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An Honest Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser Review

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If you’re looking for an honest, unbiased Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser review, you’re in the right place! Can you use other chocolate? Is it easy to clean? Is it really worth the hefty price tag? Find the answers to all your burning questions right here in this Velvetiser review.

Please note that all prices and information were correct at the time of publishing.

Close up of the Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser on a grey tray with a blue linen napkin on the side. There's also 2 white pod cups filled with hot chocolate and a spoon topped with grated chocolate in the background. Set against a deep blue hand painted backdrop.

How can I be sure this is really an honest Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser review?

This review is not sponsored. I have not received a free product in exchange for a review and I am not being paid to write this post. I bought the machine with my own money and have concluded my own unbiased and honest opinion about it.

2 white pod cups filled with hot chocolate and the Hotel Chocolate velvetiser on a hand painted deep blue backdrop. There's also a box of Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate sachets, a teaspoon filled with grated chocolate and a blue linen napkin in the background.

What does a Velvetiser do?

A Velvetiser, in essence, is a hot chocolate making machine. It heats up the milk and melts the chocolate at the same time as whisking it all together. We’re lead to believe that this creates a smooth, velvety, barista grade hot chocolate drink… but is the hype really true?

Is a milk frother the same as a Velvetiser?

It’s only natural to look for cheaper alternatives when contemplating a big purchase. However, in this case, the answer is no. A milk frother (whether it’s a wand or an automatic machine) is only designed to froth and sometimes heat up milk. It’s not designed for making hot chocolate in.

The Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser, it's box and a box of Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate sachets set against a deep blue hand painted backdrop. There's also a blue linen nakpin and a teaspoon filled with chopped chocolate in the background.

What does the Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser come with?

In the Velvetiser box, you will currently find the Velvetiser machine itself, plus 2 of their white pod cups. (It’s worth noting that, when your hot chocolate is made to their instructions, it fits perfectly into those cups.)

I personally felt a little bit cheated that it didn’t come with any chocolate to try, you have to purchase this separately. Although, they do currently soften the blow a little, in offering certain products at a discount rate when bought together with a Velvetiser.

How many cups does a Velvetiser make?

The Velvetiser makes 1 cup of hot chocolate at a time. This may seem a little annoying to some, however, I personally didn’t think it mattered all that much. When I switched the machine on, everyone wanted to try different flavours, so it actually helped to minimise waste and electricity.

The Hotel Chocolat velvetiser on a grey tray with a blue linen napkin on the side. The velvetiser box, some chocolate sachets and a spoon with grated chocolate on are also in the background. Set against a hand painted deep blue backdrop.

How long does it take to make a hot chocolate in the Velvetiser?

It only takes about 2 and a half minutes to make a hot chocolate in the Velvetiser. Considering a good homemade hot chocolate would take you at least 10 minutes to make, I don’t think that’s very long to wait for the perfect hot chocolate, do you?

In that time, you’ll also notice that the machine is satisfyingly quiet. You only really hear a faint noise of the chocolate clinking against the sides of the machine, which dissipates as the chocolate slowly melts anyway.

2 white pod cups filled with hot chocolate on a hand painted deep blue backdrop. There's also a box of Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate sachets, a teaspoon filled with grated chocolate and a blue linen napkin in the background.

Is the Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser easy to clean?

This was something that I was keen to learn myself. I was pleasantly surprised that, yes, the Velvetiser IS very easy to clean!

All you need to do is fill it with cold water to the max line, add a couple of drops of washing up liquid and switch it on as if you were making a hot chocolate. Once the cycle is finished, simply rinse out the soap suds with cold water and dry. Easy peasy!

The Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser on a grey tray with a blue linen napkin on the side. There's also 2 white pod cups filled with hot chocolate and a spoon topped with grated chocolate in the background. Set against a deep blue hand painted backdrop.

Testing the Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser

In order to write you a thorough review, there were a number of things I felt needed testing out. Here’s what I learned…

Can you put any hot chocolate in the Velvetiser?

Officially, Hotel Chocolat say no to this question on their website. Claiming that their hot chocolate flakes have been manufactured to the ideal size and weight for creating perfect hot chocolate in their Velvetiser machine.

However, I found the answer to be very different… I chopped several different bars of chocolate as finely as I could and tried them all in the Velvetiser with milk. They worked absolutely fine, without any negative effects on the machine whatsoever.

I also discovered that you can use hot chocolate drinking powders instead of real chocolate. You can use different liquids too – cows milk, plant based milk and even water. They still taste great!

The Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser in the background of a shot filled with various chocolate bars in their wrappers. Set against a deep blue hand painted backdrop.

