Lifestyle

Sweet success: J. P. Licks offers best hot chocolate in Wellesley

As the temperature becomes colder, and snow begins to fall, one of the first things I think of is hot chocolate. This prompted me to go on an adventure: I decided to go on a hot chocolate hunt in Wellesley center, with my sweet tooth inspiring me find the best one. At four different stops, I paid under three dollars for a small cup of hot chocolate, though in some cases the cup was only partially full or almost scalding hot.

Here are the hard-won results of my own Wellesley Hot Chocolate Competition:

#4: Dunkin’ Donuts ($2.26)
I usually go to Dunkin’ Donuts for my coffee, so I was expecting their hot chocolate to be a success. Sadly, this was not meant to be. It was burning hot, and I had to wait at least 20 minutes before I could drink it. I know it’s called hot chocolate for a reason, but this was way too hot for anyone to drink. After 20 minutes of waiting for it to cool, it just wasn’t worth the wait. The whipped cream had long melted, and the cup was barely filled 3/4 of the way. I felt Dunkin’ Donuts had cheated me out of hot chocolate. However, I wasn’t upset because what I did get did not taste like hot chocolate; it tasted like hot water. I even removed the lid to make sure it was hot chocolate. Dunkin’ Donuts let me down, and though I will continue to buy my coffee from there, I will not be buying their hot chocolate. 

#3: Starbucks ($2.94)
I went into Starbucks with high hopes, expecting it to be the best hot chocolate because of Starbucks’s reputation. When I got my drink, it seemed fairly small compared to the hot chocolates from J.P. Licks and Dunkin’ Donuts, which seemed odd because it was the most expensive of the hot chocolates I tried. It was hot enough that I had to wait a minute before drinking, but this was nothing compared to the waiting I had to do at Dunkin’ Donuts. When it cooled down enough to drink I was expecting more of a chocolate taste than I got. Maybe my expectations had been too high, but I was disappointed. It wasn’t horrible, but it tasted like warm milk, with clumps of chocolate that had gathered at the bottom of my cup. I was very disappointed in Starbucks.


#2: Peet’s Coffee ($2.75)
At Peet’s Coffee, I did not have high expectations because I rarely go there, but I was pleased. The drink was a little too hot, but tasted good enough that I disregarded the heat and drank it anyway. While it was not amazing, it definitely had more chocolate taste than the previous hot chocolates, which is obviously an important factor in making hot chocolate. Plus, I finally found a cup filled to the top, with whipped cream over the brim of the cup. I felt warm drinking it, and the cup substituted for a hand warmer. Though this hot chocolate had the strongest cocoa taste of any of the previous hot chocolates, it was still not enough for my sweet tooth. The cocoa was too subtle. Yet overall I left Peet’s Coffee pleased with my hot chocolate.

#1: J.P. Licks ($2.80)
As I arrived at J.P. Licks, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away by the hot chocolate, because J.P Licks is better known for ice cream. However, the hot chocolate proved my assumption wrong. It tasted perfect, chocolate with a hint of cinnamon. It wasn’t too watery, or too hot. Though I wouldn’t normally think to go to a store known for ice cream to get hot chocolate, J.P. Licks has changed my mind.

Bonus: Dana Hall’s Dining Center

I decided that as long as I was trying hot chocolate from around Wellesley center, I couldn’t leave out Dana Hall’s own hot chocolate from the Dining Center. I was surprised when it turned out to be better than either Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. Though it didn’t come with whipped cream, it had a strong taste of chocolate, the most chocolate tasting of any of the hot chocolates I tried. It was delicious, free, and right on campus.

JP LicksMy hunt for hot chocolate has led me to choose J.P licks as my favorite hot chocolate in Wellesley center. Though it didn’t have the most chocolate taste of them all, the hint of cinnamon gave it the perfect touch and put me in the winter spirit. My hunt for the perfect hot chocolate was a sweet success.

Results:

Best hot chocolate: J. P. Licks

Best hot chocolate for the money: Dana Hall

Photos credit: Rachel Lawrence.