Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Hot chocolate roundup (and happy 4th of July)

Those of you who have ever gone with me for a hot chocolate know how I am. Not just any one will do. I always ask for extra chocolate, and will go back and ask again if it's not enough. Sometimes, it's still not enough, and I may drink it or just toss it. Why consume the calories if it's not up to snuff?

I keep coming back to Semifreddis as the best hot chocolate around and I've tried them all: Peets, Starbucks, Ruby's, Royal Grounds, and every other little cafe between here and Emeryville. Of course, there are the special hot chocolate places, like Bittersweet and Sketch, but those are too intense for every day consumption.

I had been trying Peets a couple times a week for the past couple of weeks. The other day I said to Kimberley, "This is the last time to see if they can get it right." And they didn't. So no more wasting money on these other places, it's Semifreddis for me.

What makes Semifreddis' hot chocolate so special?

1) The chocolate - There's a difference between the powder and the syrup. Semifreddis has the chocolate powder. My palette tells me that the syrups I've encountered have more sugar. You can see remnants of the powder on the inside of the cup. I've been to the Semifreddis on the Kensington Circle, Claremont and Hollis and it's always just as good.

2) This day in history - There is a little factoid about what happened on this day in history. It's always something off the wall. On this day, many years ago, Lauren Bacall married Jason Robards, her second husband after Bogey.

3) It's all in the whisk - The people who work there work the cocoa in with these little whisks, which is something I haven't seen at other hot chocolate places.

4) The staff knows me - At the Kensington store, when I walk in, they know that I want my hot chocolate with extra chocolate.

5) Cookies - They recently reintroduced their cookies. Although they're larger than I need, they have mastered the classics: chocolate chip, oatmeal and snickerdoodles (a rare find in bakeries).


Whitney said...

I'm glad I checked your site today. You had nice new entries. About 6 hours ago I was telling Ryan about your hot chocolate habit, and now here you are-- telling the whole world.

Heather said...

Sunny, I owe you a hot chocolate... and we can do your favorite tried-and-true, or we can try Caffe Trieste. They use powder.