Product Type: Options Soft Drink
Newest Review: ... into a cup and adding boiling water and stirring is about the gist of it. However Options hot chocolate (both sachets and from the jar) ar... more
Limited Edition White Chocolate & Raspberry flavour
Options Hot Chocolate Mini Sachets
Member Name: jo1976
Options Hot Chocolate Mini Sachets
Date: 15/11/08, updated on 28/11/13 (582 review reads)
Advantages: Single use sachets, variety, less waste if not to your taste
Disadvantages: Not to my taste
Options is a range of flavoured hot chocolate drinks. It stands out from other brands of hot chocolate because of the sheer variety of flavours available - Belgian Chocolate, Mint, White Chocolate and Orange - to name just a few. It is also a low fat alternative for anybody wanting a creamy hot drink without all the calories. (The variety that I sampled had a mere 41 calories per cup.)
I was attracted to the Options range because it offered these tiny mini sachets at only 25p per pack. Each sachet is only a single portion so just enough for a refreshing mug of hot chocolate. This seemed like a good 'option' (sorry!) for me, as I don't tend to fancy hot chocolate that often and when I buy large jars I find that the contents start to harden or clump up if left for a while. The single use also means that if you or I don't enjoy a particular flavour then we have only spent 25p and don't have to worry about wasting a whole jar.
My first encounter with Options sachets was the White Chocolate & Raspberry flavour which is, according to the sachet, a limited edition so I thought I'd better try it while I had the chance! I don't know if this flavour is freely available at all the usual stockists but I picked mine up from Morrison's.
Once I opened the little sachet, I had a quick sniff of the contents and immediately thought of raspberry flavour sweets. It was definitely an artificial kind of raspberry aroma but not unpleasant. I love white chocolate and raspberries so I had high hopes for this drink and stuck the kettle on ready for refreshment.
I have actually only just realised that I didn't follow the basic instructions on the side of the packet to the letter - oops - which may help to explain why the drink didn't turn out quite as I expected! Oh dear! In my defence, the instructions are written on the side of the sachet, underneath the seal so weren't that easy to access. (Let's face it, I couldn't be bothered to read the instructions!) For those of you that do pay attention, the advice is to boil the water and let it cool slightly before adding it to a cup with the powder in. I used freshly boiling water and found that the powder didn't dissolve particularly well and I had to try and attack the lumps with the back of my spoon. The drink had the appearance of very watered down chicken soup (which again might have something to do with not letting the water cool before I added it!)
Once I'd eliminated all of the lumps (!) I sniffed the finished product. Not too strong a smell but I could detect a slight raspberry aroma. No sign of the white chocolate though which was a bit disappointing. On my first sip, I very nearly spat it back in the mug! I was just hit by a mouthful of sweetness but very clearly artificial sweetness. I risked it and had a second mouthful. Bizarrely, this time I had a taste of washing up liquid, just like when a mug hasn't been rinsed out properly. (I did manage that part of the job, I can assure you!)
For the sake of the review, I perserved with the drink. After a few sips, it did get a bit better. It was drinkable but only just! I couldn't taste anything resembling chocolate (white or otherwise.) If I had to liken the taste to something, it reminded me of the taste of blancmange before it's cooled down. (Can you remember licking the contents of the saucepan after you've cooked the blancmange?) There was a slight artificial raspberry taste but the drink just lacked all of the creaminess that I normally associate with hot chocolate drinks (flavoured or otherwise.) Even after I'd finished, I was left with a really unpleasant lingering aftertaste in my mouth. I don't know whether making the drink with freshly boiled water would have impaired the taste of the drink to that extent but, I have to admit, I won't be buying another sachet to find out (even at only 25p!) In fact, I don't think I would be tempted to try any of the different flavours in the range either, unfortunately.
The ingredients on the back give some explanation for the artificial taste of the drink. I won't list them all because there's a huge list of stuff in there! That in itself is usually an indication that something's full of crap. Indeed, this is made from whey powder, whole milk powder, dried glucose syrup and a whole host of artificial sweeteners and e-numbers. It may well be low in calories but I wouldn't describe this drink as being a particularly healthy option!
If you like variety and like to try before you buy, Options gives you that flexibility. For me, though, this isn't really an option. (I've only given the drink two stars just in case it would taste any better made to the exact specifications on the sachet!)
Summary: It's an option I can't take