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Up until a couple of months ago, I wasn't a fan of hot chocolate. Although I love chocolate, I have always disliked chocolate milkshakes, chocolate ice cream and hot chocolate drinks! However one chilly night around christmas time, I was rummaging around in the cupboards when I came across a small sachet which I had never seen before. The packet was quite small and so I lifted it into the palm of my hand for closer inspection. The particular packet was a sachet of OPTIONS HOT CHOCOLATE, the particular flavour being Tempting toffee. Tempting toffee it definitly was and without consulting with my mum, I made up my drink according to the instructions. I thoroughly enjoyed my hot chocolate experience, because it wasn't all chocolate the taste was gorgeous and I continued sampling the flavours. Then, purely out of co-incadence, I realised the Product of the week was Options mini chocolate sachets, I decided it was too good an offer to pass up and here I am writing a review.
What are options hot chocolate? Well, basically "Options" is a brand name, producing scrumptious chocolate drinks. Producing mini sachets, and larger bottles of mix I find the mini ones to be the best as you can get different flavours and dont have to stick to the same each time you want a chocolate drink! Options hot chocolate was surprisingly easy to make up. For some reason I was expecting that milk was to be added but reading the packaging I was told that, no, no milk was needed, all you need is pure boiling water! I was quite pleased with this, adding 2 and 2 together, realising that no milk= less calories.
In Asda the other day, a couple of weeks after trying the first of my hot chocolate drinks, I came across the shelf which sold the hot chocolate. I decided to buy another tempting toffee one as it had been so delicious the other day, however it was only when I reached up to get it, a huge array of other options (haha pun?) jumped out at me too! Among the options were Mint Madness, Go Bananas, Cracking Hazelnut, Ooh la la vanilla, choca mocha, Wicked white choc and various others. I selected the ones I fancied and went to purchase. Each mini sachet will set you back 29p (from Asda) and between 23-26p (from Tesco). 29p is the price for 11g, and you can also buy a 220g plastic container for £2.31 for the Mint Madness and £2.44 for the Belgian Chocolate type. I did think that 29p (almost 30g) was quite expensive for a single sachet, but then I thought, a chocolate milkshake would probably set you back nearer 50p- £1 so I decided to crack on with the buying!
As I said I threw various flavours into our trolley, and over the past couple of days I have sampled rather alot, perhaps scary the amount?
TEMPTING TOFFEE Tempting toffee was the first one sampled all those months ago around christmas time, and the one which I first tasted again sometime last week. The packet was like all the others a light blue colour, with the word OPTIONS written in brown swirly writing near the top of the packet. In the centre of the packet is a brownish/orange coloured swirl, resembling toffee. Tempting toffee was stated underneath, and just the look of the package was very tempting indeed. The packet also states that each drink made up contains only 43 calories, I was quite surprised at this as it is alot less than most chocolate drinks around.
I emptied the contents of the packet into my mug, and was quite doubtful about what I saw. It looked quite pale and colour and I was getting worried it would lack flavour. Afer I poured my hot water in and gave a little stir I was a bit more confident about how the product would taste. The smell coming from my mug was only slightly chocolatey and it was only after about a minute or two that a faint toffee smell emerged. After about burning the roof off my mouth, I took a second sip. The first taste was purely of chocolate, no toffee taste detected. I was quite dissapointed and it was only about half way down my chocolate "treat" that I eventually detected some toffee. Although the toffee wasn't prodominant the drink was really delicious and I was surprised I had actually enjoyed a chocolate drink! For 43 calories its a nice little treat, it would be great for a pudding or even for a little morning or mid-afternoon snack!
GO BANANAS I am normally a huge fan of banana things. Wheather it is a banana split, a banana toastie, a banana flavoured yogurt, or a banoffee pie, I am normally the first to sing its praises, and this drink was no different. The light blue packaging was the same, but instead of the golden brown swirl in the centre, the banana flavour unsurprisingly had a yellow one! Again underneath GO BANANAS was written and even just glancing at it tempted me. Unfortionatly when I went into Asda last night, they weren't selling it anymore, which I was quite upset about. The banana option contained only 34 calories, one of the lower ones. Pouring my powder into my mug I was slightly more happy to retrieve a strong banana coco flavoured scent. It was delicious and my craving for something sweet and banana like kicked in big time!
After I had poured in the boiling hot water I took a little sip. The banana was the first taste I was presented with. Quite a sweet banana taste too, and mixed together with the creaminess of the chocolate it was bliss! Once I was about 3 quarters of the way down my drink , the sweetness was becoming very strong and it was quite a struggle to finish the last part! I definitly think the banana was one of my most loved options and I hope to find it again somewhere in the futre!
