All for the Love of Hot Chocolate…

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My search for Maidstone’s best Hot Chocolate begins!

I am not a caffeine girl – I don’t crave coffee and don’t give a sniff about tea but there is one drink I simply couldn’t live without – luxurious, decadent, steaming hot chocolate. My love affair with hot chocolate started when I was a teenager (I’m not counting years!) and I have had some shocking teeth rotting hot chocolate imposters in my time. I have also found the best hot chocolate in the world – in a fantastic café in Bruge. The hot chocolate was simply melted 70% cocoa, sugar and cream to add served with a side order of Belgium chocolates. It will never be beaten…or will it?

My quest for finding Maidstone’s best hot chocolate begins and over the next three months I will be star rating every hot chocolate I taste in a Maidstone establishment under the categories of ‘Taste’, ‘Look’, ‘Sweetness’, Temperature’ and ‘Bottom’ (the latter category alluring to the amount of sludge at the bottom of the cup which should have been mixed in with the drink itself!)

So without further faff here is my first chocolaty victim…

Harpers Café

12 Market Buildings, Maidstone Tel: 01622 692148

Regular sized £2.10 Cadbury Hot Drinking Chocolate.  The choice of adding marshmallows and cream is available.

 

Taste 3 stars

Smooth and frothy it was exactly as I expected.

 

Look 3.5 stars

Served in a traditional, tall, clear glass with long metal spoon provided to stir up the hot chocolate a treat.

Harpers Hot Chocolate 2

Sweetness 2.5 stars

A sweet tooth is required for this Cadbury’s drink.

 

Temperature 5 stars

Hot and inviting!

 

Bottom 5 stars

No sludge – thanks to my long spoon!

 

Fortify Café

32 High Street, Maidstone Tel: 01622 670533

£2.60 Fairtrade organic 30% cocoa chocolate Abyss. Regular size.

Fortify Cafe Hot Chocolate

Taste      5 Stars

Smooth not grainy with a cocoa hit softened by sweetness and coats the mouth in creamy chocolate rather than a watery consistency.  Made with milk, not water.

 

Look  3 stars

The hot chocolate that is dished up looks rustic – like a cup your nan would have in the cupboard from the 1970’s. A thick brown and cream decorated tall cup and saucer.

 

Sweetness 5 stars

At last a hot chocolate where I can taste the cocoa  before the sugar!

 

Temperature 5 stars

Not too hot, not too cold – just right.  Goldilocks would be proud.

 

Bottom 5 stars

No sludge or grains left on the bottom to taunt me.

 

Pop’s Café

18 high Street, Maidstone.

£2.10 Regular size basic hot chocolate – although cream and marshmallow option is available.

Pop's Cafe Hot Chocolate

Taste      3 Stars

A perfect little pick me up Hot Chocolate.

 

Look  2.5 stars

The white tall cup and long spoon was perfectly adequate but quite thick set china.

 

Sweetness 3 stars

A good balance of sweetness and cocoa, although still a little sweet for my liking.

 

Temperature 5 stars

Hot and steaming but cool enough to dive right in.

 

Bottom 5 stars

No sludge or grains!

 

Mr. Beans Café

Address: 45 Weeks Street, Maidstone Tel: 01622 687666

£2.10 regular size Cadbury Hot Chocolate. Again, a cream and marshmallow option is available.

Mr Bean Hot Chocolate

Taste      1 Star

Sweet and a little sickly.

 

Look  2.5 stars

The chunky, white tall cup and no spoon offered.

 

Sweetness 2 stars

Although it’s the same brand of hot chocolate as many other cafes offer, it just tasted sweeter than others to me.

 

Temperature 5 stars

Hot enough and ready to drink.

 

Bottom 2 stars

This was grainy – the lack of spoon caused me to have a disappointing bottom!

The winner this issue who will have to stand up against next issues competition…

Fortify Café awarded 23 out of 25 stars!

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Scoff and Quaff March 2014

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