Drinking cocoa is one of the most pleasurable things you can do. The chocolatey flavor and the fantastic rush in sugar is something that you may not get with any other drink.
But to really enjoy what it offers, you’ll have to consume the best cocoa powder. Otherwise, the effect won’t be as good, and the pleasure won’t be as much.
But don’t worry; if you don’t know what to go for, we’re going to teach you. That’s what we want to show you in this article – everything you need to know about cocoa powder and how you can pick the right product.
We’re going over several options and the different factors to think about if you want to pick the right cocoa. Here’s what you should know.
Things to Consider before Buying Cocoa Powder
Before you get into details about the many different options available in the market, you should first learn more about what to consider when buying. The following factors will make a big difference in the quality of the powder you pick;
Is it Cacao or Cocoa?
First off, make sure you get either cacao or cocoa. Many people think they’re the same, but they’re actually not.
On one hand, cacao is what comes directly from the nib. When a product says cacao, it has a more natural and less processed production than any other chocolate version. As for the powder, it comes almost directly from raw cacao seeds. This one has tons of antioxidants and magnesium.
On the other hand, you’ll find cocoa. This is a little more processed version of the cacao powder. While it also comes from natural seeds, it goes through an additional step in its production: the roasting process.
This process refers to a high-temperature process where the seeds are cooked. The roasting process adds bitterness to the seed and powder, which eventually delivers a different taste than cacao. But still, it retains all the antioxidants and nutrients that cacao has.
Is It Dutch-Pressed or Natural?
Then, you’ll have to pick between Dutch-pressed and organic cocoa powder. Both options have little to no difference in terms of appearance, but they are relatively different in flavor, nutrients, and production.
The natural option comes directly from the beans. It has no unusual process more than the pulverization of the dry beans, and that’s it. This organic cocoa tastes a little acidic and bitter, and comes with all the nutrients cacao has like antioxidants, magnesium, and so on.
In contrast, Dutch-pressed cocoa goes through a process named Dutching. This technique focuses on passing the beans through an alkaline solution that gets rid of the acidic levels of the beans.
This makes the powder milder in flavor and easier to mix and prepare. Sometimes, its color is a little darker than organic cocoa. On top of that, it loses some of the nutrients and health properties as well.
Another critical factor to think about before buying cocoa powder is fat content. You’ll find that most options offer between 0% and 20% in fat. Here, you’ll have to pick according to your needs.
If you are a baker, you will fare better with a high fat percentage of over 5%. But if you want your powder to be more health-oriented, then anything below 5% will work for you.
Both options offer similar results, though, but high-fat powders tend to be smudgy while low-fat options tend to be dry. That can be a massive difference in terms of preparation.
Sweetened or Unsweetened?
Lastly, make sure you get a cocoa powder with the right amount of sweetness for your demands. Most of the time, you’ll find cocoa powder with no sugar at all and no added sweeteners. This can be an excellent choice for bakers who are always preparing nice treats and the like.
But for those who want to make hot chocolate, add to bitter preparations, or just enjoy a sweet dessert – then a sweetened powder will work well.
Our Top 10 Best Cocoa Powder Reviews 2019
After learning the different factors that will help you pick the right powder, it is time to find out about the best options out there. Here you have 15 cocoa powders that won’t let you down:
1. Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Cacao Powder
The first one comes from a pretty unique brand: Terrasoul. This brand makes all kinds of organic powders, from Acai to Amla, Maca, Carob, and much more. Everything from this brand delivers the quality, flavor, and safety that anyone loves in their foods.
This cacao powder is not an exception. It is a natural processed option with little to no artificial ingredients. The production includes a cold-pressed process and comes with no sweeteners at all.
In fact, you could even say this is the best unsweetened cocoa powder out there. With its unique flavor and overall production, you get no less than a fantastic experience.
While it is not precisely cocoa-like you would want, it substitutes it perfectly and delivers a fantastic flavor that anyone from bakers to enthusiasts and more will love. And surely, with the fantastic anti-oxidant content it has, you will receive all of the health benefits this powder has to offer.
The powder comes fresh and almost directly delivered from the manufacturing place. It is totally vegan and gluten-free, which adds to its already fantastic properties. On top of that, it contains 0% fat, which makes it even healthier.
