The Best Hot Chocolates of the Season

  • Juliana Rosen ’21 & Maddie Levey ’21

Brrrrr! It’s getting chilly in the Bay Area and the best solution to warm you up on a cold morning is some steaming hot chocolate. Recently, hot chocolate has been underrated with many leaning towards a caffeine boost from their daily coffee. But, we all know that hot chocolate is as cozy as it gets. Now the idea of mixing milk and chocolate may seem quite simple to you, because in fact, it is.

However, every cafe in the Bay Area does it in their own way. Maybe you are one of those people that pours milk and chocolate sauce into a mug and throws it into the microwave, or maybe you enjoy the bitter-sweet concoction made at the Coffeebar. This issue, we explored some of your favorite stops in the area including, Starbucks, Peet’s, and Cafe Borrone. Not only will you be hearing from our opinions, but you will also get a glimpse into the thoughts of staff member Armando del Rio, as he holds string opinions on his warmed chocolate intake. Here is what our tastebuds decided:

First, we went to Starbucks, where the medium (grande) hot chocolate is $3.45. They serve it with homemade whipped cream. Starbucks is such a popular spot, that its hard to mess up a hot chocolate, and they don’t! The hot chocolate here is always served at a perfect temperature and is bitter enough so that the sweetness does not overpower it. It satisfies both the craving for sweetness and warmth. If you are looking for a good hot chocolate, Starbucks does not disappoint.

Second, we went to Cafe Borrone where the large hot chocolate with homemade whipped cream was $4.50. Topped with fluffy cream and chocolate flakes, this rich chocolate just melts on your tongue. At Borrone, they always serve it at the perfect temperature so that you can indulge right away. This chocolate is not grainy in any way, it is so smooth, making it easy to want to keep drinking. Even if you get distracted by your wonderful pancakes at Borrone, the hot chocolate will still taste amazing even if it’s not at its original temperature. It is more expensive than the other options, but very delicious.

Lastly, we went to Peet’s Coffee. A medium hot chocolate with whipped cream is $3.30. It was delicious hot chocolate that was not too hot, and also did not get too cold too fast. It also gets a little grainy towards the bottom of the drink, so overall, it is not the best. Peet’s hot chocolate has a hint of cinnamon as well, so it depends if you are going for that vibe. It is not as good as Starbucks, but at Peet’s the price is lower, so it depends on what you want.

Our guest taster, Armando del Rio, has strong opinions on all three drinks. He “ thinks Starbucks and Borrone have the best hot chocolate,” but in terms of overall comfort and the vibe of the coffee shop he says, “interestingly I love all those places except Starbucks.” The well-known ASC teacher and Men’s Soccer Coach mentions that “Borrone has higher quality and real chocolate and Starbucks syrup is smoother.”

So in conclusion, Armando supports our claims that Borrone and Starbucks are the best chocolate in town meanwhile, “Peet’s is chalky!” All three of us agree that Borrone and Starbucks are the places to go. Make sure to check in next issue where we will be taking on the task of judging the controversial debate of the fried chicken sandwich.

Photo from The Recipe Rebel

By Axel de Vernou

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