You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Where to find best hot chocolate around metro Atlanta


For Kathryn Floyd, a certain romance began like it does for many. While attending Agnes Scott University, a chance meeting was all it took. Instantly, the relationship brought inner warmth and sweet sensation. She kept coming back for more.

Floyd fell hard for hot chocolate.

Now studying at Georgia State University, Floyd finds herself sharing her love for the toasty beverage with others, serving hot chocolate and more at Java Monkey, the downtown Decatur coffee shop where her liquid affair began.

Winter months mean countless others cuddle up with hot chocolate, a cozy and sugary alternative to the caffeinated jolt of coffee, but with an equal amount of warming power.

We took a look behind the counters of several hot chocolate purveyors to better understand that warm embrace. Now it’s time to kiss and tell.

Cafe Jaya

Jeff Carey, co-owner of Cafe Jaya, a nonprofit coffee shop and eatery in Stone Mountain Village, begins his hot chocolate preparation by steaming the milk with help from the store’s espresso machine. “It gives it a lighter and fluffier texture,” he said. Customers choose from either whole, almond or soy milk. Want to go decadent? Carey says he’ll even use heavy cream. After steaming it, he simply pours the liquid into a mug of chocolate syrup. The staff at Jaya typically uses Torani chocolate syrup for its rich and dark tinges. If they run out, they opt for Ghirardelli. Offset any sugar-laden guilt knowing Cafe Jaya’s annual profits go to a trio of charities: AARF Pet Central, Community Connections and Side by Side Brain Injury Clubhouse. 947 Main St., Stone Mountain. 678-439-5292, cafejaya.com.

Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

You could call Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt a pair of organic-minded Willy Wonkas. While living in Costa Rica, the married couple studied under local chocolatiers, learning how to create chocolate bars from craft beans. Today their pure imagination flows through their shop and micro factory in Krog Street Market, which specializes in handcrafted chocolate bars. (For more about the story behind Xocolatl, go to the AJC’s Personal Journey about Read and Weyandt at specials.myajc.com/xocolatl/.) Read and Weyandt decided to create a drinking chocolate, served frozen in the warmer months and hot when temps drop. They started with the liquid version of their Kissed Mermaids bar made with Nicaraguan cacao, coconut milk and cane sugar. House-made coconut whipped cream sits on top. Flavors rotate in and out, including the Peppermint Bliss, the drinkable answer to their Mint Chocolate Chip bar, featuring organic dried peppermint.

99 Krog St., Atlanta. 404-604-9642, xocolatlchocolate.com.

Beautiful Earth Organics

The theme of this gift shop, which also sells coffee and desserts, can be found in its name. The owners go primarily organic across the board, from the cannolis and other baked treats displayed behind glass to the soy candles made in house. And it rings true in Beautiful Earth’s coffee, tea and hot chocolate, too. In the latter, you’ll find organic powdered cacao, sugar, cinnamon, spring water, steamed milk and other ingredients. Owner Mark Trettel usually treats kids to a nice heap of whipped cream on top. For adults, he crowns the drink with milk froth. Choose from 12-ounce or 16-ounce versions, served hot or iced.

300 Willowbend Road, Suite 19, Peachtree City. 770-486-1400, beautifulearthorganics.com.

Ebrik Coffee Room

Georgia State University students flock to this downtown spot, especially during lunchtime hours. Ebrik — it’s the Turkish word for coffeepot — sells copious amounts of the cardamom spiced Turkish coffee, a drink that takes approximately 10 minutes to prepare. Its hot chocolate proves less labor-intensive. Baristas use Ghirardelli’s sweet ground chocolate and cocoa with steamed milk. Upon request, they’ll top with whipped cream. Want something with a bit more kick? Gina’s Brownie Latte Hot Cocoa has the staff pouring the regular hot chocolate into a mixture consisting of hazelnut syrup and two shots of espresso.

16 Park Place S. S.E., Atlanta. 404-330-0119, ebrikcoffeeroom.com.

Java Monkey

After using an espresso machine to steam a small pitcher of whole milk, Floyd, the barista on duty, slides a large yellow mug across the counter. Inside sits a steaming swirl of brown and white. The marbleization occurs, Floyd says, “because of the difference in consistency and weight between the milk and syrup.” In addition to the chocolate syrup, Floyd puts a bit of house-made vanilla into the mug. She crowns it all with a generous squirt of Java Monkey’s own whipped cream. The coffee shop, steps away from Decatur Square, features live music, stand-up comedy and spoken word in the evenings.

425 Church St., Decatur. 404-378-5002, facebook.com/JavaMonkeyCoffee/.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Food

A double IPA with more hops and malt than you can imagine
A double IPA with more hops and malt than you can imagine

India pale ales continue to dominate craft beer sales, with the Brewers Association noting in its 2016 recap that the hop-heavy style represents "roughly one-quarter of craft volume" in America. So when San Francisco's 21st Amendment Brewery began discussing names for a new double IPA, says co-founder and brewmaster Shaun O'Sullivan, talk...
First Look: Find gluten-free Mediterranean at Mediterranea in Grant Park
First Look: Find gluten-free Mediterranean at Mediterranea in Grant Park

Mediterranea Pan-roasted Branzino with Mediterranean orzo. Photo credit- Mia Yakel. Reading over the menu for the first time at Mediterranea in Grant Park, you wouldn’t guess that it’s strictly gluten-free.
Learn to make beignets with Venkman’s chef Nick Melvin
Learn to make beignets with Venkman’s chef Nick Melvin

Chef Nick Melvin It’s time to laissez les bon temps roulez, and nothing says “Let the good times roll” like some freshly-made beignets.
Find Cajun food at these metro Atlanta restaurants
Find Cajun food at these metro Atlanta restaurants

Smoked snow crab legs with crawfish smoked gouda mac and cheese and lo lat rolls on the side at Bon Ton.
The real facts about weight loss
The real facts about weight loss

It seems we're all trying to drop a few pounds -- or just fit into our spring clothes, if anything. Don't misdirect your good intentions by falling for false information. True weight loss is about fewer calories eaten and more calories burned. It isn't about your blood type, the time you eat or the combination of foods you choose. Environmental Nutrition...
More Stories