But the real benefit of this product is the fact that it comes from one of the most popular brands in the market. Terrasoul delivers its Superfoods products to a wide array of users all around the world at a decent cost so you can expect exceptional quality in everything they offer – and this cacao powder is one of them.
2. Navitas Organic Cacao Powder
Another high-quality substitute for cocoa powder can be the Navitas Organic Cacao. Not only it comes from a high-quality brand that has been in the market for decades, but it also delivers one of the most flavorful options out there.
The biggest thing about this cacao powder is the nutrient-rich composition. It contains a wide array of nutrients like fiber, antioxidants, magnesium, iron, and more. You can get a delicious cup of hot chocolate without losing any of the health benefits.
That’s something that many people will love: its deep chocolatey flavor. It works really well for any kind of preparation, from oatmeal creams to smoothies, brownies, cookies, and much more. If you’re a fan of cocoa and want to get the best from it – then this Navitas option won’t let you down.
The cacao is totally cold-pressed and unroasted, which gives an additional purity. This helps to get a more natural touch, with no sweeteners and a pretty strong taste that stands out. And with its 2% fat content, you get something as lean as it can be.
Its organic process and its gluten-free properties make it one of the most sought-after alternatives out there. If you’re looking for cocoa powder, but you find this instead, then you shouldn’t be disappointed. This is also a fantastic product to have.
This is something that you will find in almost all of Navitas Organics foods – going from its Maca powder to its Goji berries, and its nuts like cashews. So you’re not only getting an excellent product by itself, but also something from a brand that makes it all possible without letting anything behind.
3. Viva Naturals Organic Cacao Powder
When it comes to the best cocoa powder for brownies, you won’t find a better choice than the Viva Naturals Organic Cacao Powder.
Let’s agreed that this is not cocoa exactly, but it is still the best of its kind due to the origin of the product. Yes, coming directly from Criollo cacao beans, this product lacks bitterness and feels as tasty & deep as no other option.
If you are a fan of baking and love making sweet treats for friends, family, or yourself – then this is a pretty good cacao powder to have. Not only because it tastes fantastic for baking, but also because it offers a nutrient-rich composition for everyone to love.
With its antioxidant content, you can get all its benefits, improving your health in many ways. It gets better when you add the unrefined production, the totally organic source, and high nutrient content of calcium, iron, magnesium, and fiber.
It also contains only 1% of fat, which makes it a healthy option for baking but also a perfectly manageable choice. You won’t have to get the fat out before using it for any of your brownies, cookies, or cakes. Instead, just pour the powder on the mix and enjoy healthy preparations without issues.
You can still use this powder for anything, including drinks, smoothies, pancakes, and so on. Coming directly from a highly popular brand in the market, you can be sure it won’t let you down in any way.
4. Anthony's Organic Cocoa Powder
For those who love making the most delicious baked goods, then the Anthony’s Organic Cocoa Powder will come like a gem.
Getting a pure cocoa powder will take your experience to a whole new level. In contrast with the previous 3 options, this one actually comes with pure cocoa powder. This means it is roasted and way healthier than ordinary cacao. Especially if you want to use it for baking, this will work wonders.
The powder is still rich in nutrients like magnesium, fiber, and potassium, and contains tons of antioxidants. You will get all of the benefits from other cacaos, but this time in a slightly bitter choice. And it is still non-alkalized, which means you get no Dutch-pressing process in its production.
Its organic composition makes it a perfect choice for vegans and those who like to take care of the environment. Yet, it also works for those who want a healthy alternative to the vast array of unhealthy options out there.
The fat content is minimal as well, at only 1%, which makes it perfect for baking. Cooking the cocoa to get rid of the fat is a thing of the past with this product. So, making all kinds of baking goods will be easier, less time consuming, and far more enjoyable at the end.
With the unique cocoa flavor, the super healthy properties, and its wide array of uses makes Anthony’s Cocoa Powder a perfect choice for all kinds of chocolate lovers.
5. Zen Spirit Premium Raw Cacao Powder Organic
For those who want raw organic cacao, not many alternatives offer what the Zen Spirit bag does. Coming directly from cacao nibs that grow in Ecuador, you can expect a unique and rich experience with this cacao powder. And if you want it for brownies and similar preparations, it will also work well.
