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Karys Gates
Karys Gates
Fold Editor & Social Media

Sipping into Winter: A Hot Chocolate Showdown

Art+by+Sam+Dunn
Art by Sam Dunn

As the winter breeze sweeps in, there’s no cozier companion than a cup of steaming hot chocolate. I set out on a chilly adventure to review the best hot chocolates from the familiar faces of Dutch Bros, Starbucks, McDonald’s and the classic homemade Swiss Miss.

 

Dutch Bros (9.5/10)

Dutch Bros, known for its brain-fueling energy drinks, has a hidden gem in its menu. My first sip of this hot chocolate revealed a creamy and velvety texture. The sweetness was perfectly balanced, not overwhelming the taste buds. 

The real kicker was the whipped cream, adding an extra layer of indulgence. While it might not be the first place you think of for comforting hot chocolate, Dutch Bros proved it’s a serious contender.

 

Starbucks (4/10)

Starbucks, the juggernaut of coffee culture, disappoints in the hot chocolate department. The classic concoction is a safe choice for those seeking lukewarm water with a hint of chocolate. The promised whipped cream and chocolate drizzle topping was surprisingly not given. 

Honesty is not Starbucks’ strong suit here. If you’re in the mood for a reliable cup of coffee, Starbucks has your back, just not with their hot cocoas. 

 

McDonald’s (8/10)

McDonald’s hot chocolate exceeded expectations in my taste test. The consistency was spot on, achieving a perfect blend of thickness without being too heavy. The chocolate flavor was rich, which left me thoroughly shocked. 

The whipped cream, though standard, complemented the beverage well. McDonald’s hot chocolate proves that, sometimes, simplicity done right can outshine the fancier options.

 

Homemade Swiss Miss (10/10)

Nothing quite beats the homemade touch, and Swiss Miss brings back childhood memories in a cup. The rich cocoa flavor combined with the warmth of nostalgia earned this hot chocolate a perfect score. The preparation was simple, yet the result was a heavenly blend that outshone its commercial counterparts. 

Whether enjoyed plain or topped with marshmallows, Swiss Miss brings a familiar, comforting embrace that no drive-thru can replicate.

 

This hot chocolate showdown unveiled surprises in unexpected places. Dutch Bros proved that a coffee chain can deliver a stellar cocoa experience, while McDonald’s emerged as the unexpected opponent. Starbucks, though reliable, lacked the wow factor. However, when it comes to pure comfort, nothing beats the homemade magic of Swiss Miss. As winter sets in, hot chocolate reminds us that warmth can come in many forms, even in a simple cup of cocoa.



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Kayla Vo
Kayla Vo, Co-Copy Editor
Hi, I'm Kayla! I am a sophomore and it's my first year on staff. Joining newspaper was something I knew I wanted because of its community to allow me as a writer to learn and grow. I'm excited to be a part of The Wolf with all of these amazing people.

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