Does Hot Chocolate Have Caffeine?
Short answer: yes. But... it depends on how you take your hot chocolate. In general, the amount of caffeine in hot chocolate is about the same as a cup of decaf coffee – next to nothing.
Some have so little that they can be classified as caffeine-free.
How Much Caffeine is in Hot Chocolate?
A decaf cup of coffee generally has anywhere between two and eight milligrams of caffeine. Your typical hot chocolate mix has about five milligrams of caffeine, and a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder has about 12 milligrams. (Cocoa naturally has caffeine, so you generally won’t find a “natural” cocoa powder without caffeine unless it has been extensively processed.)
If you get your hot chocolate from one of the big-name coffee shops, up that caffeine count to 25 milligrams.
So, unless you’re mixing your hot chocolate mix with coffee or other caffeinated drinks, it’s definitely not enough to do anything on its own. Both tea and coffee have loads more caffeine than your typical hot chocolate mix.
What Else is in Hot Chocolate?
Cacao plants also naturally have theobromine, a substance that mimics caffeine. However, it has actually been shown to help with sleep in a few studies, (like this one), so nothing to worry about if you’re wanting a cup of hot chocolate to wind down with!
Even in pure cocoa powder, there aren’t enough of either substance, caffeine or theobromine, to have a meaningful impact on your sleep quality or energy levels.
If anything, I think most of us find a warm, sweet drink before bed pretty relaxing, so it’s safe to say you can have this before bed without worrying about the caffeine content making you restless.
Plum Deluxe Hot Cocoa Mix
Plum Deluxe has re-released their Comfort Cocoa, a cozy cup of hot chocolate made with cocoa and sugar that's also dairy-free and vegan-friendly.
There's no milk product in the mix, but you still get a nice, creamy cup of hot cocoa due to the use of raw cocoa with a naturally high fat content. You don’t have add as much milk or sugar to get great flavor and consistency! That also means it’s a little less sweet without the extra milk product additives, so you don’t have to worry if you’re not a fan of overly-sweet hot cocoa mixes.
Grab your favorite cup and mix this hot chocolate mix with water, milk, or your favorite milk alternative. (If you’re looking for something creamy like milk, cashew milk makes a great cup of hot cocoa!)