Three sweet, limited edition drinks to warm you up this winter

Recommendations from a hot chocolate aficionado

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Collage of three hot chocolates taken at different angles: one flatlay, one portrait, and one pour shot
Treats from Metro Vancouver’s Hot Chocolate Festival. Image: Gudrun Wai-Gunnarsson / The Peak with photos courtesy of Sara Wong

By: Sara Wong, Arts & Culture Editor

Broyé Café — “Black Eastern Storm”

Photo: Sara Wong / The Peak

I love Vietnamese coffee, so ordering the “Black Eastern Storm” was one of the easiest decisions I’ve made at a café. This drink combines Vietnamese coffee with dark chocolate, so it’s very rich and decadent. Broyé, formerly known as Baker and Table, pairs this Hot Chocolate Festival offering with a Vietnamese coffee-flavoured melon pan (Japanese sweet bread). You can substitute it for another flavour though, like the taro mochi melon pan pictured here. There’s quite a wide variety, but trust me when I say they’re all delicious!

Kafka’s Coffee — “Drove My Dulce to the Leche but the Leche Was Chai”

Photo: Sara Wong / The Peak

The drink name alone earns the staff full points for creativity. I was equally impressed by the blend of dark and milk chocolate, mixed with homemade dulce de leche and masala chai. It sounds like a lot, but Kafka’s struck the right balance between sweet caramel, intense spices, and chocolate. It also pairs nicely with the dulce de leche swirl brownie that’s served on the side. If you want to make the drink even more memorable, go to their Great Northern Way location and order it spiked with Baileys liqueur or Odd Society crème de cassis!

Temper Chocolate & Pastry — “Yuzu Haiku”

Photo: Sara Wong / The Peak

This is one of the most unique flavours in this year’s festival lineup. “Yuzu Haiku” is a milk hot chocolate with a shot of sake. Getting to pour the rice wine into the hot chocolate myself was a fun, interactive experience I wasn’t expecting. As for taste, the mellower chocolate allowed the fruity notes from the sake to shine. Temper accentuated this flavour profile with a citrus sugar rim and a mini yuzu sablé cookie. I was impressed with how smooth the drink was too. In my experience, artisanal hot chocolates can be really thick in consistency, so this was a pleasant surprise.

Hot Chocolate Festival runs from now until February 14. Check out their website for a full list of participating cafés and flavours.