French Press Breakfast Chocolate

My French Press Breakfast Chocolate recipe is an easy method for making a thick, rich, frothed hot chocolate just like the Europeans enjoy! Drinkable chocolate is a great mid afternoon pick me up, or a decadent after dinner treat.

Try my French Press Breakfast Chocolate instead of coffee!

I’m taking a break from my daily coffee routine. I’m fixing myself a classic European breakfast chocolate. It’s incredibly rich and sophisticated thanks to the high cacao bittersweet chocolate I’m using, and incredibly thick and frothy thanks to my French press.

This is the kind of hot chocolate so thick and rich that you’d swear it was made with pure heavy cream. But it’s not. 

My oldest daughter and I have been on the quest for the secret to a thick homemade drinking chocolate for a couple of years now. If you’ve ever had drinking chocolate from one of those super fancy chocolate shops you’ll know what I’m talking about. Those drinks are chock full of fat and calories, but with this simple technique, you can even use low fat or skim milk!

The secret to thick rich hot chocolate

There are two keys to the puzzle. 

  • The first secret to getting  the decadent chocolate flavor you crave is to use actual chocolate, not cocoa powder. I discovered this technique when I used my food processor to chop chocolate for truffles. I let the machine run a little longer than necessary and I ended up with a fine powder. With the chocolate ground so fine it melts easily into the hot milk—no need for a saucepan on the stove. This process also allows you to store the chocolate in a convenient jar all ready to go for your next batch.

French press drinking chocolate!


  • The second secret to the unbelievable thickness of this hot chocolate is the frothing. The French press makes the perfect easy frother. The milk almost doubles in volume as you pump the press up and down vigorously for about a minute. Your arm will get a good workout and you’ll get impossibly thick luxurious cocoa. Maybe that’s how the French stay so svelte.

Pouring French Press Drinking Chocolate into a white mug

You’ll get plenty of antioxidants from the dark chocolate, and calcium from the milk. 

No added sugar, whipped cream, or marshmallows necessary. This is what Europeans have been drinking for breakfast for generations. It’s truly a wonderful way to start a January morning.

Grinding 10 oz of good quality dark chocolate will yield you a nice jar of ready to use instant hot chocolate mix. I layer mine with leftover vanilla bean pods for extra flavor. If you can’t quite give up your morning coffee, add a little espresso powder to the hot milk. If you want an even more decadent chocolate drink, add more chocolate.

French Press Drinking Chocolate in white mugs

Love hot chocolate? Check out these other recipes on the blog:

tvfgi recommends: a French Press Coffee Pot

A French Press coffee pot is always good to have around. It has saved our mornings on numerous occasions. It not only makes coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, you can use it for making easy mulled or spiced cider as well. In fact you can use it to make all sorts of quick infusions.

French Press Breakfast Chocolate in white cups
3.2 from 302 votes

French Press Breakfast Chocolate

French Press Breakfast Chocolate ~ this easy method makes a thick, rich, frothed hot chocolate just like the Europeans enjoy!  
Course beverage, Breakfast
Cuisine American
Yield 1 cup
Author Sue Moran


  • 10 oz good quality dark or bittersweet chocolate cut in rough chunks
  • leftover vanilla bean pods, optional
  • 1 cup 8 oz milk
  • 1/4 tsp espresso powder, optional


  • Put the chocolate in the bowl of a food processor. Make sure the bowl is completely dry. Process until the chocolate is finely ground. You want a coarse granular texture. Stop if the chocolate starts to clump together and release its oil.
  • Let the chocolate dry at room temperature for several hours. Then process again briefly. The chocolate will have lightened in color.
  • Store the chocolate in a mason type jar with a tight fitting lid. If you are using the vanilla bean pods, layer them in as you fill the jar.
  • Put 4 Tbsp of the chocolate powder in the bottom of the French press. Add in the espresso powder, if using.
  • Put the milk in a quart sized Pyrex measuring cup. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, until it just comes to a boil. You can do this on the stove if you want to.
  • Pour the scalding hot milk over the chocolate and put the plunger top on the pot, but don't depress it yet.
  • Let the milk sit for 2 minutes.
  • Then plunge vigorously for 1 minute to froth the hot chocolate. It will increase in volume. Do this on a steady surface.
  • Pour into 1 large or 2 small cups and enjoy!
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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  • Reply
    Wayne Hanson
    July 25, 2020 at 11:40 am

    I’m so glad I came across this. Totally trying it tonight. Just a few questions. 1. I’m not sure if I’d use vanilla bean pods, but if I did, how many would you recommend for this recipe? 2. Am I understanding correctly that if someone were going to use vanilla bean pods, that they would actually layer them in the jar with chocolate? For instance, something like chocolate powder, 1 bean, chocolate powder, 1 bean, chocolate powder, etc. etc. etc.?

    Thanks again for sharing this.

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