chocolate drink ever, for about 35 cents a serving.

  5. P.S. TJ’s does have a good 72% chocolate bar too.

  6. Delicious, and so upsetting only available during holidays. Boo Hoo”

  7. If any of you, like us, are not only living gluten free but also dairy free. Try preparing the sipping chocolate with TJ’s coconut milk. .99/can and it is AMAZING!

  8. Don’t despair! You can make your own sipping chocolate from scratch and it’s, might I say, even more decadent. Bring about 5 oz of half and half to just below the boiling point (about 190ºish). Drop in a handful of high quality dark chocolate chips (72% is great) or bar chocolate cut in small pieces; let sit for a few seconds to begin to melt. Whisk mixture until emulsified. Test for viscosity–if you’d like it thicker, add more chocolate and whisk. Enjoy =)

  9. does the chocolate liquer mean it has any alcohol content in it?

  10. I was so excited to see TJ’s sipping chocolate on the shelf today. But then I compared the ingredients to last year’s. Uh Oh!! Looks like they have downgraded their ingredients terribly!!

    Last year’s: cocoa powder, cane sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter.
    This year’s: sugar, cocoa processed with alkali, natural flavor (soy), salt.

    Now I’m going to return mine and complain. Why did they have to mess with a good thing.

  11. Does anybody know where to get this when TJ’s doesn’t sell it any longer? I am hooked. Best hot chocolate ever! help.

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