Pros: Load it up, turn it on, let it go. No constant stirring, no milk boilover.
Cons: None identified yet.
I admit, I am kitchen-gadget dependent. I get sucked in easily by all types of kitchen gadgets promised to make my life easier and me happier. Sometimes they work; sometimes they don't. I stumbled upon this little item purely by accident, at first thinking, "Who on earth needs a machine to make hot chocolate?" Then, of course, I proceeded to promptly buy it. If you love hot chocolate, love the things that make life (in the kitchen) easier, and you are also gadget dependent, this is a must-buy for you.
I was out of the box with this machine, set up, and sipping hot chocolate within 10 minutes. It does come with several recipe recommendations, which look great and scrumptious on the recipe fold-out card. However, it looks like most of these recipes each contain at least 1 ingredient the average person normally would not have on hand and would probably not use for anything else. Some of these ingredients are also rather pricey. I did have to try one, though, being fortunate enough to have all ingredients, and this one piqued my interest - French Chocolate. Now, this was my first effort, and I must admit not a remarkable success. I used milk chocolate chips (recipe calls for chocolate chips) and found that they did not melt completely or well. The finished product tasted more like warm, chocolate-tinted milk. Most of the other recipes in the book call for "premelted chocolate" when real chocolate is used. This recipe did not, and I therefore did not "premelt" them. This sort of defeats the original purpose of easy in my opinion. Not BAD hot chocolate, just not a great first effort.
The second cup went much better. I used my old standby favorite hot chocolate mix, added it to some milk, and had a great cup of hot chocolate in literally no time flat (making only 1 large-size mug in this batch). The final temperature is good, not too hot, not too cold. However, if you like your cup a bit warmer, I suggest topping it off with a liberal dose of marshmallows instead of whipped cream, as this does seem to cool it off a bit too much, for my taste at least.
I am planning to set off in my quest to make the perfect cup of hot chocolate, and plan to make many trips and many stops along the way with my little Cocomotion. I do think this machine is a great idea, is super simple, and it is NOT that big a pain to clean. Yes, of course, dishwasher-safe parts that can be disassembled would be much preferable, but it is not that hard to pour in some water and a little dishsoap, give her a whirr, pour it out, and rinse. The parts have nonstick surfaces, so cleanup is really not a chore. The whole unit is compact and light weight, so it is not awkward and clunky to try to maneuver around cleaning it without getting the cord and internal parts wet.
For those of you who are logistics/technically driven, this little machine holds a maximum of 32 ounces of fluid (milk or water) per batch, or the equivalent of 4 cups. You can also make as little as one 8-ounce cup per batch or anywhere in between, and there are handy little foolproof measuring marks on the side of the carafe. There is a grand total of ONE button required to operate this machine. After you have placed the magnetic "mixing disc" into place and added your ingredients plus the self-locking lid, push the ON button, and you are making hot chocolate. This machine works its magic and turns itself off automatically when your hot chocolate is ready. It doesn't get much easier than this! You can interrupt the mixing cycle at any time, as there is also an OFF button. This also comes in handy for cleaning purposes. As stated before, you can add some warm water and a bit of soap, turn it on for a few churns, and the machine sort of "cleans itself," and turn it OFF, leaving you only to have to pour out and rinse clean.
Yes, I like my newest gadget. It meets all my criteria for what I had hoped it would do: Great hot chocolate, minimal-to-no effort, quick, easy cleanup. Plus, there are lots of options here, from super simple to more complex, with virtually endless creative possibilities, so you can mix and match and create your own favorite hot chocolate concoction!