Helpful ReplyBest Way To Make Hot Chocolate On A Cart??

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Dragon Dog
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2010/11/10 10:26:03 (permalink)

Best Way To Make Hot Chocolate On A Cart??

I was wondering if anyone knows the best way to make hot chocolate on a hot dog cart? I was at the motocross track last night for one of their practice sessions and it was pretty cold (for Arizona). A few of our customers asked if we had anything hot to drink (which we didn't), but it got me to thinking that if we're going to stay open with night hours during the winter, we will need to have some way of making coffee or hot chocolate...any ideas how to do that on a hot dog cart? Worst case scenario would be to get a small generator and use that to power a coffee maker, but our truck is already loaded with so much stuff, I don't think we would have room for a generator.
 
Thanks in advance for the help and advice!!
 
Janine (J9)
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lornaschinske
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Re:Best Way To Make Hot Chocolate On A Cart?? 2010/11/10 11:34:28 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
I am running a commercial pourover coffee maker. It's electric. We brew coffee directly into 3 liter airpots.We then put the pots on the cart. My brewer is a Bloomfiled.
http://www4.shopping.com/Bloomfield-8782/info
I got it off of eBay for under $60 including shipping. All my airpots came off of eBay as well. You can buy new 3L for about $55. We have a high mineral content in the water (along with arsenic) at our current location so we buy R-O water from a water kiosk ($1 for 4 gallons). It took me 4 days to clean and purge the coffee maker when I received it (the vinegar I used was a lovely shade of blue!). I'm not running anything except R-O water thru the machine! Besides, should make better coffee. We are using Folgers Classic Roast. We use the Mini-Moos (Half and Half), Sugar packets and Splenda packets. We bought the coffeemaker for the auction not the street. A 3 ltr airpot will hold hot for 8 hours or more without burning the coffee.
 
As of Saturday (another auction), we will be also running a pot of hot water to make instant cocoa. We have decided on the Swiss Miss brand because we also need to be able to offer Sugar Free as well as regular.
 
We have decided on $1.75 for 20 oz cup (16 oz coffee) and $1 for 8 oz cup (holds 6 oz) coffee/cocoa. On the street, David is just a block or less from a popular coffeehouse and we have had very little response to the street. Cooling off now so things may pick up on that. The hot subs are doing great.
post edited by lornaschinske - 2010/11/10 11:49:19
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Dragon Dog
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Re:Best Way To Make Hot Chocolate On A Cart?? 2010/11/10 11:52:22 (permalink)
Talk about a coincidence! I just read your reply to someone else's question about a coffee urn and saw what you said about airpots! I was just coming back to this post to let eveyone know that I found my answer thanks to you! I'm going to do that...use airpots. We also use bottled water. The water here in Mesa AZ doesn't taste good at all...lots of minerals and stuff " />. I'll use the bottled water for our coffee and hot chocolate as well. We use Folgers at home...LOVE the stuff!
 
We have airpots here where I work my "day" job. They seem to keep the coffee hot pretty long. I think this is the solution to my problem. Brew the coffee and hot chocolate at home, put them into airpots and bring them with us to the track (or wherever else we're going).
 
Thank you so much for the help! I hope that one day I can help someone in return.
 
Janine (J9)
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lornaschinske
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Re:Best Way To Make Hot Chocolate On A Cart?? 2010/11/10 15:39:14 (permalink)
Dragon Dog
... We have airpots here where I work my "day" job. They seem to keep the coffee hot pretty long...

I used to work front desk at a hotel in NC. That is where I had first hand experience with thermos held coffee. We would brew up several gallon size pots of coffee and hold them for an entire shift (sometimes longer). I usually worked 2nd shift there and would brew up fresh coffee when I started my shift. 8 hours later I would brew up a pot of what the night audit lady liked so she had a fresh pot to go thru 3rd shift on. As an experiment one slow night, I didn't brew up a fresh pot. I kept the pot that had been brewed up around 11 that AM. My shift ended at Midnight and I had David taste to see how it was before I dumped it to make a fresh pot for the night audit... still hot and tasted good. I was very impressed with that. I don't drink coffee (hot tea and cocoa) but David does and one of his common complaints is that the standard pots tend to sit too long on the "warmers" and burns the coffee. The airpots don't do that.
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Re:Best Way To Make Hot Chocolate On A Cart?? 2010/11/10 20:43:55 (permalink)
lornaschinske

I used to work front desk at a hotel in NC. That is where I had first hand experience with thermos held coffee. We would brew up several gallon size pots of coffee and hold them for an entire shift (sometimes longer). I usually worked 2nd shift there and would brew up fresh coffee when I started my shift. 8 hours later I would brew up a pot of what the night audit lady liked so she had a fresh pot to go thru 3rd shift on. As an experiment one slow night, I didn't brew up a fresh pot. I kept the pot that had been brewed up around 11 that AM. My shift ended at Midnight and I had David taste to see how it was before I dumped it to make a fresh pot for the night audit... still hot and tasted good. I was very impressed with that. I don't drink coffee (hot tea and cocoa) but David does and one of his common complaints is that the standard pots tend to sit too long on the "warmers" and burns the coffee. The airpots don't do that.

