HoChos 17, 18, 19, 20

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HoCho #17: Rainforest, Bel Café (~ $8.00)

I enjoyed this beverage in good company on a very, very rainy Vancouver evening. With the clock reminding us that only 20 minutes remained to complete our drink, we dove in – me with my whipped-creamless concoction, and my comrades with their colour-topped artistries, so-called the Rainforest by Bel Cafe.

The whipped cream featured on my friend’s drink in the main photograph was mango-flavoured, and described as tasting like mango ice cream or gelato. Beneath that was a warm, dark cocoa with the slightest hints of tropical fruit (I ordered mine with almond milk, and I believe this covered some of the fruity flavours that would have otherwise been more detectable). 

A florentine flavoured with nuts and dry mango came with the drink, and was deliciously chewy and crunchy, and served as a nice pause in the sipping experience of this festival stop.

HoCho #18: Miss Scarlet’s Pecan Pie, Gem Chocolates (~ $6.25)

Gem Chocolates offered a pecan pie-flavoured hot chocolate for the third week of the hot chocolate festival, and the pecan flavour came through with strength!

There were notable particles of pecan throughout the hot chocolate, particularly near the bottom, and it was a milky chocolate ganache (a bit too much for my stomach, in the end). Caramel added to the smooth drinking, and was also featured in the the special festival topping along with pecan praline. 

A simply delectable treat for the lactose tolerant.

HoCho #19: PO-TAY-TO PO-TAH-TO, Soirette Macaron & Tea (~ $7.23)

I must say – this was delicious.

Speaking as someone whose nickname (by some) has potato in it, I was eager to try this purple potato hot chocolate – because it sounds crazy! Seated in the pristine whiteness of Soirette Macaron & Tea, he and I ordered a raspberry macaroon cake and the festival special.

It had a light chocolate flavour, with a surprisingly pleasant potato undertone on the front of the tongue! Cinnamon was also detected at the back of the tongue, and added to the interesting (but successful) mixture of flavours.

Lining the mug was a sweet purple sugar that added to each sip, and that I shamelessly licked off entirely at the end of the drink. A toasted yam marshmallow was served with the beverage – I indulged in the inner yam filling while my company enjoyed the toasted marshmallow. 

This savoury hot chocolate set-up won my heart, for sure!

HoCho #20: This is Nuts, Thomas Haas (~ $6.50)

My second stop to Thomas Haas for this festival was done with urging from a friend: “The other hot chocolate from Thomas Haas? Would kill for.” I obviously had to give it a shot.

MS and I made our way back to Thomas Haas for the second time to battle the line-ups and grab a table inside before anyone could tell us otherwise. We requested “This Is Nuts” with almond milk, and awaited the calling of our names.
“This Is Nuts” is a milkier chocolate blended with almond butter and hazelnut (if you don’t already know, Nutella is a chocolate and hazelnut blend… so use your imagination there), so while I did not drink very much of it, the flavours were ah-mazing! It was smooth with a nutty tone throughout the entire drink, which gave it a “rougher” taste – does that make any sense….?

Alongside the drink, we received a “financier sandwich” that had “hasselnut” cream in it and little textured candies on top – it was soft and the little candies added a *crunch* that satisfied the tastebuds.

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