Product Type: Tesco Soft Drink
Newest Review: ... last time I bought it, which makes it great value for money. I advise you all to head to Tesco right away! Suitable for vegetarians. [... more
Chilly days and April showers mean it's hot chocolate time!
Tesco Traditional Drinking Chocolate
Member Name: ryeb
Tesco Traditional Drinking Chocolate
Advantages: Fantastic chocolate flavour, easy to make, low price
Disadvantages: Contains high level of sugar.
Although I don't find it as refreshing as tea or coffee, there are some times when only a hot chocolate will do. Cold winter evenings, and soggy spring days for example. I have tried many instant chocolate drinks over the years and mostly I found them far too weak tasting. Then about 5 years ago, a friend made me the best hot choc I had ever tasted. When she told me it was a Tesco own brand product I was amazed! I bought some for myself the next day, and although I have tried other chocolates since, I haven't found one that comes close to this for good flavour.
I am refering to the standard Tesco drinking chocolate powder rather than the Value one. It comes in a 500g tub, as seen in Dooyoo's picture - the packaging is now purple rather than red though. It doesn't look fancy, but it is a practical container as it has a nice wide lid to allow you to get your spoon in easily. There is a foil inner lid to be removed the first time you use it, and a plastic lid over that which keeps the drink fresh between uses. It comes in powder form, and needs to be made up with milk.
The ingredients include a minimum of 25% cocoa solids which I think is why this chocolate tastes better than so many of its rivals, branded products included. I always check the level of cooa solids in rival products now, and I am surprised at how many contain just 7 or 10% actual cocoa. This is bound to have an effect on the taste. It also contains sugar - one mug has an incredible 25% of an adults RDA in fact. This is one reason that I regard the drink as more of an occasional treat than an everyday one.
MAKING IT UP
There is nothing complicated or time consuming about making this drink. To make one cup, you mix 3 heaped teaspoons of the powder with a little milk to form a paste. You can then either heat it in the microwave in which case you top the mug up with milk first, or you can heat some milk on the hob and then add that to the paste. Microwave cooking is the fastest, as it takes only a minute, so I use that method when I need warming up quickly. I think it tastes better when made from milk heated on the hob though, although I admit that my family say they can't taste the difference!
The powder smells chocolatey from the moment you open the tin. It makes a smooth paste easily, but you do need to stir it well when you add the milk to make sure there isn't any stray lumps at the end. I find that the recommended number of teaspoons makes a drink that is the right strength for me, but you can of course adjust the strength to taste. If you make it too weak at first though, it is harder to add more powder later as it doesn't dissolve without a great deal more stirring . So some experimentation may be necessary to find the right amount of chocolate for you. Once made, it looks a lovely appetising milky brown colour and I can't see any difference between this and any other more expensive chocolate.
The taste is as smooth and chocolatey as the smell. The flavour tastes natural, and the only aftertaste is a lovely cocoa-milky one. Despite the high level of sugar already in the product, I don't find that it tastes overwhelmingly sweet, as you may expect. It is just the right amount for me, but if you would like yours to be less sugary you may not like this, as you can't lessen the amount. It think it is a delicious drink though! I have occasionally made it up with hot water when I have run out of milk, and whilst the taste is nowhere near as nice, it is still a pleasant drink. I also occasionally use it in a baking recipe when I have run out of cocoa. I always reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe to take into account the fact the drinking chocolate is sweetened. The results are fine.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS DRINK?
Yes! It tastes delightful. It is not as good as the Cadburys or Galaxy hot chocolate drinks I have tried only because it is far better. The taste is not at all weak or artificial as you could expect an own brand product to be. It cost £1.74 the last time I bought it, which makes it great value for money. I advise you all to head to Tesco right away!
Suitable for vegetarians.
[This review also appears on Ciao, under my user name.]
Summary: A fantastic hot chocolate drink at a fantastic price.