Can you use an espresso machine to make hot chocolate? The answer is yes – and hot chocolate made with espresso is absolutely delightful. It has a rich and thick, yet creamy taste that’s unlike most other types of hot chocolate you can buy!
If you use high-quality ground cocoa beans and the right hot chocolate espresso machine, you can enjoy a delicious, steaming hot cup of cocoa at any time. But how can you choose the right hot chocolate espresso machine for you? Here are a few of our top tips!
- Start With Your Budget
There are, literally, thousands of different espresso makers on the market today. Depending on the size and scale of an espresso maker, you could be paying anywhere from $100-$150 for a consumer model, to thousands of dollars for a professional-grade espresso machine that can pump out hundreds of shots per hour.
So, how can you choose the one that’s right for you? Easy – start with your budget!
If you’re going to be using your hot chocolate espresso machine only infrequently, you probably don’t need to shell out for a higher-quality model. However, if you will use it often – and plan to use it for both espresso and hot chocolate – it may be worth investing a bit more money into an appliance that will last a longer time.
Think about how much you can spend, and use your budget to help you narrow down your choices.
- Consider A Machine That’s Easy To Clean
If you’re going to use an espresso machine for both coffee and cocoa beans, you’ll want one that’s easy to disassemble and clean – unless you’re into the idea of your coffee tasting like hot chocolate, and your hot chocolate tasting like coffee! (And, admittedly, there are worse things!)
Still, a machine that’s easy to take apart and clean will help you get rid of built-up bits of coffee beans and cocoa nibs, and provide you with a better, more delicious cup of cocoa or coffee.
- Get A Machine With A Milk Steaming Wand
If you’ve never had hot cocoa from an espresso maker before, you may be surprised at the result! If you use only roasted, freshly ground cocoa beans, it’s nothing like the sweet, milk-based cocoa made with most consumer-grade cocoa packets.
Instead, it’s rich and creamy, with a bitter flavor that’s almost coffee-like. And while this is delicious when you get used to it, it’s an acquired taste – like drinking black coffee!
So what should you do? Make sure you get a machine with a milk steaming wand! You can steam milk or cream in your cup, and then add the cocoa “espresso” directly to it! This makes the beverage more creamy, and much more like a traditional cup of cocoa. You can even add sugar or syrup, if you want!
- Purchase An Alternative Coffee/Cocoa Maker If You’re On A Budget
Don’t have the budget to buy an espresso maker, or don’t think you would use it enough to justify the expense? You don’t have to buy a hot chocolate espresso machine just to make cocoa and coffee!
In fact, most modern coffee makers like the Keurig and Nespresso are compatible with milk-based cocoa “pods”, and they’re much less expensive than a hot chocolate espresso machine.
Best of all, if you purchase a reusable “pod” for your coffee maker, you can fill it with the cocoa mix of your choice, to ensure you always get a delicious, piping hot cup of hot cocoa.
Consider These Factors Before Picking Out A Hot Chocolate Espresso Machine
If you’re thinking about picking up a new hot chocolate espresso machine, this guide is sure to help you pick the right product. Think about the above tips, find a machine that’s within your budget, and start brewing up delicious hot cocoa today!