Let me preface with this—I don't usually like hot cocoa, and I love Cocoa Santé. Partially for what the brand stands for, because female-owned and ecologically responsible are obviously positive descriptor). But also because their product is particularly tasty.

The meticulously crafted treats I'm describing are all-natural, responsibly-sourced instant hot cocoa mixes. Available in five unique blends, this hot cocoa has been handcrafted to fit all palettes. But, the good news continues—as a small business owned by two moms, run by all women, and supporting other small businesses, Cocoa Santé is worth getting excited about. 

What's their deal?

Photo courtesy of Cocoa Santé

Cocoa Santé was founded by a mother of four in Concord, Massachusetts, as she searched for a sweet treat that would also fit into her family's healthy lifestyle. She soon partnered with another Massachusetts mom, and as their business took off, the company was acquired by Harbor Sweets, an all-women-run company based in New England.

Their organic cocoa powder is sourced from the Dominican Republic and South America using an "Equal Partner Direct Buying Program," where cocoa beans are purchased directly from farms owned and operated by small scale farmers. These farmers' profits also support educational projects and infrastructure in the region. 

Even the cane sugar used for each flavor comes from responsibly-sourced farms in South America. One of these small farms purchases its supplies from a local women-run nonprofit, which then provides schooling and childcare for local families. Also, the milk is rBST-free and sourced from a farming cooperative in Vermont that helps support local family farming. Literally every ingredient has a story.

What are the flavors?

Photo courtesy of Cocoa Santé

Cocoa Santé is available in five different flavor blends. The Azteca version, inspired by the chocolatl drink of the Aztecs, combines rich cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon with a sprinkle of chipotle pepper.

The Nor'Easter is a tribute to the brand's New England home, swirling mild cocoa and a simple malt flavor. This one seems to be the crowd-pleaser, although the more adventurous flavors are more my style.

Kashmir Spice, based on the flavors of traditional Kehwah tea, combines rich cocoa with cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. It's like the aromatic aftermath of a holiday party, but in a drink mix.

The two primarily chocolate-based flavors, Parisien and Mocha, each boast a distinct signature. The Parisien blends of chocolate flakes, vanilla and cocoa for a sweeter indulgence; the Mocha combines cocoa with Arabica bean coffee for a bit of a kick.

How can I buy?

Photo courtesy of Cocoa Santé

The brand is available in 285 retail businesses in 43 states, including many Whole Foods Markets and REI locations. If none of these locations are convenient, never fret! Each flavor can also be purchased online from Harbor Sweets' website and shipped right to you. 

In terms of pricing, each 2-ounce pouch rings in at $1.95, or you can grab a 10-ounce tin for $9.99. Six pouch combo boxes are offered for $10.99. 

I'm not saying you have to purchase some cocoa for Valentine's Day (or Galentine's Day, I'm not judging), I'm just saying that if you do so, it would be the right choice. And that even I wouldn't turn down some Kashmir Spice.