You can substitute the cocoa with this powder, and you won’t feel much of a difference. The powder works for anything you want to make. From baked goods to smoothies, a protein shake or oatmeal cream, ice cream, yogurt, or just whatever – it tastes fantastic on whatever you put it on.
This happens due to the high-quality production, making it totally organic and free of any process that could alter its properties. You’ll get everything from its antioxidants to its nutrients like protein, magnesium, calcium, and potassium without losing a single level of flavor and smell.
Another great benefit of this powder is the brand. Zen Spirit is a superfood brand that provides all kinds of options for organic enthusiasts. And surely, this cacao powder is one of its best products – especially if you are a chocolate lover.
It is decently priced for the quality, delivers all the benefits from the cacao, and still manages to come from Ecuador as one of the best cacao nibs in the world. As a demanding user who wants nothing less than exceptional powder – then this option won’t disappoint you.
6. Healthworks Cacao Powder
As its name says, this Healthworks alternative is the right cocoa powder for health. It contains all the necessary nutrients and properties that you will want on a health-oriented product.
If you want a thoroughly unprocessed powder for all your preparations, then this cacao works wonders. In contrast with the cocoa versions, this one comes with no special process which keeps the powder utterly natural, sweeter, and much richer in taste.
This also makes it perfect for enjoying all its health benefits, including the high content of potassium, copper, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and the magnificent antioxidants.
And this all happens not only from its production but also from its origin. This cacao comes directly from farms in Peru – which adds extra quality to the whole product so you can expect no less than a fantastic powder.
In fact, this cacao is known for having a similar energy-boosting effect to what coffee offers. If you are an energy seeker, you will find this kind of cacao an almost perfect addition to your food cabinet.
Of course, you can still make practically anything with it – going from smoothies to brownies, chocolate cream, or a hot and steamy chocolate drink to enjoy on a rainy day. Whatever you can think of – this powder will work without problems.
It is important to note that it only contains 5% of fat and comes with no added sugar or sweeteners. For those looking for an extra healthy option – then this one won’t disappoint.
7. HERSHEY'S Natural Unsweetened Hot Cocoa
What places this option apart from the competitors is the perfect properties to work as the best cocoa powder for baking.
You can use it for any type of recipe, including the most delicious desserts and treats like brownies, cookies, cakes, and more. But it also works amazingly well for smoothies, hot drinks, or just to mix with coffee and other tasty foods.
You can get this powder in two options: its natural 100% cocoa which delivers a mildly bitter flavor, or the 100% dark cocoa which offers a special roasting effect for more sweetness. The dark version also comes with a few fewer antioxidants, but with its superior taste, you won’t have anything to complain about.
Both alternatives from Hershey’s deliver no less than a tasty experience that you can enjoy with any type of preparation. It contains little fat as well and comes with a totally unsweetened so you can make it work with all kinds of desserts and treats without overdoing it.
You can also expect high-quality deliver from Hershey’s. This cocoa is made to last several months in storage, which makes it ideal for most users.
Whether you are a chocolate enthusiast, a baker, or just someone who likes some flavor in her protein shake – this cocoa will serve well enough. And for a more-than-decent cost, it makes a pretty good choice for most people.
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8. OMG! Superfoods Organic Cacao Powder
OMG! Is one of those brands that sound too good to be true. But it works, and its quality is unique in the market.
Being cacao powder in its entirety, you get a product with less processing that makes any of your preparations have the perfect chocolatey flavor. And with that flavor, you can also enjoy an energy boost directly from the theobromine that this cacao contains.
But that’s not all this powder has. You will also enjoy a product rich in magnesium, iron, fiber, and other nutrients. This will make it an excellent choice for those users who want a healthy alternative for their chocolate powder.
And it gets even better with the 1% fat content, which is pretty low to make the overall powder a much healthier choice than many others. You can add the fact that it is totally organic and vegan, and you’re getting a top-notch product in its entirety.
Of course, you can use this cacao for any kind of preparation and still get all of its benefits without issues. Whether you want to make ice-creams, popsicles, cakes, brownies, or just whatever – the natural cacao from OMG! Superfoods won’t let you down.
