So, we’ll ‘fess up, the team at TUL HQ are dedicated coffee devotees. We can’t get out of bed without a cup of the good stuff. But there’s that point in the day—generally about 4.30pm when your veins are running black with cold brew and your heart is… well, if not exactly racing, then at least striding briskly; and that’s always when someone suggests heading out for a coffee.
So what’s an overcaffeinated writer to do?
Well, sometimes we have to remind ourselves that it’s not ALL about the coffee. Actually, as it gets a bit cool on the Coast, it can be even nicer to wrap your chilly mitts around a warm, velvety hot chocolate.
So which of our fave hotspots are frothing up the best hot chocolates on the Sunshine Coast?
Come for the hot chocolates, stay for the nutella cheesecake-filled brownies. (Okay, we’ll admit it, we mostly come for the brownies.) But the hot chocolate at Tome truly stands alone on the chocolate front. They use Mofo Deluxe chocolate, which is the Prada of drinking chocolate. The dark cocoa powder is made with Ghanaian cocoa butter with flakes of Belgian chocolate, it’s gluten and dairy-free, so our vegan and coeliac buddies will love us, and the crew at Tome will steam it with almond, coconut or soy milk if that’s your thang.
Maison de Provence
We had a few months of trepidation when we learned that Maison de Provence was changing hands—would the new owners keep us sated with the same standard of buttery pastries, sourdough batards and gorgeous French provincial style? But we’re pleased to say that this Cooroy gem is still just as amazing as it’s always been. They really kick things up a notch with a traditional hot chocolate made with grated dark chocolate flakes, and simply steamed with cream and milk. Pair it with an almost-too-gorgeous-to-eat éclair, et voila! You’ll think you’re in Paris.
Little May Espresso
As much as we love our little subtropical climate on the Sunshine Coast, sometimes it gets a bit tedious. Day after day of clear, sunny skies and warm weather doesn’t really make you feel like it’s REALLY winter, with the need to build fires and wear mittens. Well if you want to solve that, head up to Montville. It’s only a few minutes inland and a couple of hundred metres above sea level, but suddenly you feel like you’re in the Swiss Alps (almost) and the creamy hot chocolate from Little May Espresso tastes just that bit sweeter. Their Suzie June Drinking Chocolate is made in-house, and they even sell bags of it to take home. Now you just need to find a Swiss ski instructor called Alessandro to make it for you!
We usually wouldn’t dare visit Clandestino Roasters and order anything BUT coffee from their terrifyingly hip baristas, but the Ayurmyan Spiced Chocolate was so intriguing, we couldn’t resist. It’s made with Yuykti Botanicals’ blend of Ayurvedic spices, along with raw cacao, cacao butter and vanilla. It’s chocolate, but not as you know it, baby!
The team at The Pocket Espresso Bar know how to deliver when it comes to hot chocolate. They order African Red drinking chocolate from Victorian chocolate experts, the McKenzie family and their company dedicated to chocolate, Grounded Pleasures. And their commitment to quality shows. The powder is made from the world-renowned Forester cocoa bean—with a high cocoa butter content—so the resulting drink has a rich, creamy mouthfeel and amazing flavours. This isn’t just a sad cousin to coffee, this is totally worth ordering as a stand-alone experience.
Beau’s at King’s Beach doesn’t mess about when it comes to dairy alternatives for their hot drinks. They serve up everyone’s favourite soy alternative—Bonsoy, unpasteurized coconut milk and they even make their own almond milk. So for a spot that puts so much effort into their milks, you KNOW they’re going to take their chocolate seriously. Heirloom chocolate is produced in Brisbane and comes in dark or milk (but obviously everyone knows dark is the best), and even boring cow’s milk drinkers like me just can’t get enough.
And who can go past the epic loaded hot chocolate at The Nine Emporium? If a hot chocolate is good, then a loaded hot chocolate with housemade marshmallow fluff, Oreos, Tim Tams and whipped cream must be life-changing, right? Right.
Love the "idea" of the drinking the best hot chocolates on the Sunshine Coast but still can't get past your first love, coffee? Read this.
Image credit: Andrew Wilson