For those of us who aren’t walking around with a coffee IV drip attached to our arm while just trying to make it through the day. Or how about those of us who don’t have tastings, relaxation sessions, and conversations about the different benefits of various teas. For those of us left out in the cold, not really belonging to any clique non-alcoholic drink group, we are offered the drinks mostly found on a children’s menu. (Honestly, a barista at Starbuck’s once told me it came from the children’s menu.) I give you, the Chocolate Drinks.
Yes chocolate drinks. So far I have found hot chocolate, drinking chocolate, and different typed of cold chocolate drinks. All made with different forms of chocolate and even some with different flavours.
Thankfully for us, more and more shops are starting to understand some of us adults don’t drink coffee or tea and they are putting a bit of effort into their chocolate drink offerings. Whether those are hot or cold. Or, maybe I’ve just decided I want delicious fancy drinks too and I’ve started asking for them. Who knows. Some places don’t list their chocolate drinks on the menu, but they do have them. You know, on the secret children’s menu.
COFFEE SHOP CHAINS WITH CHOCOLATE DRINKS
I’m going to start with the three big coffee shop chains in the Vancouver area. Not just because they are everywhere, but also, I know I can’t be the only one who always finds herself standing there while friends or family are sorting out their fix. Instead of standing there, try one of these.
Starbucks Chocolate Drinks
I think we all know Starbucks has a hot chocolate drink. It might not show up on their menu but they have it. They also have quite a few seasonal flavours for Christmas, and I just found out one for Valentine’s. In the past I always had the peppermint hot chocolate in the winter but last year I found out they have so many others. The flavour that sticks out, partly because it can be ordered all year (of course it’s not on the menu), is the Snickerdoodle hot chocolate drink. It’s made with white chocolate sauce, cinnamon dolce syrup, and a cinnamon sugar topping over the whipped cream. Mmmmmmm….. Also available all year round is the Black & White (milk and white chocolate), Peppermint, and Raspberry (seriously, I didn’t even know they had this flavour let alone offer it all year).
And this brings us to what was referred to as, coming from the children’s menu. Where apparently there is a secret cold chocolate drink not for adults. It’s called the Double Chocolaty Chip Crème Frappuccino Blended Crème. That’s a lot of words making up a really long name. Basically what it is, is a cold chocolate drink consisting of chocolate sauce, chocolate chips, milk, ice, whipped cream and topped with a delicious, as well as pretty, chocolate drizzle. It’s not my favourite on this list of cold chocolate drinks but it is still really good. Take that all my coffee frappe drinking friends, I can be cool too.
Waves Chocolate Drinks
Waves offers you a choice of three different Belgian chocolates for your hot chocolate drinking pleasure. Milk, dark, or white. The chocolate pieces and some of the milk are mixed with a hand mixer before being steamed with the remainder of the milk. I’ve had each of them and they are all delicious. While these offerings aren’t my all round favourite, they are delicious and I know several people who pick Waves hot chocolate over any others.
So, here is another item not on the menu. Again, it was actually only recommended to me after I enquired about cold chocolate drink options. Like the hot options, the Waves Chocolate Frappe is made with your choice of dark, milk, or white Belgium chocolate. Chocolate pieces are still mixed with the hand mixer but the difference between the hot chocolate drink and the cold chocolate drink, is the cold contains your choice of a liquid yogurt or liquid ice cream base, instead of milk. It is also blended with ice, and then topped with whipped cream if you choose. It’s pretty close to tasting like a milk shake.
Blenz Chocolate Drinks
Blenz also makes a hot chocolate drink with your choice of dark, milk, or white Belgium chocolate. It’s also made like the Waves version too. Chocolate pieces are mixed with a hand blender, with some of the milk, before being steamed with the remainder of the milk. Again, it’s not my favourite but all three choices are very good. It was also a favourite of mine before I tried one of the others on this list.
Blenz has a bit of a different cold chocolate drink than the others. It starts like the hot one, your choice of dark, milk, or white chocolate chips is mixed with a bit of hot water then blended with a hand mixer. Where it goes its own route though is how it is chilled. Ice cubes fill the cup about ½ way, milk is added to more than ¾, then the chocolate mixture is poured in. Whipped cream tops the drink if you choose. The ingredients are not blended in the blender to create a slushy type consistency like the others. I chose dark chocolate and the finished product tasted like a glass of chocolate milk with ice.
