Hot Chocolate at Koko Black (again), Melbourne, Australia

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Every time I arrive in Melbourne, the first thing I do (before going to visit the Kangaroos at Westerfolds Park) is visit Koko Black at Doncaster Shopping Town. When I finally did review Koko Black’s hot chocolate last year after having been every year since it opened in 2003 (read review here) I was upset. They had discontinued my favourite flavor and just like that the balance of the universe (or at the very least my trip to Melbourne) was disturbed. But luckily, one year later, Koko Black is back to being right up there on the top of my list.

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This is because they brought back my cinnamon hot chocolate, which is hands down the best cinnamon hot chocolate anywhere. Thank you so much. I hope it is back for good. I’m guessing I have founder Shane Hills to thank. Even though the world is dotted with little chocolate shops, Koko Black just does it a little better. They use chocolate from Europe including French Valrhona, Belgian Callebaut and Swiss Felchlin. Their chocolates and menu change every season so the run-up to Easter means that Easter eggs of all sizes fill the store. The décor is as rich as the chocolate (especially their dark chocolate truffles which are beautiful). Their hot chocolate is creamy and decadent while still be light and airy and very easy to drink. It is a classic.

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I sometimes wish that Koko Black would go global with their hot chocolates but it just wouldn’t be the same. Koko Black and Melbourne go together. I wouldn’t want to separate them.

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Verdict: Koko Black is one of my favourite hot chocolates (the cinnamon one). You will be happy with this one regardless of your hot chocolate preferences. Enjoy! Koko Black, several locations around Melbourne.

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Hot Chocolate at Koko Black, Melbourne, Australia

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Ah Koko Black, how do I write you up here. For years and years, Koko Black has been my favorite hot chocolate hands down. What is so fantastic about Koko Black hot chocolates is that they manage to go across all categories. There are those hot chocolates that you could drink everyday because they are light and airy and don’t fill you up. Then there are those other hot chocolates that are made of pure chocolate, that are deep and rich  and wonderful but would probably kill you slowly if you had one every day. Koko Black is a mix of both. It is delicious and decadent, made from real chocolate but is light enough that I could easily have one or more of these a day….forever.

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And I have. Every year when we are here I get my dose of Koko Black and luckily they have a range of shops around the city to choose from. The décor is all rich chocolatey brown wood. At the front of the shop is the retail section that sells their range of chocolates. Towards the back or on a terrace out front is where you can sit to be tempted by their fully chocolate menu. You can have chocolate cake, mousse, icecream, choose from one of their chocolate truffles or of course one of their 3 hot chocolates: chili, hazelnut or Belgium.

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But as with many love stories, this one did not last. I was hoping I would love Koko forever but for the first time this time, Koko has disappointed me. You see the best hot chocolate they offered by far was their cinnamon hot chocolate. I could not get enough of it.  Their other options are fine but the cinnamon was the one. This year when back visiting Melbourne for the first time in over a year, we went to the cash register to order two cinnamon hot chocolates only to be shocked to find out they stopped making those about year ago. What? How is that possible? We ordered the Chili and Belgium to see if maybe we could fall in love with one of them but they just don’t come anywhere close to the cinnamon. The chili is far too harsh and almost burns the back of your throat.  The Belgium was very nice, but no where near the same class as my old favourite.

So there it is. I had perhaps found the ultimate hot chocolate. Beautiful hot chocolate, beautiful location, beautiful presentation, beautiful flavor, but then they went and got rid of it! My only hope is that someone there will read my blog and bring it back. I promise you Koko Black, I am not the only one that dearly misses your delicious cinnamon hot chocolate.

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Verdict: Definitely still one of the best hot chocolate places in the world so worth a visit any or every day but please, let them know that you too miss the cinnamon. Maybe if enough of us show interest it will once again be with us. Koko Black, various locations across the city, Melbourne, Australia

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Hot Chocolate at deNeuville, Pau, France

Across from a very large church and the courthouse is a pretty green park with a water fountain in the middle. Right next to the water fountain is this little chocolate shop. As I have mentioned before there are lots of chocolate shops around Pau most of which don’t serve hot chocolate. But this one had a few little tables and chairs outside. Promising…

I ask inside and not only do they serve hot chocolate but they serve a whole selection of them and in various sizes. There is the natural hot chocolate but you can also get it flavoured with ginger, cinnamon, local spices, anise and a few other ones I had never heard of before. When I asked them what they were he went to the back room and came back with a bunch of jars full of powders so I could smell the different spices. It was so difficult to choose but we ordered one with local spices and one with cinnamon.

You have a choice, you can enjoy your hot chocolate outside on the terrace with a view of the park or there are also a few comfy booths inside the store where you can sit and be tempted by all the chocolates lining the walls in the store. We sat inside. The hot chocolate comes in a nice bit white mug, with just the perfect amount. It tastes fantastic, rivalling some of the best hot chocolates I have ever had. The cinnamon hot chocolate especially was definitely something worth coming back for. I had two little disappointments though. First they are a just a little pricey, 4.40euros and second the hot chocolate was just not that hot…at all. The man working there was so busy tending to customers that I think he just forgot about it and left it out too long. Such a shame, as it would be near perfect if it were hotter.

Verdict: If you are looking for a truly luscious hot chocolate, and are in Pau, then definitely come here. Simple. deNeuville, 5 Place de la Liberation,  Pau, France.