Disclaimer: Contrary to popular belief, I don't have a sweet tooth. I like my chocolate dark and bitter. Consequently, if you have a taste for sugar, you may not agree with my list.
Overall, Brisbane makes a better hot chocolate than Sydney, which surprised and delighted me, having moved to Brisbane recently. However, Sydney does feature in my top four.
The Shack: This is an organic wholefood market and cafe with a few locations around Sydney. The one I frequented was in Gymea. This one is all about the chocolate. Rich, thick and heavenly. And not sugary. It had the perfect balance of yum. A true standout.
Murray Street Vineyards: Located in the Barossa Valley, South Australia. This hot chocolate was made by a resident chocolatier who loved what he did. He made the hot chocolate in layers of silky goodness. A real treat. This is my one exception of having a hot chocolate in a glass. Unfortunately I doubt he is still there after all these years.
Swich Espresso: A little cafe in Holland Park, Brisbane. It's an unassuming cafe on a main street but offers seating on a deck out the back away from traffic noise. The hot chocolate arrives in a large low cup. With not too much froth on top, the chocolatey goodness underneath is a glorious treat. And their hot chocolate is consistently good, unlike so many places.
Oliver Brown: While this Belgium Chocolate Cafe is a chain, it's a good chain. You can order your hot chocolate in dark, milk or white. You have other choices too: mint, coconut etc. I always order the dark hot chocolate with mint. Oh my gosh it's yum. It is sweet, but it's also rich and delicious.
The absolute worst hot chocolate I ever tasted came from the small island of Capris, Italy. This one wasn't about the chocolate or the sugar. It was about the sludge. I could literally stand my spoon up in it. I had to order extra milk to make it palatable.
Gloria Jeans: This is a franchise chain that has lowered its standards over the years. The hot chocolate is watery and the froth takes up half the mug a lot of the time. Hugely disappointing.
Some Sydney cafe: Their hot chocolate was so sugary that it tasted like marshmallows, even though it had no marshmallows in it. Not good.
Chocolat Cafe: Found in Westfield, Garden City, Mount Gravatt, Brisbane. Oddly enough, this is a cafe that prides itself on its chocolate. Unfortunately they gave me a cool, watery 'hot' chocolate in a glass when I specifically asked them to put it in a mug, pointing to the mugs.
What is with this trend of serving hot chocolates in a glass? It might look great when presented in a tall glass, but there's no comfort in a glass. To be able to pick up a glass to drink from it means the hot chocolate has to be cooler than it should, and if served hot then it loses its temperature way too fast in a glass, so you're forced to scoff it down before it gets cold. So when you order a hot chocolate, always ask for it in a mug!
Are you a hot chocolate drinker? What was your best experience of a hot chocolate? What was your worst?
The IWSG is now partnering with Reedsy on some upcoming events, and today, May 8, is a big one!
#IWriteBecause project, we want to raise awareness about the power of writing. Above all, writing is not just a vocation or a hobby; it’s one of the greatest ways to express our thoughts and get our message out.
At Reedsy, we believe that every child, regardless of geography, gender or economics, should have access to education and the freedom to raise their voice and share their message with the world. That’s why, for every writer who shares their story, Reedsy will donate $10 to Room to Read — a non-profit organization that seeks to provide girls in Africa and Asia with access to education.
The IWSG asks members to Tweet and re-Tweet #IWriteBecause Monday, May 8!