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The Chocolate Lab

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Martha’s Packing Heat – $6.30

Starting with a Honduras origin dark chocolate that smells and tastes like a fresh baked batch of Martha Stewart’s brownies, we “drop it like it’s hot”, with Arbol chiles and Saigon cinnamon, for a twist that will leave you saying, Fo Shizzle! *note: Leafs by Snoop not used in the making of this hot chocolate.

We have never tried the hot chocolate from The Chocolate Lab before and we found ourselves downtown and decided to try this one. The presentation is really nice with the giant cookie with the hot chocolate.

Upon first sip we didn’t get a lot of spice, it wasn’t until all the whip had dissolved that you could really get the Arbol Chiles and Saigon Cinnamon. We like spicy drinks, but even this one was a little too spicy for our liking.

It was a very creamy spicy hot chocolate. If you like a little extra spice, then definitely go and try this hot chocolate and grab a couple bonbon’s as well.

Century Downs Race Track

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LavElixir – $7.58

A Velvety smooth Lavender infused hot chocolate cream with a splash of Don Julio Reposado Tequila, topped with pistachios and lavender meringue.

So we are always nervous about Lavender drinks because they can be overwhelming and very strong or potentially taste like soap. The whip was the perfect amount of lavender and not overpowering, it was really good. When we got down to the chocolate, it was a strange flavour, we don’t know how to explain it. First we don’t know if tequila should be used, we would suggest sticking to liquors (baileys, coconut rum, etc) because others don’t blend as well.

We also made the comment that this is a very strong alcohol hot chocolate even though they don’t put a whole shot of tequila. We think it is because of the lavender that it actually makes it stronger. That is also why we could only drink half.

We are afraid to say that this is not one of our favourites, just the flavour profile was not very appetizing. Sorry Century Downs.

Deane House

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Ruby Chocolate Ganache Hot Chocolate – $8.00

Deane’s 2020 YYC hot chocolate festival contender is a ruby chocolate ganache, with housemade sorrel marshmallows rolled in toasted almonds. Warm up with a cup of this pink delight — a flavour profile of fresh red berries from the chocolate, & tang from the sorrel, make this February feature fruity and vibrant!

Everything for this hot chocolate is made in house at the Deane House, including the Sorrel Marshmallow, the Ruby Ganache, and the mini pink chocolate chips. This hot chocolate is visually appealing and absolutely delicious. The marshmallow had great flavour and when combined with the Ruby Ganache hot chocolate it its absolutely amazing. You definitely get the berry flavour from the Ruby Ganache and it is a smooth, creamy, light hot chocolate.

If you want a light hot chocolate to finish out a day of heavy hot chocolates, this is the one you should have.

PZA Parlour

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PZA Standing Ovation – $5.95

Layers of chocolate and chocolate mint, topped with a frothy mint topping and a chocolate mint baton.

This is a very pretty hot chocolate even in a to-go mug, we wish we could have stayed to enjoy it, but had to keep going. This hot chocolate was very hot and had to wait to enjoy, we never want to complain that a hot chocolate is hot. This hot chocolate was very creamy but there was a strange oily texture to some of the hot chocolate. We were trying to figure out what kind of mint they were using? If they use mint oil then there is an oily aspect to this hot chocolate and it is not very appealing to the palate.

Holy Cannoli / Sauce

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Nanaimo Bar Hot Chocolate – $6.25

Chocolate Brownie, chocolate sauce, vanilla custard whipped cream, toasted coconut, topped with a little Nanaimo bar sample. A fabulous creative way to celebrate a great Canadian treat!

We had the opportunity to try this amazing hot chocolate at the launch for this event and it was really good, so we were excited to try this one from one of the locations.

Unfortunately this full hot chocolate is very sweet, we were hoping that we could get a small drink (8oz or even 12oz) but the only size they were selling is the 16oz. It does taste like a Nanaimo but it was very sweet. It was a lot better in the small sample we received at the launch. As a positive the Nanaimo square piece you get is really delicious.


