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Does hot chocolate have caffeine?

Does Hot Chocolate Have Caffeine?

When it comes to enjoying a warming cup of hot chocolate, a common question that we’re asked at Nutrifize is "Does hot chocolate have caffeine?". It's a perfectly valid question, hot drinks are often so commonly associated with caffeine. Caffeine content can often influence your choice of beverage, especially those looking for a soothing and caffeine-free option.

In this article, we'll delve into the caffeine content of hot chocolate and explore where it may or may not come from.


The Simple Answer: Hot Chocolate and Caffeine

Let’s cut straight to the chase. The simple answer is that traditional hot chocolate, made from standard cocoa powder or chocolate, contains very little to no caffeine. Unlike coffee or tea, which are renowned for their caffeine content, hot chocolate is usually a caffeine-free choice. But that doesn’t mean that any alternative ‘hot chocolate’ choices are not.

Want to learn more about cocoa powder? Read here.


Why Hot Chocolate Is Caffeine-Free

Hot chocolate is generally caffeine free because of its primary ingredient: cocoa powder or chocolate. While cocoa does contain some small trace amount of caffeine, the amount is relatively low compared to coffee or tea.

The amount of caffeine within the cocoa can vary depending on factors like the type of cocoa beans used and the chosen process method. The average cocoa powder contains about 12mg (milligrams) of caffeine per ounce. Whilst a standard cup of coffee may contain anywhere between 90 & 150 milligrams of caffeine or more. A cup of coffee can be more than ten times stronger than a cup of hot cocoa.

How hot chocolate blends are processed by different companies may have a major impact on the amount of caffeine content. Selected processing methods can both reduce or increase the amount of caffeine per serving. A popular processing method is called alkalization.  This can often enhance the flavouring and the colouring of the cocoa powder, and equally lower its’ caffeine content.


Where Caffeine May Sneak In

While traditional hot chocolate is generally caffeine-free, there are some exceptions to be aware of, particularly with the introduction of more advanced blends & processing:


Cocoa powder with additional chocolate

Some hot cocoa mixes include real chocolate or cocoa with higher caffeine levels than typical cocoa powder. If you're using a hot cocoa mix that includes a significant amount of real chocolate, it may contain a modest amount of caffeine.


Specialty Varieties:

Some hot chocolate options include caffeine rich add-ons such as espresso or syrup. A popular option is mocha, a blend of hot chocolate & coffee.

Try mixing our Calming Cocoa blend into your next coffee to make your own nutrient packed mocha.


Dark Hot Chocolate

Did you know that dark chocolate has a higher caffeine content that standard milk chocolate? Dark chocolate generally contains around 50mg (milligrams) per ounce. That’s almost 3x the amount of milk chocolate although still significantly less caffeine than coffee.


In summary, traditional hot chocolate made with cocoa powder or chocolate is a caffeine-free beverage, thanks to its relatively low cocoa content and processing methods that may contribute to reduced caffeine levels. If you are concerned with the amount of caffeine you may be intaking, be sure to read the label before consumption.


Want to add a ‘healthier’ alternative to standard hot chocolate? Try our Calming Cocoa 3-in-1 blend now. Calming cocoa is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, nootropics & adaptogens that can contribute to mental performance, support of sleep & mood balance.