August 17, 2018 | ° F

We're in love with the cocoa — Peppermint Hot Coco


Baby, it’s cold outside, and Hidden Grounds hasn’t missed a beat of it. Ready as ever to follow up consumer cravings for pumpkin spice with the changing seasons, the local hotspot for coffee has just launched their brand new, super sweet spin on hot chocolate.

Yesterday, the Hub City community gathered to try the new “Peppermint Hot Coco with Sprinkled Candy Cane” for the first time. The beverage hasn’t been offered by the café in past years, but their classic “Bonfire Hot Chocolate" dominated the consumers’ cravings earlier during the holiday season.

The shop itself greeted me with its bohemian, earthy ambiance that I always look forward to. As I ordered my cup, I was unsure of exactly what to expect. Hidden Grounds always adds extra finishing touches to ensure their products are both aesthetically appealing and flavorful. My guilty pleasure is Dunkin Donuts' mint hot chocolate, which they’ve perfected over years of production and millions of cups sold. I was skeptical that a privately owned coffeehouse would be able to craft such a perfect brew the first time around.

The tables were packed with busy students cramming for the second round of exams, so I chose a picturesque table outside. When my cup was finally ready, I was delighted with what I saw. A spherical, handcrafted mug was filled to the brim bubbling hot cocoa, topped with fluffy whipped cream, chocolate swirls and ground-up candy cane bits.

I gleefully took the mug outside. As I took my seat and sipped away, my taste buds were just as pleased as my eyes had been. The whipped cream was outstandingly sweet, and the delectable peppermint taste was almost addicting, without being all-consuming or overwhelming. By the time I reached the hot chocolate, my taste buds were already on a total joyride. The drink itself, without the succulent toppings, was super smooth with a perfect degree of chocolaty richness. 

As a rule of thumb, any wintry drink for a little over five bucks is worth a shot. I was extremely impressed by the new beverage. It's a total must-have, and might just become your seasonal staple. Stop over at Hidden Grounds on Easton Avenue ASAP to get your winter fix.

Danielle Naer

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