Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Infusion: Zero Calories But, Is it Healthy – or Tasty?

I have spent much of the day sniffing a teabag muttering ‘oh my god that’s amazing’.  No, I’ve not developed some weird fetish, instead, I have a box of Hotel Chocolat’s Cocoa Infusion on my desk.

Pack shot of Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Infusion cocoa teabags

I first saw the press release for this on April 1st.  Not the best day to send it out as a lot of people did think it was a joke, after all, it was promising a calorie-free chocolate fix. But, they actually sent the mail out after noon and, after careful tasting, I can declare that Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Infusion is real – and frankly it’s the answer to a dieting chocolate lovers dreams.

What is a Cocoa Infusion?

An infusion is simple a posh way of explaining the process of steeping something plant-based in water to extract the flavour – so, technically cups of tea are infusions, cucumber water that you get in spas is an infusion and so is this. In other words, these are pretty much Hotel Chocolat tea bags!

What Does it Taste Like?

The Cocoa Infusion is made from crushed cocoa shells, as you open the packet you’re hit by a rush of chocolate scent as good as if you’d opened an actual bar of dark chocolatey goodness.

Take out a bag and defy you not to wander around with it in your hand inhaling it. But don’t – instead, bung the bag in a cup, pour on boiling water and wait 4 minutes. You can take sneaky sniffs as it’s brewing if you like.

I admit I didn’t want to drink it. I figured it would spoil things. I was expecting that same watered-down insipid taste you get with diet hot chocolate – but no.

While you don’t get a creamy hit, what you do get is that same taste and bitter kick on your tongue that you get eating proper, high cocoa dark chocolate.

It’s not going to satisfy a major sugar craving but if it’s chocolate you want, this really does hit the spot.

Nutritional Facts and Figures

I’m actually a little bit amazed. I tasted about 15 bits of dark chocolate at a food trade show yesterday (more on that over the next few days) and this has exactly the same after taste but it manages to do it with zero calories, no sugar, no fat.

Compare that to their 100% hot chocolate which contains 62 calories per 10g teaspoon – if you make it with water.

As well as that, because the infusion is only made of the cocoa shells, it’s also suitable for vegetarians and vegans. It’s gluten-free and dairy-free (although it does say on their allergy warnings that I might contain traces of wheat and dairy) – and it makes a great chocolate treat if you’re on a low carb or keto diet.

Normally, cocoa shells are thrown away as part of the chocolate-making process so good on Hotel Chocolat for finding a super delicious way of using them. And, they might also be boosting your health by doing you.

You see scientists have started investigated cocoa shells and they’ve discovered that the shells contain anti-oxidants and as such the infusion does carry some of the health benefits associated with dark chocolate.

Interestingly, researchers at the University of Illinois have found that some of the compounds found directly in cocoa shells could actually fight inflammation associated with many diseases and also seemed to act directly on cells to reduce levels of insulin resistance – all that for no calories!

It costs £9.00 for a box of 18 bags – which makes it cheaper than chocolate too! I think that’s the definition of #winning! Find it at hotelchocolat.com

If you’re looking for other healthier chocolate options, you might also like our review on Chocologic No Added Sugar Chocolate.

And we’ve also tried a low sugar version of a certain very moreish chocolate spread. If that sounds yummy, then you’ll want to check out our Diablo Chocolate Spread review here. 

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