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Cocoa Powder In Coffee: Not As Simple As You Think

If you sometimes find it hard to decide between a hot chocolate and a cup of coffee, you may have considered just combining the two by adding cocoa powder into your coffee.

But is it really so simple as just putting some unsweetened cocoa powder with your morning coffee? Unfortunately not. It can actually be surprisingly tricky combining coffee powder and cocoa. 

Read on to learn more about adding cacao powder into your morning cup or just having a hot cocoa coffee whenever you want it.

Can You Add Cocoa Powder to Coffee?

There’s a reason that mocha lattes are a favorite of coffee shops around the world: coffee and chocolate taste superb together. 

But can you get your hot chocolate and coffee fix just by adding cocoa powder to your brewed or Instant coffee? Unfortunately, It’s a little more complicated than that.

For one thing, cacao powder doesn’t dissolve in cold water, so adding it to your cold brew is pretty much out of the question–at least in that specific format.

The trick is to use heat and some other key tools to your advantage to dissolve the cocoa powder before you mix it with the coffee. Fortunately, we know of two methods that work very well.

Related Read: Latte VS Mocha

Adding Cocoa Powder to Coffee

Adding cocoa powder to your coffee is tricky if you don’t know how to do it properly and very easy if you know the shortcuts. 

Cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder doesn’t dissolve in water easily. This is because cocoa powder is slightly hydrophobic, meaning it repels water. 

With a little bit of patience and some know-how, you can get the cacao powder to dissolve into your coffee for the chocolate flavor you’re after.

Create Cocoa Paste

The first method for mixing cocoa powder into your coffee is to prime the pump, so to speak. By making a paste out of your cacao powder, it will dissolve more readily into your coffee. 

There are a few ways you can do this, but the simplest is with water.

Cacao powder is hydrophobic because of its fats, which repel water. Cocoa powder isn’t as water-repellant as pure oils, but increasing the temperature and adding some friction will help things along. 

There are a couple of ways you can go about making a cocoa paste to dissolve in your coffee.

You can choose to use butter or a neutral oil like coconut oil or butter warmed up. This does dissolve the cacao powder more quickly, but it’s not palatable to everyone. 

If you would prefer not to add any extra fat to your morning coffee, you can also use hot water.

The key to this method is in the proportions. 

You want to add the same amount of hot water as you do cocoa powder to the bottom of your coffee mug or cup, and then stir it steadily until you make a paste. 

We suggest adding one tablespoon of each to start with and seeing if you want to add or decrease. You can also add sugar at this point as well.

The water has to be very hot, and water just off the boil would be best. The heat helps soften the cocoa powder’s fats, making them more flexible and making it easier to dissolve in the water. 

Once you have your cacao powder paste, slowly add coffee while continuing to stir. The paste should dissolve into your brew, and you can then add milk if you want.

cocoa coffee

Combine With Ground Coffee

Another method of adding cocoa powder to coffee is to simply brew it into the black coffee you make, using the brewing method of your choice. There are some tricks involved in this as well. 

Although cacao powder is more hydrophobic than coffee, it’s also usually ground a lot more finely, so you shouldn’t use too much.

We recommend one teaspoon of cocoa powder per tablespoon of coffee, but if you only want a faint chocolate flavor in your brew, start with one or two tablespoons and work your way up.

It also works best to mix the cacao powder thoroughly with the coffee grounds in order to make sure everything saturates completely.

You can use this method with drip coffee, as well as with a French press. 

It’s a little trickier with brewing methods like the Moka pot or an espresso machine, but in those cases, you can simply use the cocoa paste method described before. 

Related Read: Cinnamon In Coffee, Brown Sugar Coffee

Does Cocoa Powder Dissolve in Coffee?

It’s possible to get cacao powder to dissolve in hot coffee if you stir it thoroughly enough, just as it is. 

But it’s very difficult even with hot brewed coffee because you’re likely to get clumps of cocoa powder that form, and you’re likely to end up with a cocoa powder sludge at the bottom of your coffee cup.

Cocoa powder definitely won’t dissolve in room temperature or cold coffee, since the fats present in cacao powder will harden rather than dissolve. 

So if you want your cold brew coffee to have a chocolatey flavor, you’ll need to try the paste method and slowly pour in your coffee and milk before adding ice. 

Ultimately you need some form of hot liquid to get the cacao powder to dissolve the way you want.

Wrapping Up: Cocoa in Coffee

Adding cocoa powder to your coffee is a relatively easy way to split the difference between hot cocoa and the caffeine fix you’re looking for and makes for a flavorful treat. 

As long as you know how to use heat to dissolve the stubborn, water-resistant cacao powder, you can reap the benefits of a tasty cup of coffee.

Cocoa coffee is an excellent option for people who love a good mocha but want to cut back on their sugar or for people who just want a deeper coffee flavor in their cup. 

It also works well with cinnamon to provide a spicy counterpoint. However you want to add a deeper taste to your coffee, there’s a method for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is cocoa powder in coffee good?

Adding cocoa powder to your coffee can be great if you go about it the right way. 

No amount of stirring will make cacao powder dissolve in cold liquid, so make sure to use a paste method with hot water and lots of stirring, or brew your cacao powder directly into your black coffee with the grounds.

What happens if you put cocoa powder in coffee?

Cacao powder adds a deeper flavor to your black coffee and takes your cup of coffee to a new level. 

Since cacao powder is low in sugar, it can also give you a tasty treat that has the satisfaction of a mocha while helping maintain a low-calorie diet.