The best of all about this exceptional cocoa powder is actually the cost. You will get the same amount of cacao that other options do but at a far more affordable price. Getting enough cocoa powder for a month without breaking your wallet is now totally possible.
9. Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate & Cocoa Beverage Mix
While you may find Ghirardelli slightly more expensive than its competitors, it is totally understandable because it is the top-notch cocoa powder for drinking that you will find.
This Sweet Ground Chocolate & Cocoa Mix for beverages delivers what no other option does: premium quality in production, and unbeatable flavor, smell, and texture. It is so well-made that you can actually use this powder for anything – and it will work wonders still.
If you want to make hot chocolate, it will feel soft but also creamy with the right preparation. But if you want it for baked desserts, it will create the perfect smudgy texture and softness. So, it doesn’t matter what you want it for – this cocoa powder surely takes it to another level.
It contains some sugars, which makes it much sweeter than its competitors. But this happens because it also offers a darker and bitterer taste that will impress chocolate enthusiasts. You will also get only 2% of fat, which is an ideal option for such a high cost.
Despite its sugar addition, you may also find additional things like nuts, wheat, soy, and vanilla, which give the extra texture as well as a unique taste. Coming directly from one of the best brands in the market and delivering a unique beverage mix for demanding users – this cocoa powder is merely fantastic.
10. SUPERWELL Organic Cacao Powder
We love those brands that take the extra effort to provide organic quality. And that’s precisely what you get with the Superwell organic powder from cacao.
While it is not cocoa exactly, this option is far more natural and healthy in the long run. Especially when you consider that it uses only premium cacao, it becomes a healthier and even more enticing product all around.
The brand won’t let you down either, despite making all kinds of superfoods product, its cacao is among the best things they offer. Considering the nutrient-rich content with iron, potassium, calcium, fiber, magnesium, and antioxidants make it an utterly healthy option.
And all that comes from a Dutch-pressed powder making it less bitter, much sweeter, and way darker in color – so you get an almost perfect choice if you enjoy commercial cacao.
To make the whole product an even better alternative, you can enjoy its recipe eBook. It comes with this powder bag so you can learn the vast array of recipes and things you can make with this product.
If you are a cooking or baking enthusiast and want to test your skills – the recipe book with the exceptional quality of the powder won’t let you down.
And despite all those different factors, the powder still tastes amazing and comes at a pretty decent cost. Without having to empty your wallet off, this powder will make your life better.
11. Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder Extra Brute
Before we finish this article, it wouldn’t hurt to talk about the best dark cocoa powder. That’s what you will get with the Cacao Barry Extra Brute Powder.
As its name says, this cocoa is one of the darkest out there. This happens due to an extra roasting process that makes dark and a little bitter. You will find it almost perfect for most preparations that demand a strong taste such as creams, coverings for cakes, cookies, and others.
Another reason this cocoa is so well-made is the Amber origin directly from France. This unique species of cacao adds an extra darkness in color, which also makes the taste unbeatable. You won’t find many options as enjoyable as this one.
It contains no sugar or sweeteners, delivers no fat, and contains no artificial ingredients. Pairing it up with Barry as one of the most reliable brands in the market, you can expect no less than delightful experience with this powder.
Especially if you are expecting a unique quality that goes the extra mile in terms of color, taste, and fragrance – then this is the cocoa you want. And that’s still not everything – especially when you add the massive amounts of nutrient that this premium powder delivers.
In short, you can say this is an almost perfect option for demanding chocolate lovers who want no less than the best powder out there. If that fits with your standards, then this is the one to go for.
12. Ghirardelli Hot Cocoa Premium Hot Cocoa
Again with Ghirardelli, we know it offers the perfect addition to any instant chocolate lover. This pack of small bags makes the best cocoa powder for hot chocolate – as it is a fast and straightforward way to make while still delivering the unique flavor only Ghirardelli can offer.
This cocoa stands out for its combination of the finest cacao beans from all around the world, along with some sugar and a little vanilla. You will get an almost perfect taste, especially if you like to make hot chocolate cups consistently.
But you may also pick its alternatives of Premium Hot Cocoa, a flavored Mocha that offers a little touch of coffee. Then you get a Caramel option, extra sweet for treat lovers. And you also get a final Double Chocolate flavor, ideal for those who appreciate a strong but utterly sweet cacao taste.
