I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe it was the way the sun was shining that first time I visited. Or, it was the way the wet, cold snow pelted my face on my second visit. It could have been the way the rich, dark chocolate attacked my senses and my taste buds before it slowly slid down my throat. Whatever it was, Mink Chocolates owns me. I’m now it’s bitch.
It all happened so suddenly. One day, I decided I wanted to go somewhere new and try their hot chocolate, so I Googled. Mink Chocolates (website here) came up and I remember people I met when I was enjoying the hot chocolate festival, gushing about how great the place was. I decided a 25-minute drive was worth trying out a new hot chocolate place. On that very first visit, I went to their South Surrey location. It was late in the afternoon on a bright, cold, Sunday in February. I had the large milk chocolate hot chocolate with a gluten-free, vegan oreo sandwich.
I knew I was in trouble when one of the super, friendly, helpful ladies working, explained that the hot chocolates are made with milk and chocolate ganache. Yah. I know. Right? I took the first sip and the taste buds in my mouth screamed out their joy from that mouthful of chocolate orgasm. I can’t tell you for sure if I moaned or not, but I do know I closed my eyes. Also, the really good looking guy sitting at a table across from me did start to look very uncomfortable so the moaning is a possibility.
The second time I visited was only three days later. I left an appointment in Burnaby and decided the short drive to the downtown Vancouver location was necessary. At that moment, the sky decided to give-up any sort of personal restraint, instead deciding to share. It was cold, and it started snowing. Oh, look, a valid reason to go downtown, find parking, and enjoy some amazing hot chocolate beverages.
They call themselves a chocolate cafe but the best way I can describe Mink Chocolates is that it is set-up like a coffee shop but instead of coffee, it is all based on chocolate. The two locations are slightly different though and that is because of the difference in clientele. The South Surrey location is in The Shops at Morgan Crossing. The downtown Vancouver location is surrounded by upscale shops and businesses. Where South Surrey had that amazing oreo sandwich, a chocolate cake, and a wonderful selection of squares, cookies, and other treats, the downtown location had fresh fruit, healthy cookies, and almond rolls.
Mink Chocolates didn’t gain my praise for having the best hot chocolate I have ever tasted by being the same as everyone else. The chocolate hot drinks at Mink Chocolates all start with a warm chocolate ganache before having different amounts of milk added. The delicious concoction is then steamed to provide a warm, wonderful, treat. And with each drink you order, you receive an individually wrapped, small square of dark chocolate.
Drinks & Treats
Milk Chocolate Hot Chocolate – The milk hot chocolate is sweet, smooth, chocolatey, and amazingly delicious.
Dark Chocolate Hot Chocolate – The dark hot chocolate is rich, chocolatey goodness. Not overly sweet, just really, really, rich chocolate.
Mixed Hot Chocolate – I decided to try something new on another visit to Mink Chocolates. I chose half milk chocolate and half dark chocolate. Whereas the milk chocolate hot chocolate is quite sweet and the dark chocolate hot chocolate is very rich, the mixed half and half is a wonderful, delicious blend of the two.
Dark Sipping Chocolate – Oh my gosh! This was my first time trying drinking chocolate and I am in love with it. It was the dark chocolate ganache mixed with less milk than a hot chocolate therefore basically being a little more liquidy than pure melted chocolate. It wasn’t sweet but it was so incredibly rich. So much so that it is even served with a glass of cold, fizzy, SodaStream water. I wasn’t expecting that glass of water and I thought it was a nice addition but once I started drinking that thick, liquid gold, I realized it was actually a necessity.
Oreo Sandwich – This gluten-free, vegan cookie was amazing. It was delicious. Glorious, sweet icing sandwiched between two hard dark chocolate cookies, what wasn’t there to enjoy. My only complaint was that every time I bit into it, the icing would smoosh out the edges. Yah, so basically nothing to complain about. A friend asked me after, “Why didn’t you just pull them apart and eat them like two separate icing covered cookies? Just like the original store bought oreo cookies.”. You can also think of it this way. If it’s gluten free and vegan, it’s healthy, right?
Almond Roll – I’ve never had an almond roll before and I didn’t know what to expect. I like sweet cinnamon rolls but I’m not usually a fan of healthier options when I have a treat. Unfortunately, there was an ingredient I didn’t like the flavour of, I think it might have been marzipan. This is only my taste buds though because even I could grasp how other than that one flavour, this roll was a really tasty treat.
Chocolate Chip Cookie – Mmmmmm this cookie was…..a giant, thick, soft, chewy, buttery, sweet, chocolatey piece of heaven. A mix of large chips and chunks, in both milk chocolate and dark chocolate, allowed me to make quick work of eating it all while basically living the dream enjoying it. In all honesty, I’m shoving this cookie in my mouth as I write this.
Take a Little Bit of Mink Chocolates Home With You
While every time I visit Mink Chocolates I order a hot chocolate and a treat, they do have several items you can purchase to enjoy at home. They have individual chocolates (bonbons) with fancy images on the top, toffee, salted caramel sauce, jars of their chocolate ganache to make your own hot chocolate at home, and chocolate bars. Both their bonbons and chocolate bars even offer some interesting flavours as well as the regular ones you might be more used to.
I purchased a chocolate bar that was the 2014 Gold winner from the BEST Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America AWARDS. The Mermaid’s Choice is a burnt caramel and fleur de sel with a hint of rosemary, ganache filled chocolate bar. The flavour was wonderful but I’m just not a big fan of the soft centre style chocolates. Because I didn’t thoroughly love it, I also wasn’t impressed with the value considering the cost of the chocolate bar. But these are small batch, specialty style chocolate bars so you have to acknowledge the price will be higher.
I feel like this new relationship is a bit one-sided. Mink Chocolates offers the same taste bud tempting, chocolate, mouth orgasms to everyone and here I am all gooey and gushing for them while so excited to visit again. I’m starting to plan my days around their locations. I might be a bit pathetic. But you know what, I don’t care. Don’t judge me. There is still so much on their menu for me to enjoy and try. THEY HAVE CHILLED CHOCOLATE DRINKS. (Think frappuccinos but with chocolate).
Dear Mink Chocolates, please don’t think I’m too desperate.