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Matchmaker Mint – $5.65

This velvety choco-mint blend is smooth as silk going down and a match made for the taste buds! It’s topped with whipped cream and an After Eight chocolate – rich and comforting!

We were excited to try a mint hot chocolate and we are afraid to say it let us down. We couldn’t taste mint anywhere except in the After Eight that was placed in the whip cream. It was also sad because it was canned whip as well.

There was a really good chocolate flavour but nothing else. Also with the cocoa on top of the whip, once it was all melted it was floating on top of the hot chocolate and it was not that great to get that in your mouth. We would suggest a light dusting instead of the amount that was on the whip for this hot chocolate.

Cornerstone Music Cafe

Hot Mayan Cocoa – $4.95 (8oz)

We are keeping it simple this year and re-entering our award winning hot chocolate from 7 years ago. It’s creamy, it’s chocolaty, it’s spicy, it’s delicious and it’s for a good cause. We look forward to sharing it with you.

We are always skeptic when it comes to spicy hot chocolates, they can be overwhelming or underwhelming when it comes to the amount of spice they add to the hot chocolate. Cornerstone knew exactly how much to add, it was a nice combination of spices mixed with the chocolate. Some sips you got more spice than chocolate and others vis versa. Overall it was a really delicious, smooth, and creamy hot chocolate full of the warming spices.

They have three different sizes that you can choose from 8oz ($4.95), 12oz ($5.45), and 16oz ($6.00). If you want to try a spicy hot chocolate even though you do not like spicy, just get the 8oz since it is small enough to get the flavour and try something new. 

We can definitely see why this hot chocolate has won in the past. If you want to try a past winner, then go check this place out. It is quite a drive, but totally worth it.

Bruhe Cafe & Dairy

Light You Up Hot Chocolate – $7.57

Chocoholic meets foodie in our signature blend of warming spices, medicinal mushrooms and raw cacao in this year’s Hot Chocolate Festival.

When we arrived, they were unfortunately closed, but the owner still made the hot chocolate which was very nice. When visiting these small locations make sure you check their Instagram for their hours because they may be different than that on google.

The hot chocolate is made in a vitamix which is always really cool. It has mushrooms, collagen, chocolate and cinnamon and many more items, but she said these are the flavours we should pick out. Upon first sip, you could really taste the earthiness of the different flavours. With each sip we could really taste cinnamon, but it was not overpowering in any way.

This is an expensive hot chocolate but is made with high quality ingredients that have a bunch of health benefits. When drinking this hot chocolate it had a slight gritty texture that was strange on the palette. We have found that texture can be a huge component in whether or not a hot chocolate is successful, it was good but the texture was not our favourite.

Kaffee Klatsch

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Ugandan Semuliki Forest Cocoa & Peanut Butter Pretzel Hot Chocolate – $6.00

Locally roasted and ground chocolate from Goldie Craft Chocolate meets its true love in dark   roasted peanut butter and salty pretzels. Oatly oat milk unites these soulmates in a charming drink that marries sustainability and deliciousness!  Ugandan chocolate made locally by Goldie Craft Chocolate. Salted Pretzels. Peanut Butter. Oatley Oat Milk. Vegan. With flavours of chocolate brownie, fig, and inherent saltiness, this cocoa matches beautifully with peanut butter and oat milk.

In addition to the information above, we found out that Semuliki Forest Uganda Cocoa is located in Bundibugyo, Western Uganda and is grown by 1,002 smallholder farmers in the region, which 52% of whom are women.

This hot chocolate is very creamy and delicious with the oat milk. We could taste the peanut butter, chocolate, and the got the saltiness. We were very please that we could taste each of the different components that this chocolate is associated with.

After reading the description above, we didn’t get the fig sweetness but that might be an undertone flavour. If you want to try this hot chocolate with regular milk they will also accommodate. It was a delicious hot chocolate overall.