The huge advantage of this cocoa powder is 19% of the fat it contains. This fat helps to not only make the richest & thickest hot chocolate, but it also works wonders for baking goods that need the extra smudginess.
To prepare this chocolate,you just need to add warm or hot water and stir. It will make a delicious product that you can enjoy at any time with less than 5 minutes of preparation.
If you aren’t looking for a natural or organic alternative for your chocolate cups, then you’ll find this one pretty good. You just need to serve it and enjoy all it offers without worries – it is still pretty healthy and safe.
13. Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Pouch
Another excellent choice for hot chocolate is the Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Pouch. Anyone who appreciates a well-made unsweetened hot chocolate cup will probably love this one as well.
Like every Ghirardelli cocoa powder, it uses only the best beans in the whole world. You won’t find any single bad thing about the powder, mainly because it comes with the ideal blend and the perfect roasting process.
This gives not only a unique dark appearance to the powder, but it also adds to an already fantastic taste that goes the extra mile to delight everyone's palate. But the chocolate still has a lot more to offer, especially with a creamy and velvety texture that stands out when used for drinks.
But this one works its best for baking goods. Whether you’re thinking of brownies, cakes, or even cookies, the strong taste and the unique smudginess will come like a perfect addition to any treat.
The primary feature is the natural production. Without going under a Dutch-pressed or alkali bath, it delivers a healthier and purer alternative to several of its competitors. So you don’t only get a hugely flavorful option, but also something that stands out in terms of benefits.
It contains only 2% of fat and no sugars at all. This makes it ideal for most recipes, whether it is for baked foods or beverages – it doesn’t let anyone down.
Ghirardelli does its best with all the cocoa powder it offers, and this one may as well be its best. In short, this is not a cocoa powder pouch you want to overlook.
14. Gerbs Dutch Cocoa Powder
One of the most overlooked brands in the market is Gerbs. It is not among the most popular, but it surely is among the highest-quality options out there.
It all comes from the Dutch-processed creation, adding the extra flavor and overall quality that everyone loves. The extra dark color and with its superb unsweetened production, you can get a pretty good choice that works for anything, including baked goods and beverages.
This cocoa also contains lots of antioxidants, which adds to its already fantastic production. But the real advantage comes from its allergen-free process that eliminates peanut, tree nut, soy, egg, gluten, wheat, milk, mustard, shellfish, sesame, or even crustacean. You won’t have any issue using this product.
The dark color makes it milder and less bitter as well. Its taste will be an excellent option for users who love a strong but not taste for chocolate. It leaves nothing to be desired.
And it still manages to offer 10% fat which is ideal for baking and other similar preparations. Thanks to its amount of fat, you will find it perfect for making smudgy foods, especially bakes and brownies. It will add the extra touch that everyone loves.
On top of all that, it is pretty affordable. So apart from being extra safe and having a unique cocoa taste, you can still enjoy it without breaking your wallet.
15. The Cocoa Trader Black Cocoa Powder for Baking
Delivering the highest quality possible is what The Cocoa Trader always strives for. And with the best black cocoa powder in their catalog, they make it totally possible.
Delivering an almost flawless black cocoa powder, you can get all the authentic taste and color from roasted and Dutched powder. It provides an extra earthy flavor that alongside its intense color makes the best-baked goods you can think of.
Whether you want to make the darkest brownies or the darkest chocolate chips in cookies, this powder makes it all possible. But despite its color and its Dutch production, it still manages to host all the antioxidants and nutrients such as iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins.
The best about this product is the ready-to-use feature. You can make it in just a few seconds by adding hot milk or water for a great cup of chocolate. Or you can prepare it without extra cooking for any of your baked goods, especially with its excellent 10% of fat content for extra smudginess.
As a black cocoa powder, it works for anything you want. But it also adds the perfect taste to any preparation so you can enjoy this unique type of cocoa powder in its entirety.
It is still decently priced, so affordability won’t be a problem. And while the brand is not as popular as others on the list, you can always rely on the high number of happy customers all around the world. If you want quality, this black powder from The Cocoa Trader won’t let you down.
