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Chocoholics Unite

Hot chocolate review

Photo+by+Chrystian+Noble
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Chocoholics Unite

Photo by Chrystian Noble

Photo by Chrystian Noble

Photo by Chrystian Noble

Photo by Chrystian Noble

Zahra Khan

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Hammerhand

Photo by Chrystian Noble

   Need a good cup of hot chocolate and a relaxing place to study? Hammerhand is the ideal place. I was greeted with a warm and cozy feeling as chill music played overhead in the shop. The shop was bright with huge windows overlooking the Liberty Square and almost every table was occupied by people working intently and enjoying their drink. The cup of hot chocolate was expensive compared to others at $4.00, including tax. The hot chocolate did take some time but I was very pleasantly surprised at the appearance. When I was done admiring the cream design on top of the hot chocolate I took a sip. This one was by far my favorite hot chocolate – the quality was amazing. It was smooth with a hint of vanilla. The cocoa wasn’t too overpowering and I liked the sweetness. The foam on top was like the cherry on top. I would also like to add that I finished this hot chocolate in record time.

QuikTrip

Photo by Chrystian Noble

   No school day is complete without seeing at least five people with a huge, white styrofoam cup of soda, tea or lemonade from QuikTrip, the prized treasure of the Midwest. Walking in, I powered through to the hot drink fountain. I grabbed a small cup, which was $1.49. I was shocked at how cheap it was compared to other places. To my liking, the hot chocolate was very warm, but taking my first sip, I was somewhat disappointed. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t stand out in any way. The foamy drink was just like any other generic hot chocolate you could buy from the grocery store and make at home. It was a little too sweet, but I still enjoyed it. This drink is perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth. Overall, I was happy for what I got, especially for the price of the drink.

Starbucks

Photo by Chrystian Noble

   That morning feeling isn’t complete without a trip to Starbucks, but at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, the shop is calm. The smell of coffee and the rumble of machines drift throughout the small coffee shop. If you didn’t know, the Liberty location went through a revamp in 2018 and now the small coffee shop seems a little bigger. The crowded space feels open with the white, open counter space and huge windows. Heading up to the counter, I resist buying my usual chai tea latte and order a cup of hot chocolate. The price of $3.49 for a grande, not surprising for Starbucks. This isn’t your generic hot chocolate; it reminds me of the Pinterest recipes that actually work out the way you want. The sweet chocolate flavor wasn’t overpowering with a hint of bitterness. Overall, I loved the flavor and service from Starbucks.

Swiss Miss

Photo by Chrystian Noble

   In the winter time many people like to stay inside and be all cozy next to a warm big fire. That is why having a hot chocolate mix at home is a huge plus. I bought the huge box with fifty packets of powder for $6.99 from Costco. This Swiss Miss will last through two winters, max. Buying things in bulk rather than in small amounts can add up to a lot of money so going for the bigger quantity is better. The taste of the hot chocolate itself with just water is okay. It was a pretty good mix, it was more on the sweeter side but adding milk to the mix made it taste more rich. I was a bit disappointed how the powder itself didn’t dissolve all the way. The instructions were super easy and this is great for when your fancy homemade creations go south.

Homemade

I finally decided to release my inner Gordon Ramsay and recreate this tasty treat (with the help of my mom). I got this recipe off of a website called Taste of Home. The ingredients were easy to find and the instructions were not difficult to follow especially for this young master chef in training. This recipe is perfect for two cups. The taste was nice, but different. Instead of using regular milk chocolate, I used dark chocolate cocoa which made it taste more fancy. Sadly the hot chocolate was too sweet and was overpowered with vanilla extract. Be careful when adding the sugar and vanilla extract. This reminded me of the chocolate river from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” I remember thinking how smooth it looked in the movie. This hot chocolate was just like that. Overall this is a wonderful recipe for a quick cup of hot chocolate especially for the cold weather.

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