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Is Hot Chocolate Better Than Coffee?

Join us as we compare coffee with hot chocolate – is it just a sweet treat or could it outrun your morning coffee? We balance caffeine, health benefits, and nutrition in this flavourful face-off. Spoiler: the winner might surprise the staunchest of coffee enthusiasts!

This is a website all about hot chocolate, so I could probably save you some time as far as my personal opinion goes and give you a simple “yes, of course it is’.

I don’t drink coffee and never have. I quite like the smell of a good coffee but drinking it is just not for me.

Hot chocolate, on the other hand, well that’s a different story.

But, personal preference aside, are there other factors that make hot chocolate better than coffee?

Cups of coffee | hot chocolate better than coffee?

Need a caffeine boost?

There are a lot of people who claim that they simply can’t start the day without their shot of coffee.

Whilst both hot chocolate and coffee contain caffeine, hot chocolate contains a lot less, so if it’s jolt of instant energy you need to kick start your day, then coffee is your best bet.

Your average mug of filter coffee contains around 150mg.

Because of the high levels of caffeine in coffee, it can cause a caffeine overload and adverse health effects, especially in children, so you should check out the nutrition label and proceed with caution and simply don’t give it to young children.

The caffeine content in hot chocolate comes from the cocoa bean and so the amount of caffeine in your drink will vary based on the brand, cup size, and quality of ingredients.

One cup of Starbucks hot chocolate contains 20 milligrams of caffeine, whilst ready to drink powdered hot chocolate may max out at around 5mg.

While the amount of caffeine in hot chocolate is low compared to coffee, it still contains enough to make it a treat for those who enjoy a little kick when they drink it.

If you just prefer a hot chocolate in the morning, and need a bit of a boost, be sure to opt for hot chocolate with a higher cocoa percentage.

Hot chocolate has a higher amount of fat

In many ways, hot chocolate is seen as a healthier alternative to coffee.

And while is is true in some respects, it does have more fat than coffee and is more likely to contain hidden sugar. The amount of sugar in hot chocolate can be more than double that of coffee.

The fat in hot chocolate is primarily from the cocoa butter, milk, and cream. Coffee, on the other hand, generally has fewer calories. The average cup of drip coffee doesn’t have many calories, but a small latte has 420 kJ and 100 calories.

Some people find that consuming too much chocolate can increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

That’s not to say you should skip it but be careful.

One good way to reduce the sugar and fat in your hot chocolate is to make it yourself.

You can easily make your own hot chocolate by melting good quality chocolate in water or milk. This is healthier than using instant mixes, which are full of oils, sweeteners, and other synthetic ingredients.

You can also make your own hot chocolate by combining two or three teaspoons of cocoa powder with 1 cup of hot water. For a little sweetness, try adding a small amount of honey.

If you’d rather not use water and prefer a smooth, milky texture, then why not look at plant milk alternatives. These can offer additional health benefits as well as tasting delicious.

Positive impact on the brain

Everyone knows that chocolate is a great mood enhancer but studies have also shown that drinking hot cocoa regularly has a positive impact on the brain.

It increases memory, perception ability, and blood flow to the brain.

It can also reduce the risk of stroke.

So whilst hot chocolate has a stimulating effect on the nervous system that can relieve stress, elevate mood and increase energy levels, the high levels of caffeine in coffee can often produce heart palpitations and elevated blood pressure.

More vitamins and antioxidants

A cup of hot cocoa has more vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and magnesium than a single cup of coffee. It also contains vitamin B12, D, zinc, phosphorus, copper, and iron.

That makes it a healthier choice. In addition to its nutritional value, hot chocolate also provides energy. And, it is a great way to start your day.

Hot chocolate also contains more antioxidants which are good for your health.

So, while coffee may be a great way to wake up in the morning, hot chocolate has more vitamin content.

Good for your teeth and skin?

Hot chocolate also contains oxalic acid and flavonoids, which are good for your teeth.

Flavonoids also have antioxidant properties and protect your skin, which is very much against the commonly held view that chocolate “gives you spots”.

As with many of the points raised here, the quality of the chocolate or cocoa powder used in your hot chocolate is key. If you’re using an instant hot chocolate drink, with a low cocoa and a high sugar percentage, you’re not going to experience the same benefits.


Hot chocolate is a tasty alternative to coffee and can help you fight stress and improve your mood. It may not give you the caffeine boost of coffee but that means it doesn’t suffer from the downsides of caffeine either.

Hot chocolate is a great comfort drink and is suitable for the whole family.

Whether you enjoy yours with your breakfast, as a daytime treat or in the evening as you begin to wind down and ready yourself for sleep, hot chocolate is delicious and versatile drink and, for me at least, way better than coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does hot chocolate contain caffeine like coffee?

Yes, hot chocolate does contain caffeine but in significantly lower amounts than coffee. For example, one cup of Starbucks hot chocolate contains around 20 milligrams of caffeine, while an average mug of filter coffee contains approximately 150 milligrams.

Does hot chocolate contain more fat than coffee?

Yes, hot chocolate generally has more fat than coffee, primarily from cocoa butter, milk and cream. The sugar content in hot chocolate can also be more than double that of coffee. However, you can reduce sugar and fat content by making your own hot chocolate from good quality chocolate and water or milk.

What are the health benefits of hot chocolate compared to coffee?

Hot chocolate has numerous health benefits. It contains more vitamins C, D, B12, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, copper, and iron than coffee. Furthermore, it has a positive impact on the brain, increasing memory and perception ability, and reducing the risk of stroke. It also contains antioxidants and flavonoids beneficial for the skin and teeth.

Does the quality of chocolate or cocoa powder used affect the health benefits of hot chocolate?

Absolutely, the quality of the chocolate or cocoa powder used in making hot chocolate significantly impacts the health benefits. Using good quality chocolate with a high cocoa percentage provides more benefits than instant hot chocolate mixes, which often contain oils, sweeteners, and other synthetic ingredients.

Can hot chocolate be a suitable replacement for coffee?

While hot chocolate may not provide the same caffeine boost as coffee, it is a delicious and comforting alternative with its own unique health benefits. It’s a versatile drink that can be enjoyed at any time of the day and is suitable for the whole family.

Hot Chocolate World author
Andrew Lowry

Hi, I’m Andrew and I like hot chocolate. Given the nature of this blog, that’s probably not surprising though.

I don’t drink coffee or tea (except a bit of green tea occasionally) so my hot drink options are limited.

I’m a champion of good-quality hot chocolate and want to see and learn more about it, so join me and let’s learn together.

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