Top Rated Best Cocoa Powder Brands in the Market
You went through all of our reviews, so it is time you learn which brands are worth considering. Here are 5 that you will love:
Despite being a new brand with less than 7 years in the market, it makes some of the highest-quality superfoods products out there.
If you want quality foods for a reasonable price, Terrasoul is your way to go. And its chocolate and cacao powders are no exception.
This brand focuses entirely on chocolate. That’s why we can say it is the best brand for a cocoa powder that you can pick.
Ghirardelli is also a hugely popular brand which has not years or decades in the market, but over a century. And only for that, you can say this is a brand that you don’t want to dismiss.
Among the most popular brands in the world, Hershey’s doesn’t lack any quality in all of its products. Despite not being the most organic or natural option, you can still get exceptional cocoa powder for chocolate that tastes amazing.
If you don’t have any issue with slightly processed products, then this brand won’t be a bad choice.
Another century-old brand from Europe – Cacao Barry delivers an outstanding experience for demanding cacao users from all around the world.
You can expect fantastic flavor, texture, smell, and overall quality of this brand. It also uses unique cacao species, so you get the extra quality in many ways.
Lastly, you’ll find the Viva Naturals products – similar to what Terrasoul offers, this brand focuses on superfoods, supplements, and the like.
It is an excellent brand for shopping your wellness products from, and its cacao powder is one of their best offerings for sure.
Types of Cocoa Powder
While it seems like all cocoa is the same, it’s actually not. Here are the different types you’ll find:
Natural Cocoa Powder
The natural cocoa powder is the same as cacao. It goes through a simple production that uses raw beans, then dries them out, and pulverizes them. This powder tends to be light in color and a little bitter in taste. You will mostly find this option than any other.
It usually comes unsweetened, but some of its more popular examples like the Hershey’s cocoa powder tend to contain several sweeteners and other ingredients. Overall, this is the favorite choice for baking goods and creating smoothies.
Dutch Cocoa Powder
Also known as dark cocoa powder, the Dutch process passes the natural cocoa powder through an additional alkaline bath that darkens the cacao. It was invented with the whole purpose of reducing the bitterness and acidity while making it darker than regular cocoa.
The “Dutching” process also gets rid of some of its antioxidants and nutrients. But it gives a milder flavor that can be easily improved with sugar or other ingredients. This is mostly helpful for people who want to create dark chocolate desserts, creams, and the like.
Black Cocoa Powder
In the darker spectrum of the Dutch powder, you will also find the black cocoa powder. It is similar to the dark version but with a way darker tone and a richer flavor.
It tends to be really strong, less bitter but with a roasted touch that many people love. This is an excellent choice for hot chocolate and creating unique desserts.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know it can be a little challenging to learn about something when you have so many questions to ask. Luckily, here we bring some of them so you can relieve those doubts:
Q: Is cacao powder different from cocoa powder?
A: Yes, cacao and cocoa are pretty different. The main distinction comes from the powder manufacturing process. Cocoa is dried, roasted, and the pulverized into powder. Cacao powder, on the other hand, skips the roasting process and goes directly into the pulverization after it dries out.
Q: What can you use cocoa for?
A: You can use cocoa for baking, for drinking, and even for creating unique meals like pancakes, cheesecakes, creams, cereals, and more.
Q: Does cocoa powder contain caffeine?
A: Yes, but the content level is pretty low. Compared to coffee, green tea, or even chocolate bars, cocoa powder falls behind in terms of caffeine content. Still, it is recommended to avoid the consumption of cocoa powder at night – especially for users who have trouble sleeping.
Q: What kind of health benefits does cocoa offer?
A: According to WebMD Cocoa is also beneficial for health thanks to the enormous amounts of antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins it offers. Among its many benefits, it is known that cocoa helps to reduce high blood pressure and prevent heart issues.
Q: Should I take cocoa powder every day?
A: There’s no evidence about cocoa powder being harmful to health when it is taken every day. However, it is recommended to limit the amount of cocoa you take to prevent any potential addiction or health drawback.
You will find everything about the best cocoa powder in this article. Whatever you’re looking and for whatever reason – this article will give you everything you need to know.
Now it is time to pick the cocoa powder version that works best for your needs. Remember, they are all different even though they look the same – so choose carefully, and you won’t be disappointed.