CHOCOLATE SHOPS WITH CHOCOLATE DRINKS
Next up we have what I like to call, chocolate shops. These are places that know chocolate. They were created to feed the chocolate lovers. Maybe they call themselves cafes, but they are more than that. On this list, one has all sorts of delicious baked treats, chocolates, and even food. Another mixes chocolate with drinks, food, and ice cream. The other one is like one of the above coffee shops, but based all around chocolate.
Ok, as I’ve said before, this one is my new favourite place. Mink Chocolates (website) make all their chocolate drinks with chocolate ganache. How it’s mixed after that, and with how much milk, decides the resulting drink. You can read about my self-proclaimed, one-sided love affair with Mink Chocolates here.
You can enjoy a dark or milk chocolate drinking chocolate or hot chocolate drink. Or, go crazy and do 50/50 with the dark and milk chocolates. The difference between drinking chocolate and hot chocolate is how much milk the chocolate ganache is mixed with. The drinking chocolate is a lot more rich and thick. Which is why it is served with a glass of fizzy water.
Again, you can choose between dark, milk, or my favourite 50/50, for your chocolate ganache. The blended frozen chocolate drink then mixes that ganache with ice and milk. It’s a cold, creamy, chocolate drink. It’s also my favourite from this list of cold chocolate drinks.
Thierry (website) is a “café” pretty much right in the centre of downtown Vancouver, with delicious edible treats. You can find my experience right here. There is also a large assortment of prepackaged treats to buy and take home. Everything is more high-end so even though they are absolutely delicious, they aren’t cheap. But even though Thierry has heaps of chocolate products, their website doesn’t list their chocolate drinks.
Thierry has a few choices of hot chocolate drinks for you to choose from, and in several flavours. There is the regular hot chocolate of course but I also enjoyed the caramel flavoured house blend drinking chocolate. Other flavours of chocolate drinks include coconut, hazelnut, basque chili, and kayambe. I have no idea what those last two are but I don’t like spicy chocolate drinks so I for sure won’t be trying the chili one.
The cold chocolate drink offered is quite simple and not really sweet. It’s made with mocha powder, milk, ice, and vanilla then sprinkled with cocoa powder to make it look pretty. There is no added sweetener but from personal experience, I know that by adding the vanilla they’ve created a mild chocolatey drink. I found it to be not overly rich, chocolatey, or sweet. Just a refreshing cold chocolate drink.
Cacao 70 (website) is another shop that likes chocolate. They have one entire section of their menu for hot and cold chocolate drinks. They also have three different types of shops in Vancouver. There is the Dip Shop which is all about chocolate dipped cones. The Eatery which has chocolate treats like fondue, pizza, and cake as well as things that come with chocolate like waffles and crepes. The Sweet House is a mix of both the Dip Shop and the Eatery. I go into way more detail for you in this article though.
With three different types of brewed hot chocolate drinks and flavours like dark, milk, black sesame, and spicy Mexicocoa, Cacao 70 has more than the average options for you to choose from. In the colder months the Cacao 70 Classic Hot Chocolate, mixed with chocolate chips, milk, and cream, is kept warm and ready to serve in one of those clear hot chocolate dispensing machines.
There are two different cold chocolate drink options for you at Cacao 70. One of them I liked and one of them I didn’t really. The Chilled Chocolate Classic Americocoa, made with chocolate & ice, isn’t sweet. If you want a bit of a kick though, there is also the spicy Mexicocoa. Coming in six different flavours, the Cacao 70 Frappe is made with milk, ice, chocolate ganache, and flavoured syrup. This one is quite sweet. You can also add a scoop of their dark, milk, or white, warm dipping chocolate, which adds these soft, melt in your mouth chocolate pieces.
CHOCOLATE DRINKS AT OTHER PLACES
Here is a simple list that will be continuously updated as I try their chocolate drinks offered. There are three ratings for this list: I loved it, I liked it, I didn’t enjoy it
- Mon Paris Patisserie across from Metrotown in Burnaby – I loved it
- 49th Parallel Cafe on Thurlow in Vancouver – I didn’t enjoy it
- Fondway Cafe across from Metrotown in Burnaby – I liked it
Now go out and enjoy those chocolate drinks for yourself!
For this article, those are listed above in the different sections.