Espresso machines are mainly used to make coffee-based beverages, however, they can also be used for others. Hot cocoa lovers who have the machine would find that this machine makes excellent cocoa as well. First, you would need to know how to make hot chocolate with an espresso machine.
How to Make Hot Chocolate With an Espresso Machine
Making this beverage in an espresso machine is more convenient than making it on the stove or in the microwave. It is far less stressful, and the chocolate tastes better. You can make this hot beverage with your machine by following these steps:
- Mix your hot cocoa powder (1 ounce of chocolate powder is recommended)
- Pour roughly 5 ounces of lactose-free milk or a lactose-free alternative into a mug
- Once you’ve achieved a creamy finish, take the mixture and steam the milk using the steaming wand that came with the machine
- As soon as it is hot, your beverage is ready
It is a prevalent concern, especially among coffee drinkers, that using a steaming wand to make this beverage might damage the wand after a short time. While it is true that clogging from the beverage can cause harm to your steaming wand, this damage can be considerably reduced or prevented if you properly care for your steaming wand.
If you do not want to risk damaging your steaming wand, try this alternative approach to create hot cocoa and treat yourself to this delightful beverage.
- The first step is to choose which type of cocoa to use in your beverage.
- After you’ve decided on your cocoa, make sure it’s finely ground and smooth enough to make tasty chocolate.
- Then, without the chocolate powder blended in, you must heat your milk separately.
- In a cup, combine the fine ground cocoa powder or hot chocolate powder with some water to form a thick liquid.
- Then, add your hot milk to the liquid chocolate powder and your beverage is ready!
Using Cocoa Beans for Your Hot Chocolate
For the most part, coffee beans are used in espresso machines. However, since you won’t be making a coffee-based beverage, you would be using a different type of beans – cacao beans. In order to get the best results, it is important to use beans of the finest quality.
While using cocoa powder is a quick and easy way to get the powdered form for your hot cocoa, you may be exposing yourself to more condensed milk or sugar than you would receive from naturally ground cocoa beans. Grinding your beans also increases your chances of getting the best taste and flavor from the beverage.
Preparing Your Cocoa Beans
You may or may not need to roast your cocoa beans, depending on whether you buy roasted cocoa beans or roast them yourself. If you are doing the roasting, aim for an even roast which would be achieved in a temperature range of 250 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and may go up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The roasting process itself could last between 30 to 90 minutes.
For your hot beverage, you cannot use just any cocoa bean size. If your beans are not finely ground, you won’t get the best flavor out of your drink. Furthermore, your espresso machine is made for finely ground chocolate and coffee beans. This is why choosing the proper size is crucial.
It is worth noting that producing drinks with your machine takes only a few minutes. It takes 20 and 15 seconds for espresso and ristretto coffees, respectively. As a result, you would have to keep a close eye on the clock.
Solving the Grinder Problem
You may be acquainted with using the grinder on your machine to ground coffee beans, and this is fine. However, if you use your machine to grind cocoa beans, the grinder may be destroyed. As a result, it is advisable to utilize a separate grinder to tackle this problem.
Other grinders, such as a separate coffee grinder or a food processor, can also be used to produce a fine powder for a perfect brew. To make the cacao beans in the food processor:
- Put two teaspoons of cacao beans in the food processor and use the pulse setting.
- When the beans are broken down into smaller bits, transfer them to a coffee grinder.
- Grind the beans for 15 seconds in the coffee grinder.
- Take a ten-second rest before repeating until you have a fine powder. This will avoid the liquefaction of your finely ground cocoa.
Preparing Your Hot Chocolate
After grinding the cocoa beans to fine powder, add the smooth powder to the portafilter. Remember to tamp the ground the same way you would if you were making a coffee-based beverage. After that, replace the portafilter in the espresso machine and turn it on.
You have the option of steaming or frothing your milk. This is mostly determined by your personal preferences. If you prefer a creamier beverage, though, frothing your creamer is your best chance. Otherwise, simply reheat your milk and stir it into the hot cocoa from the machine.
The taste difference between utilizing cocoa beans for your beverage and using a chocolate powder product is significant. While a powdered product without sweeteners may be sugary, this is not the case with cocoa. Making hot chocolate with cocoa beans has a bitter taste, so you may need to add sweeteners if you prefer your drink to be sugary.
Espresso Machine or Hot Chocolate Maker?
For your hot beverage, an espresso machine or a chocolate maker would suffice. However, using the machine affords you the chance to make other beverages. On the flip side, if you do not want to invest in a machine and prefer to drink something nothing other than this beverage, a hot chocolate maker would suffice.
A hot cocoa maker eliminates the processes involved in using a machine, allowing you to produce your hot beverage as quickly as possible by simply adding chocolate powder and milk to the machine. The machine would take care of the rest. The machine also allows you to produce cappuccinos and latte drinks, which eliminates the burden of doing so manually.
As a result, you can still enjoy the hot beverage if you have a hot cocoa maker or an espresso machine. The only variation is in the process that making the respective beverages follow.
Can Your Espresso Machine Get Damaged From Making Hot Chocolate?
Yes, your espresso machine could get damaged from making hot chocolate. This is because coffee beans are naturally supposed to be used in the machine, and cocoa beans have certain different characteristics. For instance, cocoa beans have more fat than their counterpart, therefore, they are more likely to clog the machine when making the hot beverage.
While not using an espresso grinder and just utilizing finely ground cocoa beans reduces the risk of damage to your machine, it does not fully eliminate it. Overall, you would have to be extra careful when making hot cocoa with your machine.
What Is a Hot Chocolate With an Espresso Shot Called?
Hot chocolate with an espresso shot is called a caffè mocha. They usually have a distinct frothy milk top and may be served with whipped cream on other occasions.
Hot cocoa is a beverage that can be produced perfectly with your espresso machine. You would need to keep in mind that your beans have to be finely ground to mitigate damage to your machine. You can also use a steaming wand to somewhat guarantee that your machine remains in top shape and provides you with future opportunities to make chocolate.