When your friends ask, “what would you like?” at a coffee shop, do you respond with “I don’t drink coffee?” Because if you do, you’re introduced to the universally loved next best thing: hot chocolate. It tastes good, isn’t bitter, and is by no means an acquired taste. And you don’t need to go to a coffee shop to get it.
To make hot chocolate in a coffee machine, you need to put chocolate powder in a cup, add 2 oz of hot water from the machine, then froth milk in a steaming pitcher and add it to the molten chocolate powder in a separate mug. Rinse involved parts and don’t leave milk or powder in the machine.
In this article, you’ll learn in detail how you can make hot chocolate using both a filter coffee maker and a barista coffee machine at home. More specifically, you’ll learn how to:
- Select the best hot chocolate mix/powder
- Melt the powder with a little water
- Add and froth milk while blending the concoction
Get the Right Chocolate Powder
While the purest from-scratch way to make hot chocolate is to use cocoa powder and add other ingredients, there’s too much room for error, and there are better alternatives. That’s why I recommend using a hot chocolate mix for making your beverage using a coffee machine.
It is crucial, though, that you do not use a hot chocolate mix that only requires you to add water. Such mixes have powdered milk in them, and using them defeats the purpose of using a coffee machine. The ideal hot chocolate mix for this method would have the right proportion of cocoa and sweeteners but little to no pre-added dairy in the mix. Here are three of my favorites that taste the same as a premium cafe hot cocoa.
- Cadbury Drinking Chocolate – Has the warm Christmas nostalgic feel thanks to its unique flavor.
- Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa – Has upscale cafe hot chocolate taste.
- Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Flavored Powder – Best served to children and teenagers.
How to Make Hot Chocolate in a Coffee Machine
First of all, we need to be clear whether you have a coffee machine or a coffee maker. If your device has a frothing attachment and can serve espresso, you have a coffee machine. In case your device has a transparent jug where filter coffee is collected, you have a coffee maker (which is erroneously called a coffee machine).
If you want to discover how to make hot chocolate with an actual coffee machine, you can use the steps mentioned in the section below. On the other hand, if you have a coffee maker, you can use the alternative method mentioned towards the end.
Add Two Teaspoons of Chocolate Powder to a Cup
Once you have the powder, the first step is to add just the right amount to your cup. If you get this step right, you will not have to worry about the rest, but if you add too little chocolate powder, your final drink will feel like hot milk.
You may possibly add too much, which might make the beverage bitter. This is why I recommended chocolate powder products that err on the side of sweetness. Still, if you find that you’ve used too much hot chocolate mix, you can course-correct using the tactics mentioned later in this article.
Add a Portion of Water to the Cup
Most espresso and coffee machines dispense hot water. However, this is not always the right quantity for hot chocolate. At this stage, you need 2 ounces or less of water. If your machine dispenses more, you can simply move your cup away after you get a little bit of water in your cup. The idea is to melt your chocolate powder using just a little bit of water. You don’t want too much water as it affects your drink’s viscosity (or texture).
Add Milk to Your Milk Pitcher
Your coffee machine likely comes with a milk steaming pitcher. If not, you can simply purchase one like Apexstone Pitcher. The idea is to have a container you can hold while keeping your hand safe from the heat.
Ideally, the pitcher must have enough room to allow proper frothing. These pitchers have markings that help you measure the amount of milk. Again, this is important for both taste and texture. For the two teaspoons you added before, you’re supposed to add 1.5 cups of milk to the pitcher.
Add Hot Chocolate Concentrate to Milk Pitcher
This is a pretty straightforward step where you take the cup you set aside earlier and pour its contents into the milk steaming pitcher. Some of the chocolate powder might be stuck to the bottom of the cup thanks to being wet. Simply use a teaspoon to scoop it into the pitcher. You can also pour milk from the pitcher into the cup and rinse the cup with milk. Once the milk is poured back into the steaming pitcher, it will bring along the contents of the cup.
Froth the Milk Using the Coffee Machine
In the final step, you take your coffee machine’s frothing attachment and put its frothing end into your milk steaming pitcher. Then you proceed to hit the frothing button (or turn the knob depending on the machine), and the milk frothing begins.
Here, you must make sure you don’t burn the milk by holding the pitcher still. You have to move the pitcher around, so the milk frothing pipe doesn’t affect only a tiny portion of the liquid. By moving around the pitcher, you also help mix the chocolate powder with the milk. After about 20 seconds of frothing, you can conclude this step.
Clean the Frothing Attachment
This step is generally skipped by people who try to figure out their hot chocolate-making process but is essential. Unless your machine’s frothing arm is self-cleaning, you’ll need to dip it in a clean pitcher with water and froth is so the water cleanses the remaining milk and chocolate that may have stuck to the pitcher-facing end.
As mentioned earlier, too much (or too little) chocolate powder, water, or milk can affect the consistency and taste of your hot chocolate. However, you can fix it as long as you know what you have less or more of. Here’s how.
- If you added too little chocolate powder, add more chocolate powder.
- If you added too much chocolate powder, add a little sugar and milk.
- If you added too little milk, you should add more milk.
- If you added too much milk, add more chocolate powder.
- If you added too much water, heat the beverage till some of it evaporates.
How to Make Hot Chocolate in a Coffee Maker
“Coffee machine” is a term that stands for modern machines as well as filter-based coffee makers. Since both aren’t the same, the frothing attachment (and setting) are absent from coffee makers like the Klein Bosch Mini Coffee Machine. If your coffee machine doesn’t have the milk frothing arm, you can use the method in this section.
Add Chocolate Powder Into a Cup
Take two teaspoons of chocolate powder just like the previous method and put it into the mug. You will not put the powder in the coffee beans or grinds section. That’s a common error most people make while trying to figure out how to make hot chocolate with a coffee machine. If you put the chocolate powder in the beans/coffee grinds section, it will get stuck and solidify in the machine’s pipes. The powder goes directly into the cup.
Pour Hot Milk Through the Machine
Most coffee machines have a button for hot milk. By simply pressing this, hot frothy milk will pour on the chocolate powder. In this method, you’ll not add water as the pre-heated milk melts the chocolate enough.
If you own a coffee maker, it doesn’t have an option for hot milk. Such machines simply pour water through a filter and coffee grounds. In that case, merely filling the water tank with milk and not having any coffee beans/grounds in its respective space will let warm milk rush through its system and onto the powder. However, you’ll need to then run water through it to clean it.
Making hot chocolate in a coffee machine is simple. You can use the machine as a tool to heat froth and blend milk with chocolate powder. The taste, however, depends entirely on the quality and ratio of chocolate powder you use. So, make sure you order the right hot chocolate mix and clean your machine regularly.