Does Hot Chocolate Expire? Here’s What You Should Know

Is hot chocolate your favorite beverage, but you’re not sure if the one in your kitchen pantry is still good? You’ll discover whether hot chocolate spoils, how long it lasts, and whether drinking an expired hot chocolate is dangerous in this comprehensive article.

Does Hot Chocolate Expire?

Yes, if hot chocolate isn’t consumed within its expiration date or if it is not stored properly, it can go bad or spoil.

Although there is no set expiry date for hot chocolate, the best before date on the bottle indicates when it will be at its peak quality. As a result, you should consume it as soon as possible to enjoy its full flavor and fresh taste.

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How Long Does Hot Chocolate Last?

The average lifespan of your typical hot chocolate powder is between one and two years, depending on the date of expiration.

Pure cocoa does not go bad in the sense that it becomes unusable. However, flavor and quality may steadily deteriorate with time. Cocoa powder can stay unopened for up to two years. When opened, however, it must be used within 6 months of being opened or else it will begin to mold.

On the other hand, hot chocolate powder will not keep nearly as long as genuine cocoa. Powdered milk or some type of dairy product is generally included in hot chocolate mixes and instant mixes. Within a year or two, they will certainly go rancid, according to the expiry date or best-by date.

Nowadays, you can find almost any type of hot chocolate bomb. While these cocoa bombs are the bomb, they do not last long; only up to two weeks at the most. These cocoa bombs must be handled with great care. They usually include fillings like chocolate ganache, marshmallows, and other ingredients that must be treated with proper handling.

How to Tell if Hot Chocolate Has Gone Bad?

Check the expiration date on your hot chocolate powder or mix to see when it’s time to get rid of it. Apart from that, the aroma, taste, and color of your hot chocolate may be a clue.

The longer you wait without drinking your hot chocolate, the less enjoyable it will be. The flavor and strength of your hot chocolate will both deteriorate over time.

This can go two ways: either the taste and strength will have significantly decreased, or there will be an overpowering bitterness. Your hot chocolate has turned sour.

The flavor, as well as the smell, of your hot chocolate will alter over time. Quality cocoa or instant chocolate powder will be fragrant and have a malty, buttery aroma. When the powder spoils, the smell of the cocoa fades while the powder smells bland or even savory.

Another indication that your hot chocolate has spoiled is discoloration. The vibrant brown color of cocoa will fade over time, taking on a grey-white tone.

What Happens if You Drink Hot Chocolate that Has Expired?

Because cocoa powder does not go bad, you will not get sick from eating it. However, any food item that has gone rancid is definitely dangerous to consume.

Badly stored chocolate can develop white spots on the surface, known as bloom, which is basically the crystallized sugar. It’s still edible, albeit not nearly as delicious, but it will not taste quite as good.

Chocolate chips and pellets are also susceptible to this issue. Chocolate bombs include fillings that might make you ill.

However, if your cocoa powder is lumpy and damp, it’s an indication of moisture. This indicates the existence of bacteria, which, if consumed, would undoubtedly make you ill.

How to Store Hot Chocolate Properly?

If you let your hot chocolate sit out at room temperature for a month or more, it will begin to lose its flavor and texture. To get the most use out of it, keep in mind that if you store it in an opened container, the contents will deteriorate much faster than if you close it properly after opening.

Ideally, store your cocoa powder in a temperature of 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity level of less than 55 percent. Make sure the temperature isn’t fluctuating when you store it in one place and that you don’t move it to another location.

If you break the container it came in, seal it or, better yet, find a new one with a tight lid and transfer the hot chocolate into it.

If you don’t want to use it right away, storing it in the refrigerator isn’t the greatest idea. However, during the summer months, it might be a good idea to wrap the container securely and place it in the fridge or freezer to extend its lifespan. If you don’t wrap it up before placing it in the fridge or freezer, the humidity could clump the powder.

Melissa is a food enthusiast and one of the founders of Kitchen Study - a food blog about the vegan lifestyle, meal delivery services and cooking guides. She writes about delicious vegan dishes from all over the world. From quick and easy weekday lunches to perfect Sunday dinner recipes, we have it all covered!