How to use other chocolate in the Velvetiser

The basic formula is: 35g (or 6 heaped teaspoons) of very finely chopped chocolate + 220ml of milk (or water)

Here’s a list of the chocolates I tested using the above formula (with semi skimmed milk), and their results…

  • Galaxy This was awful! It tasted cheap and was WAY too sweet and milky. The chocolate flavour didn’t come through at all. Rating: 1/5
  • Cadbury’s Dark Milk – If you love Dairy Milk then you’ll love Dark Milk teamed up with semi skimmed milk! Pretty much tastes just like Dairy Milk but with a little added richness. Rating: 5/5
  • Terry’s Chocolate Orange – This was a little on the sweet side but tasted very much of Terry’s Chocolate Orange! It was also incredibly smooth and creamy. I’d be interested to try this with the dark chocolate version. Rating: 4/5
  • Green and Blacks 37% Milk – This was delicious. You really get the Green and Blacks flavour coming through! It wasn’t too sweet and the texture was smooth and creamy. Rating: 5/5
  • Lindt Extra Creamy Milk Chocolate – This was smooth and creamy but really quite sweet. You do get the Lindt flavour coming through but it’s very subtle. Rating: 2/5
  • Asda Extra Special Orange Dark Chocolate (52%) – This was beautiful! A lovely in-between from Hotel Chocolat’s rich 65% chocolate orange and the overly sweet Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Not too sweet, not too rich – a perfect balance. Rating: 5/5
  • Tony’s Chocolonely – The flavour of the chocolate really comes through with this one. It’s quite rich yet very milky. A lovely hot chocolate! Rating: 4/5
  • Galaxy Fusions Dark Chocolate with 70% Cocoa – This one is very rich and bitter with a lovely smooth texture. Perfect for those who don’t like their hot chocolate too sweet! Rating: 4/5
  • Creme Egg – Just don’t do it. I nearly broke my machine and it tasted like liquid sugar. Bad idea! Rating: 0/5

In summary, the best results came from the chocolates with a higher cocoa content. The Green and Blacks 37% milk was genuinely delicious whereas Galaxy was truly awful. (This wasn’t all that surprising to me as it’s the same for homemade hot chocolate sticks.)

I would recommend using the Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate flakes first, just so you get an idea of how finely the chocolate needs to be chopped. A must before venturing on your own hot chocolate flavour quest!

The Hotel Chocolat velvetiser on a grey tray with some chocolate sachets and a blue linen napkin. There is also a box of Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate sachets and a spoon topped with grated chocolate in the background. Set against a hand painted deep blue backdrop.

Does Velvetiser hot chocolate taste better than traditional methods?

This was something I was super curious about! To test this, I tried the following comparisons:

  1. Galaxy hot chocolate powder with water. Kettle method vs Velvetiser.
  2. Lindt hot chocolate powder with milk. Microwave method vs Velvetiser.
  3. 59% dark chocolate with milk. Saucepan method vs Velvetiser.

In every experiment, the Velvetiser came out on top. By a country mile! I was expecting the texture to be better but, the really surprising thing, was that it actually improved the flavour!

Two mugs filled with hot chocolate and a tub of Galaxy hot chocolate powder set against a mottled white backdrop.

For example, the Galaxy hot chocolate kettle method made a less flavourful and more watery drink. The same drink made in the Velvetiser, was much smoother and thicker but also had a more rich and well rounded flavour.

2 mugs filled with hot chocolate and a tub of Lindt hot chocolate powder against a mottled white backdrop.

The Lindt hot chocolate made with microwave heated milk, was almost chalky and had a slightly bitter taste. The Velvetiser version had a beautifully well balanced flavour and was much smoother.

2 Mugs filled with hot chocolate set against a mottled white backdrop along with an empty saucepan and a light brown linen napkin.

Lastly, the 59% dark chocolate with milk using the saucepan method, took quite a long time to melt gently and immediately began to form an unsightly skin on top once made. The Velvetiser version harboured a smooth and mellow flavour which was thicker, more frothy and, overall, tasted more premium.

2 white pod cups filled with hot chocolate on a white wood board with a spoon and some grated chocolate on the side. The Hotel Chocolat velvetiser machine is in the background along with a blue linen napkin. Set on a deep blue hand painted backdrop.

The Verdict

You’ve read all about my experiments and testing, now it’s time to reach a verdict! Have you made up your mind yet?

How much does the Hotel Chocolate Velvetiser cost?

Currently, the Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser costs £99.95 to buy outright or you can get £50 off when you buy their Velvetiser and Refill subscription (which is then either £13 a month for 12 months or £26 a month for 6 months). Every now and then they release discount codes and have sales, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for those.

Are Velvetisers worth it?

In terms of getting the best possible hot chocolate in your very own home, I would say yes. It’s worth it. After reading ample mixed reviews of cheaper alternatives, it would seem that the Hotel Chocolate Velvetiser is the original and the best.