MINT MADNESS I love mint chocolate chip ice cream, and I also adore spearmint chews, and butter mints, so I was extremely excited to try the mint madness variety! The packet again light blue in colour, sported a minty green swirl, highlighted in a chocolate brown! Underneath, again mint madness is printed. The mint variety contains an acceptable 40 calories, which again for a hot chocolate drink is splendid!
Pouring into my mug, a faint mint smell danced up from the cup. The delicious smell reminded me of "Frys peppermint creams", the chocolate bars my brother has a thing for. Adding the hot water masked the smell for a short while but being so strong is worked its way out again. My first sip was delightful. Remindingly me greatly of mint chocolate chip ice cream, only the mint taste wasn't too strong. I finished this mug without a problem, because although incredibly sweet, the taste of the mint brought a sharpness to it, providing a refreshing drink and a fantastic sugar fix. Although this flavour wasn't my favourite it was definitly delicious and I think i'll continue to buy!
BELGIAN CHOCOLATE The belgian chocolate one was the last one to sample, this morning infact. Raining outside I decided a hot drink was the only thing to cure my "miserable-ness". I plodded off to the cupboard and I was quite annoyed and upset to realise the only flavour left was the Belgian Chocolate. I was planning on having the Outrageus orange flavour but my mum had decided to have that one last night. (More about that shortly :-). Now I was a bit weary about trying the belgian chocolate one, not being a huge fan of hot chocolate on its own I was scared I wouldn't enjoy it as much. However there was no way to know the truth before actually trying so I emptied the powder into my mug.
The powder looked slightly darker than the other kinds, and the chocolate smell was alot stronger, providing a darker chocolate scent. I was getting a bit worried by this time, but as I added in the boiling water and gave a little stir, the product looked slightly more reassuring! Taking a sip from the chocolate drink, I was quite impressed. It was definitly alot more chocolatey than the other ones, and my first thought was that it resembled Thorntons chocolate. Getting half way down my cup I was lagging a bit. The taste was so strong and sickly that by the time I eventually got half way down I had to zap it in the microwave because it was cold. When I took it out of the microwave it was bubbling slightly, and I had to give a little mix as there seemed to be a sort of foam on the top of the drink. Containing 40 calories, it is almost the same as all other varietys but I don't think i'll be giving this one a go again!
OUTRAGEOUS ORANGE The orange flavour was one of the ones I was looking forward to sampling most, so I was very annoyed to find out the temptation had come over my mum too and she had decided to have it with a chocolate digestive the night before while I was tucked up in bed. The packet though was almost identical to the toffee variety. A pale blue packet with an orange swirl in the centre, highlighted in a chocolate coloured swirl. The orange flavour contains 40 calories, again just like the others.
I cant say what it smelled of, or what it looked like when poured and ready to drink. But I can say my mum said she thoroughly enjoyed it and is going to be buying it again. Now it must have been pretty delicious as my mum is a huge fan of chocolate orange flavoured things and is quite fussy when it comes to the "perfect" taste. I look forward to sampling this one in the next few weeks and I will update my review when I have done so.
There are a couple of other flavours which I have unfortionatly not tried yet, these being;
Wicked White Choc
and I am sure there are a few more. I am really looking forward to sampling the white chocolate variety, as it will be a brand new experience for me and being a lover of white chocolate I can only expect good things. I expect the hazelnut one to be good too, perhaps resembling a Kinder Beuno or such like. To be honest i'm not all that fussed to try the Turkish Delight or the Cinnamon, as I am not really a fan of the flavours.
Ingrediants wise, the hot chocolate sachets aren't the healthiest of things, but they aren't the worst either. They do contain milk and lactose so are unsuitable for the lactose intolerant. As they also contain vegetable fat vegetarians may want to stay away! It's probably best to also point out that they do contain the sweetner Aspartame which some people are quite weary of, though if eaten in moderation it will do no harm!
If you aren't allergic to any of the above and love a chocolatey drink with a kick to it then i'd definitly reccomend this to you. They are also handy for taking to work, perhaps for a teacher or somebody who works in an office, as all you really need is some hot water to concoct the drink! At between 23p-29p for a sachet it's not breaking the bank, but if you are buying various sachets of the same flavour, you are probably better off buying a larger plastic tub as it will last alot longer and end up cheaper in the longrun!
5 Sense Summary-
Sight- powder pale in colour
Scent- slight chocolate and hint of flavour
Taste- fairly chocolate, some flavours stronger than others.
I don't see why a vegetarian would need to be scared of vegetable fat, more to the point, what sort of fat is it? Probably not awfully good for you if you had that and all these artificial sweeteners etc in large quantities, but I would imagine the occasional cup would be ok and of course, helps with a diet. Well done on your win!