Does Hot Chocolate Go Bad? A Simple Definition

All You Ever Wanted to Know About the Drink’s “Secret Life”

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on does hot cocoa mix expire

Hot choco is our favorite drink that is so good to sip on a cold winter evening! We make it with vanilla, cinnamon, or caramel, enhancing its rich taste.

No wonder that people wonder: does hot chocolate expire? Since all of us would like to extend the lifespan of this drink to its longest to be able to enjoy this gorgeous taste.

So, does hot chocolate go bad? Yes, the hot chocolate expires. Ready-made hot chocolate can spoil in 3 days in a fridge. Unopened hot chocolate will be expired after 1 year at a pantry and opened hot chocolate can last for 6 months. Unopened Hot chocolate powder mix will last for 8 months.

Is Hot Chocolate Healthy? Pros And Cons Of the Drink

First of all, let’s clarify one issue regarding this product. It is not a secret that today quite many people think that hot choco is not quite healthy. They say it contains sugar and various preservatives that affect our health not in the best way.

But is it true?

To begin with, it is important to separate the original hot chocolate made of cocoa beans from those drinks that are produced from dry mixes.

The true hot chocolate that only has cocoa beans in it does have useful qualities whereas powdered counterparts are less healthy and, when being consumed excessively, may even lead to certain health issues!

  • True hot choco is rich in antioxidants and it’s able to lower the blood pressure and the blood sugar 
  • 100% hot chocolate decreases cholesterol
  • It makes our blood flow better
  • This drink, if being consumed pure, fights inflammation
  • Hot choco improves our heart health

However, all these benefits belong to the 100% pure and additive-free drink made of only cocoa beans. That is why always read the label attentively before you buy a packet of hot chocolate drink in a store.

What to Do to Keep Hot Chocolate Drinkable Longer. Hot Choco Shelf Life

does hot chocolate expire
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All right, you are picking the drink carefully avoiding the processed powdered mixtures. But that’s not all!

How long does hot chocolate last?

The question worth being examined!

The answer hangs upon what sort of drink we mean. Did you know that originally this drink was made of crushed cocoa beans with some added water, wine, and chili pepper? 

But today the recipe is completely different! So how to define the duration term for this product?

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  • Fresh hot choco drink made of cocoa powder stays fresh for nearly three days, sometimes five if refrigerated
  • A drink prepared from a melted chocolate bar will stay drinkable for two or three days at the best quality
  • Hot choco powder mix (in the powder state) will remain fresh from half a year to twelve months the longest

Naturally, since this drink is often made of cocoa powder, people start wondering: how long does cocoa powder last? Normally, if stored correctly, a carton of this product will still be usable for nearly two years.

But of course, the cocoa powder shelf life is possible to be that long only if all the storage requirements are met!

How to Store Hot Choco?

does hot chocolate mix go bad
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It seems that keeping hot chocolate is not a big deal, however, following certain tips is a must 

  • Always leave it in a cool and dry place
  • It’s ok to leave the product in the “native” packet since it’s possible to re-seal it. If not, find another tank with a tight lid for the foodstuff
  • Remember to use a clean spoon when taking the powder from the container to avoid the cross-contamination
  • Excess humidity may lead to clumps forming which, in its turn, will cause the foodstuff to spoil faster
How to Make the Best Homemade Hot ChocolateHow to Make the Best Homemade Hot Chocolate

And, how to Store Hot Choco? Keep the Hot Choco in a cool, dry place up to 68°F or below 70°F with less than 55% humidity. To maximize the shelf life, keep an open bottle of Hot Choco in the fridge at 38,6 °F for no more than 1-2 months.

Does Hot Chocolate Go Bad?

Does hot chocolate powder expire, the consumers ask again and again? Unfortunately, it’s true. 

If the product is kept under the wrong conditions and we don’t follow the storage instructions, our delicious drink may turn into tasteless and flavorless powder.

Oxidation, light, and contamination belong to the worst enemies of this product so we must keep an eye on how and where we keep the packet of our hot choco mix or cocoa powder.

expired hot chocolate
Photo by David Greenwood-Haigh on Unsplash

How to Define The Expired Hot Chocolate Mix

To avoid consuming the bad foodstuff (which may lead to certain health issues, as we all know), keep in mind the basic symptoms of hot choco spoilage.

  • Expired hot chocolate loses its chocolate taste
  • If we are talking about the powder, then clumps are the first sign that the product is about to get worse
  • Certain discoloration may also be the sign of the quality loss

Since many of us make this drink ourselves using cocoa, people often ask: how can you tell if the cocoa powder has gone bad?

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Well, the basic thing everyone needs to know is that the expired cocoa powder loses its rich brown color and become faded.

Also, its odor weakens and it may taste less choco.

Can expired cocoa make you sick?

No, it won’t, however, it will indeed lose its potency over time so you’ll hardly want to drink it actually.

There’s no such thing as too much information! That’s why we’ve prepared several good-to-know questions for you to be better informed about the secrets of the cocoa and hot chocolate.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Does cocoa powder go bad?

Yes, it does, and it happens when we keep it improperly (e.g. expose it to light, keep it in a hot place, leave the packet open, etc.).

⭐ Does hot chocolate mix go bad?

Of course, like any other foodstuff. Different producers though set different expiration terms so check the label on the packet when purchasing it.

⭐ Does Swiss Miss expire?

Swiss Miss hot chocolate expiration date arrives after one year of storage, that’s the latest term the drink can be safely used.

⭐ Does Nesquick powder go bad?

Yes, and its duration is usually from six to twelve months.

⭐ What happens if you drink expired hot chocolate?

Well, you won’t get sick and no food poisoning will happen. However, the drink won’t taste the same well as the fresh one.
Take these simple tips into account and be careful with the hot chocolate drink since the proper storage will allow preserving this drink longer and enjoy its taste and usefulness to its full.

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
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