The product itself delivers in every aspect. Flavour and texture wise, it wipes the floor with traditional methods. It’s easy to clean, you can get premium flavours from Hotel Chocolat and even make your own (see How to use other chocolate in the Velvetiser above). I’m not sure you could ask for more from a hot chocolate making machine!

Two white pod cups filled with hot chocolate set on a white wood board with a teaspoon topped with chopped chocolate and a blue linen napkin. There's a box of Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate sachets in the background and it's all set against a deep blue hand painted backdrop.

Should I buy a Velvetiser?

If you’re a big fan of hot chocolate and make it all the time at home, I would say yes, absolutely buy yourself a Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser! It makes stunning hot chocolate in a mere two and a half minutes, that’s guaranteed to delight your taste buds.

It is a hefty price tag I admit, but if you’re going to use it all the time and it brings you joy on a regular basis, I say why the hell not?!

However, if hot chocolate is only a once in a while treat for you – I probably wouldn’t bother. It’s just going to be yet another piece of kitchen equipment that clutters up your kitchen side or cupboards. Stick to an occasional Costa trip instead and save yourself the pennies.

Where can I buy a Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser?

Here’s where you can get your very own Velvetiser machine. At the time of writing this article, it was possible to sign up to their vip.me service and receive a 15% off discount code plus other benefits. Hopefully this should soften the blow of the hefty price tag a little!

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Em

Tuesday 15th of November 2022

I have been a fan of Hotel Chocolat for many years but I think the Velvetiser is too expensive. I have a Dualit milk frother I use to make hot chocolate which works fine. My main issue with it and with all the other ones I have looked at is the small capacity. The Velvetiser seems to be the same and only makes one cup at a time. The other issue is the temperature - they all don't seem quite hot enough and shut off when they reach a certain temp. You end up putting your mug in the microwave! I'd be interested to know what temperature the Velvetiser gets to.

Emma

Tuesday 15th of November 2022

Hi Em. I agree, the Velvetiser is very expensive. But it does yield incredible results! I think it just depends how much you’re likely to use it. For me, it results in the perfect drinking temperature. Everyone has different tastes though. A quick Google has told me it reaches 68-70C. Emma x

Phil A

Tuesday 25th of October 2022

Hi, isn’t it strange how we read reviews after purchasing the item! However having bought one last week, wife and I can agree totally with your review. Haven’t tried alternative chocolates yet, we bought quite a few sachets with the machine including a nice mixed pack of ten different flavours. We use this as trials, sharing one between us. In a troubled world, moments of self indulgence are important! Phil in Northampton

Emma

Tuesday 25th of October 2022

Hi Phil. I’m glad you agree with my review :) Yes, a self indulgent moment is very much cherished in the current climate! Emma x

Stacey-Anne Averill

Sunday 23rd of October 2022

Just wondering if it’s versatile… could you just use it to heat and froth milk for coffee?

Emma

Monday 24th of October 2022

Hi Stacey. I see no reason why you couldn’t! X

Mike Thornbury

Saturday 27th of August 2022

Where we live (NZ) Hotel Chocolat isn't available, but I wanted to make hot chocolate as an alternative to coffee in the evenings, so I bought a local (Australian) milk frother from Breville.

It has four different settings and a large (700ml) capacity.

Cappuccino, latte, hot chocolate and cold milk frother - the difference being the temperature and time.

Your review was really helpful in trying different methods.

We have been using another Australian product that is very popular with cafes locally, Vittoria's Chocochino, and it comes out just great, but after reading your review I decided to try some chocolate bars as well. We have a great chocolate maker here in NZ (Whittakers) that sells a wide range of different chocolates from 50% through to 92% cocoa.

Not having much of a sweet tooth, I like a bitter, dark chocolate and so started with their 50% and worked my way up to their 92%, including their 50% orange chocolate.

So far, results have been very good. The most popular has been their 56% Samoa and 76% Nicaragua. Their 86% and 92% Ghana are lovely and rich, but a bit bitter for most.

My wife is off to the UK at Christmas time and will get some Hotel Chocolat packs to bring home and try.

Thanks for the review - very helpful and thorough.

Emma

Sunday 28th of August 2022

Hi Mike. I’m super happy you found my review so helpful! Emma x

Jess

Sunday 30th of January 2022

I have been moaning for ages about not being able to buy a good hot chocolate machine. I looked at coffee machine that do but I don’t like coffee so kinda not what I was looking for also milk frothers too .I buy hot chocolates so often from town on the way to school ect so to have my own is going to save me loads of money in the long run. I am so excited to get one now ! Was waiting on this review because the price is a little higher than I was wanting to pay but you have for sure got me convinced.

Emma

Sunday 30th of January 2022

Hi Jess. Glad my review has helped you come to a (hopefully) money saving decision! Emma x

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