Hot chocolate is a delicious drink that you can enjoy at any age. The method to making this drink has mostly remained the same: take a hot chocolate mix and combine it with hot water or milk. Some of you may be wondering if there's a better way to make hot chocolate. Would it be possible for an espresso machine to make hot chocolate? We've conducted the research and can tell you if it's possible!
Yes, you can make hot chocolate using an espresso machine. It is possible to put ground cocoa into the device instead of coffee. However, cocoa can damage the machine by clogging it. You're also more likely to have bitter-tasting hot chocolate when using this method.
It would be best if you only used the espresso machine to texture your milk before adding it to chocolate for best results.
You will get different types of hot chocolate depending on how you use your espresso machine to make it. Keep reading to learn about each method, how baristas make hot chocolate, and whether an espresso machine is worth buying!
Using Ground Cocoa Beans in an Espresso Machine
You'd typically only put finely ground coffee into an espresso machine. However, it is possible to put in ground cocoa instead. To do this, you'll have to find a high-quality cacao bean. If you don't purchase roasted cacao beans, you'll have to roast them yourself.
You should avoid using cocoa powders. Depending on the type of cocoa powder you get, you may be getting more sugar and condensed milk than cocoa. To get the best flavor, you'll need to grind your own cocoa beans.
Pick A Grinding Size
Espresso machines are designed to work with finely ground coffee beans. So, if you plan on using cocoa beans, you'll need to make sure they're the correct size.
The size of the grind is essential because it controls the flavor of your drink. Espresso machines brew coffee in a short amount of time. This works best with finely ground coffee. Larger grinds need a longer brewing time to avoid sour or watered-down tasting drinks.
Use a Different Grinder
You should use a separate grinder for your cocoa beans, even if your espresso machine has its own grinder. Using a food processor and a coffee grinder for your cocoa beans will give you a fine powder without potentially damaging the device.
Take two tablespoons of cocoa beans and put them in a food processor. Then, use the pulse setting. You can transfer your cocoa beans to a coffee grinder once they're in smaller pieces.
Use the coffee grinder in 15-second intervals with a 10-second break. This should help prevent the cocoa grounds from liquefying.
Making the Hot Chocolate
At this point, you can add your ground cocoa beans to your portafilter. You should tamp the cocoa just as you would with coffee beans. Place the portafilter back in place and run the espresso machine.
Now you can either steam or froth your milk. This comes down to personal preference. If you want a creamier drink, then you should froth your milk. Once you've heated your milk, you should mix it with the chocolate from the espresso machine.
If you're expecting the sugary hot chocolate that you get when using a mix, then you're in for a surprise! Hot chocolate made from ground cocoa beans has a more bitter taste. This drink is more similar to the traditional South American hot chocolate.
Using things other than coffee beans in your espresso machine can damage it. Cocoa beans have a higher fat content, which can cause your machine to clog.
Not using the espresso machine's grinder and making sure your cocoa beans are ground correctly can help lessen the risks. However, the possibility of damages is still there.
Making Hot Chocolate with an Espresso Machine
If you want a sweeter hot chocolate or don't want to risk ruining your espresso machine, there's another method you can try! Making hot chocolate this way is more hands-on than making it on the stove or in the microwave, but the results are worth it.
To make hot chocolate with the espresso machine, you need to gather your ingredients. You should have milk, hot chocolate powder, cups, and your espresso machine.
First, you should mix the hot chocolate with milk or a lactose-free substitute. Then, take the mixture and use the steaming wand on your espresso machine. You're done once the drink is hot!
Some people worry about damaging their steaming wands by using this method. It is possible that the hot chocolate can get into the steaming wand and clog it. However, damages are minimal as long as you're taking proper care of your steam wand otherwise.
You can also steam the milk without any chocolate mixed in. First, you'll have to decide what type of cocoa you'd like to use. You can use syrup or hot chocolate powder.
If you use a powder, you should add a little water to create a liquid. Then, froth the milk in a separate metal container. Finally, pour the heated milk into the cup with the chocolate in it.
Check this video out to see how it's done!
What happens if you put the hot chocolate powder in an espresso machine?
Like ground cocoa beans, putting hot chocolate powder into an espresso machine can damage it by causing clogs. This is especially true if your espresso machine has a water reserve tank and you fill it with milk instead of water.
Chocolate milk has a different consistency than coffee does! The different texture makes it more difficult for the espresso machine to clear away.
It's also possible that your espresso machine won't process the hot chocolate powder correctly. The resulting drink will most likely be bitter.
What do coffee shops use to make hot chocolate?
Coffee shops use most of the same tools that you can use at home! They will use a high-quality chocolate syrup or cocoa powder and then heated up milk. Many establishments will also use whipped cream, cocoa powder, or chocolate bits to garnish the drink.
As far as how they make their hot chocolate, most coffee shops use only a steaming wand and some cups.
How do baristas make hot chocolate?
The exact techniques can vary depending on where a barista works. However, most baristas will follow the same steps to make hot chocolate.
You can find baristas that mix chocolate powder and water with a spoon. Then, take heated milk and pour it into the chocolate mix. Others will put cocoa powder and milk in a metal container. Then, they let the steaming wand mix and heat the drink for them.
Watch this video to see a barista's guide on hot chocolate!
Is an espresso machine worth it?
Espresso machines aren't only good for espressos. They can help you make delicious hot chocolate and make traditional coffee drinks like espressos, mochas, and cafe au lait. Whether or not this machine is worth buying depends on you.
If you're frequently going out and buying different types of coffee, then this is worth it. Going to the coffee shop every day adds up. So, having an espresso machine and using it will help you save money in the long run.
An espresso machine can also be worthwhile if you prefer to grind your own coffee beans. If you're okay buying pre-ground coffee, you don't necessarily need an espresso machine.
Can't decide on a coffee brewer? Then you need to read, "Coffee Maker Vs. Espresso Maker Vs. French Press – What Are The Differences?"
Hot chocolate is a fantastic drink that you can make using your espresso machine! While you can put ground cocoa beans in your machine, it can cause damages and won't taste the same. The best way to make this drink is by using the steaming wand on the espresso machine. This will give you a great drink without potentially breaking your appliance.
Need to know how to make large quantities of hot cocoa? You should read "How To Make Large Amounts Of Hot Chocolate"!