The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

Hudson Hot Chocolates

The+hot+chocolate+offered+at+Perkins.
Used with permission/Ava Tallat-Kelpsa
The hot chocolate offered at Perkins.

There are many great restaurants and cafes in Hudson, each offering a different experience. Naturally, these differences mean that the hot chocolate at each place is going to be different as well, so we took it upon ourselves to visit five that are some of the most popular. So, of Panera, Perkins, Open Door Cafe, Starbucks and Yours Truly, which provides the best cup of hot chocolate?

Beginning with Panera, their hot chocolate was good but too “just okay” to be anything special. The liquid part of the hot chocolate was decent, with a good amount of chocolate taste to it. Somehow, each sip ended up tasting different, with varying amounts of chocolate in them. It wasn’t extremely sweet like a good majority of the other hot chocolates were, which can be a good thing to some but bad to others. The hot chocolate was topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce, making the drink more enjoyable overall. The best sips included a combination of the cream and liquid, but the whipped cream did tend to stick to the top of the lid and melt into the liquid too quickly. Although the bakery-café is typically teeming with customers, the quiet atmosphere we experienced when visiting made it feel as though it wasn’t the hot chocolate season. The cups there were made of plastic and could have easily been taken to-go, but beware of leakage if you choose to drink it without the lid. Also, it’s important to note this was the most expensive hot chocolate we bought, at $4.39. Overall, we weren’t very satisfied with this hot chocolate, but it wasn’t terrible either. Greta’s scoring: #3, 6/10. Ava’s scoring: #3, 6/10. 

Next, there’s Perkins; a restaurant that knows how to do a hot chocolate right. The service may not be as quick as Panera was, since it’s a sit-down place, but the small wait was worth it. The liquid component was delicious and had a sweeter taste to it, which was something one of us liked and one of us didn’t. The whipped cream was the best part and made the rest of the drink fluffy in the sense that there were some small bubbles near the top. On top of the cream were tiny chocolate chips that we were initially hesitant towards, but ended up being melty enough to add to the drink instead of making it worse. The environment of the restaurant matched the hot chocolate since it felt cozy, though the fact that it was a restaurant and smelled like food made it difficult to only have a drink. Since it was more of a sit-down, the containers weren’t disposable, and instead of plastic cups, they were put in white mugs. Additionally, it followed the standard for costs of hot chocolates, at $3.39 for the filled mug. The hot chocolate was good enough that we both wanted to complete the full drink, and it wasn’t a chore to get to the bottom of it. The hot chocolate was top-tier, and one we’d highly recommend to anyone passing through town. Greta’s scoring: #2, 9/10. Ava’s scoring: #1, 10/10.

At Open Door Cafe hot chocolate is $3.50. The flavor was very sweet, but it tasted less like chocolate and more like sugary milk. This made it a little difficult to get through, and we only ended up drinking about a quarter of it. There was a good amount of whipped cream, and it doesn’t slide away when you go to take a drink, but the flavor wasn’t very distinguishable from that of the hot chocolate. It didn’t seem too hot, although the first few sips might toast your tongue a bit. A nice detail is that they offer three cup sizes and a variety of types of milk, which is great since some other places didn’t provide that level of customization. The wait was one of the longer ones that day, but it was due to the popularity of the location, not the quality of the service, which was very good. The Cafe itself is a great place to sit down and drink a festive beverage, as they have lights set up and a great view of the decorated clock tower. Overall, the Open Door Cafe is more of a place to drink hot chocolate than a place to buy hot chocolate. Greta’s scoring: #4, 5/10. Ava’s scoring: #4, 5/10.

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Starbucks’ hot chocolate was a surprise, but not in the way we hoped it would be. When one purchases a hot chocolate at any store, it’s expected that the main taste would be chocolate, not gingerbread. It may have tasted the most festive out of all the hot chocolates because of this, but does that matter if it didn’t serve its original purpose of being a hot chocolate? We even had to check to make sure we ordered the right thing, yet the receipt claimed it was a “classic hot chocolate.” The whipped cream was also a letdown since it didn’t taste very significant, and was simply a thin layer separating the lid from the rest of the drink. On the upside, the cafe did seem like the place where hot chocolate would be found, with the company specializing in drinks and the people in the building looking as if they were having a good time. The cups are unique to Starbucks and easily identifiable with their siren mascot on the cup sleeves, plus the cups looked wintry with the outline of stars and Christmas trees on them. Another surprise was how Starbucks was not as expensive as they’re stereotyped to be, with the tall size of the drink being $3.45. There are many wonderful places in town to get hot chocolate, but you may want to skip over Starbucks when searching for them. Greta’s scoring: #5, 3/10. Ava’s scoring: #5, 2/10.

 Yours Truly offers hot chocolate for $3.30, a fabulous price for the quality of hot chocolate made there. It tasted similar to the cocoa from Perkins in the sense that they were both very sweet. Luckily, it wasn’t sweet in a stomachache-inducing kind of way. It came with whipped cream and cinnamon on top, and they stayed there longer than the whipped cream at other places because it was a nice warm temperature that didn’t cause any tongue burnage. This allowed for longer sips and more of a chance to taste the flavor. There was a good balance of milk and chocolate, so it didn’t feel like we were drinking milky chocolate or chocolatey milk, but hot chocolate. The drinks also come in mugs instead of to-go cups, and the mugs are different colors, which is always fun. We received excellent service and the wait between ordering our drinks and getting them was fairly short. Yours Truly provided a wonderful hot chocolate experience and it is definitely worth a visit if you are looking for a good cup of cocoa. Greta’s scoring: #1, 10/10. Ava’s scoring: #2, 9.5/10.

While our scores varied for first place, we both agreed that Perkins and Yours Truly have the best hot chocolate. But, we strongly suggest that you visit downtown Hudson, and try them for yourself! There are a lot of great options in town that we didn’t explore, like Hudson’s, Heartwood and Johnny’s Dinner, and they could be even better than our favorites! No matter what, the festive drink will always be available in Hudson for the Holiday season, and you won’t want to miss out on all the hot chocolates our town has to offer.

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About the Contributors
Ava Tallat-Kelpsa, Editor-in-Chief
Ava Tallat-Kelpsa is a senior in her fourth and final year of writing for The Explorer. As well as the newspaper, she’s involved with the Model United Nations team, Writing Club, Chamber Choir, Summit Choral Society, teaching PSR and interning at Destination Hudson. In her limited free time, she enjoys traveling, reading A Series of Unfortunate Events and buying more than necessary at garage sales. After high school, Ava plans to pursue journalism and creative writing at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.
Greta Knipe, Editor-in-Chief
Greta Knipe is a senior at Hudson High School in her third year writing for The Explorer. She has always enjoyed writing and decided to join journalism her sophomore year to express her opinions and provide the HHS student body with reliable, in-depth news. Greta enjoys writing about social issues, local news and reviewing movies. She is also involved in the Writing Club and French Honors Society, among other student organizations. Outside of school, she likes reading, hiking, spending time with friends and family and volunteering. After high school, she plans to pursue a major similar to Psychology or Forensics at an out-of-state university.
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