 
Sounds like airpot is the way to go. I have to go to the track tomorrow night, and I think it's going to be a bit chilly again. I'm going to pick up a couple of airpots and fill them with hot water. We're going to go with Swiss Miss chocolate also...is there any other brand??? (tongue-in-cheek). 16 oz sounds like a pretty respectable size for $1
 so we'll go with that.
 
Thanks again for the input and the advice!!
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muffin336
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Re:Best Way To Make Hot Chocolate On A Cart?? 2010/11/12 19:06:06 (permalink)
Sorry, but school me in a "airpot" please
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lornaschinske
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Re:Best Way To Make Hot Chocolate On A Cart?? 2010/11/12 20:09:20 (permalink)
I have a 3 liter one of these. I like the SS interior since we bounce them around on the cart. But the Glass Vacuum bottle ones hold hot longer.
http://www.zojirushi.com/.../airpots/srag_air.html

post edited by lornaschinske - 2010/11/12 20:12:10
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Re:Best Way To Make Hot Chocolate On A Cart?? 2010/11/13 08:57:30 (permalink)
OK thanks, knew what those were but didn't know them by that name.
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Re:Best Way To Make Hot Chocolate On A Cart?? 2010/11/13 12:30:47 (permalink)
lornaschinske

I have a 3 liter one of these. I like the SS interior since we bounce them around on the cart. But the Glass Vacuum bottle ones hold hot longer.
http://www.zojirushi.com/.../airpots/srag_air.html


Lorna,
How many cups do you get out of that and what condiments do you offer?
 
Jerry
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lornaschinske
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Re:Best Way To Make Hot Chocolate On A Cart?? 2010/11/14 11:52:11 (permalink)
3 L = 17 (6 oz) cups (85 grams ground coffee)
2.5 L = 14 (6 oz) cups (70 grams ground coffee)
2 L = 11 (6 oz) cups (55 grams  ground coffee)
 
Mini Moo's (shelf-stable 1/2 & 1/2), Splenda packets, Sugar Packets, Individually wrapped "stir stick" (this is one of Sam's skinny plastic straws... nice an long also occasionally pass one out that a canned soda for when someone wants a straw... makes a good stir stick... better than the thin plastic ones).
 
We couldn't get an 8 oz cup we liked (perfect touch thermal) at Sams WITH a lid so we bought the 12 ounce cup and lid. I just didn't fill it up real full (about 1 " from top ) with hot water.... 1 pkt Swiss Miss dumped in cup first.... Add hot water stopping short of 1 to 2" from top... Stir with a metal spoon... Put lid on... warn customer that it's REALLY HOT.... Collect $1.... I sold 10 cups yesterday at the auction... only 3 were for kids. I drank one... I don't drink coffee. We ran out one 2 L pot of water and heated another pot on the burner. Got partway thru that when the bellows on the air pot tore up (older 2 L airpot I bought for $1 at a yard sale). We have decided to put cocoa on the cart during the week. David will carry an extra container of cold drinking water and a SS tea kettle to heat the water with. I will heat up a 3L pot of hot water thru the coffeemaker in the morning. Less waste if we don't sell the cocoa... all we lose is water. But yesterday's auction paid for all our coffee supplies that we had invested.  8 lg (16 oz... $1.75), $13 sm (12 oz... $1), 10 cocoa (12 oz cup... $1). The cups/lid for the coffee is our biggest cost. We will probably keep the 12 oz cups since the 12 oz & 16 oz use the same size lid.
 
David polished off the last cup of coffee we had (it was a partial small cup). He drank it with 1 packet of Splenda... no creamer. Brewed pot up at 6AM... Still hot at 4:30PM (drinking hot not hot hot)... no sediment and tasted okay... just starting to break down but it was still a good sale. Temps ranged yesterday during that time frame from low 30's to low 60's... the pots held temps well. This was the longest we have held coffee to sell. It's also the best that it has sold. I was surprised at the cocoa sales and we could have sold more cocoa if the bellows hadn't of crapped out on us. We also could have sold more coffee... I need more 3 L pots. I will replace the 2L with a 3 L. I have a 2.5 L that came with my coffee maker.  Our other surprise yesterday was when we counted up bread and realized we seem to be selling 90% whole wheat buns (we offer a choice of white or whole wheat for our deli subs) both on the street and at the auction.
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Re:Best Way To Make Hot Chocolate On A Cart?? 2010/11/15 17:36:13 (permalink)
Ended up purchasing a 2.2 Ltr airpot at RD. Glass lined inside...keeps the water nice and hot. Took it with us on Thursday night to the motocross track. Once people saw other people with hot chocolate, it caught on fast. We're gonna need more airpots!! We went with a 12 oz cup instead of the 16 oz because the Swiss Miss packets were each for 6 oz cups. I figured two packets per cup, fill with hot water to about 1/2" from the top and the customer has a nice cup of hot chocolate for $1. Lornaschinske, thank you so much for the airpot suggestion!
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Re:Best Way To Make Hot Chocolate On A Cart?? 2013/10/29 22:58:33 (permalink)
What do you think of the new hot chocolate dispensers, like this:
http :// www . webstaurantstore . com/cecilware-choco-1-delice-countertop-hot-chocolate-dispenser-120v/385CHOCO1 . html
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