Starbucks Chantico

by Michael Alderete on 1/14/2005 · 10 comments

I tried the new Chantico drinking chocolate at Starbucks today. It’s supposed to be richer and smoother and more intense than regular hot cocoa. Or in Starbuck’s marketing speak, a “drinkable dessert with an intense, full-bodied chocolate flavor and silky, rich texture.

It’s pretty good. A little more sweet than I prefer, and certainly no substitute for a true chocolat chaud, but far better than a regular hot cocoa drink, no question.

Would I change the recipe if I was in charge? Absolutely. I’d love a darker, less sweet, more bitter, intense chocolate flavor. But for a mass market product, it seems kind of daring. Given the products available in the US, I get the impression that most Americans want a watered down, dusty, sugary, choco-flavored powder-based drink. The Chantico at least avoids being that, and could actually be too strong for the American palate used to Quick and Swiss Miss.

I hope it’s successful. And I hope that Peet’s offers a competing product, with the differences I expect from Peet’s: darker, more intense. It still won’t be a chocolat chaud, but it’ll be worth getting regularly (I do love chocolate). In the meantime, I’ll probably get a Chantico every other week or so.

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