We tried hot chocolate from 3 popular coffee chains, and the winner was affordable and tasty

ShutterstockI (not pictured) tried hot chocolate from three popular coffee chains.

The weather is getting colder, which means hot chocolate season is upon us. That’s why we tried the hot chocolate from three of the top 10 coffee chains, according to Restaurant Business.

We tried hot chocolate from:


Though everyone probably has a Starbucks or Dunkin’ in their town, we decided to test from Dutch Bros. as well, a small but growing regional coffee chain. For consistency’s sake, we ordered a small hot chocolate with whipped cream from each chain. Fortunately, none of them charged extra for the whipped cream.

Here’s how each chain fared.


Dunkin’ had the most inexpensive hot chocolate.

Martha SorrenThe price was unbeatable.

You can get a small hot chocolate at this chain for just $US1.99. The employee who helped me also very kindly put my coffee in a medium cup so all of the whipped cream would fit.

Unfortunately, the flavour and consistency didn’t quite hold up. It was a bit on the thinner side and super sweet. But if you like hot chocolate that’s extra sweet, you’ll probably enjoy this cup.


Dutch Bros. Coffee had fun with the whipped cream.

Martha SorrenThere was so much whipped cream it was coming out of the lid.

The whipped cream coming out of the lid was a nice touch, and the whipped cream tasted smooth and creamy.


Their hot chocolate held its own as well.

Martha SorrenDutch Bros. Coffee’s hot chocolate had well-distributed whipped cream.

For $US2.30 you can get a frothy, not-too-sweet but sweet enough, milk chocolatey beverage.

The chocolate to cream ratio also stayed consistent until the end. Compared to Dunkin’ where the whipped cream was just on top of the drink, this one felt infused throughout. It was a very smooth cup of hot chocolate.


Starbucks had the most expensive hot chocolate.

Martha SorrenBut, it was still affordable at under $US3.

It cost $US2.95 to get a small (or “tall”) hot chocolate.


Starbucks also had great whipped cream.

Martha SorrenIt was nice and creamy.

Starbucks’ whipped cream is unparalleled in the coffee world, and it adds a lot to their hot chocolate. As far as the cocoa itself, it tasted rich and chocolatey, but not too sweet.


The verdict: Dutch Bros. Coffee is a great place for an affordable and tasty hot chocolate.

Martha SorrenThey had a consistently creamy hot chocolate.

While all of the hot chocolates were pretty tasty, Dutch Bros. Coffee had the creamiest hot chocolate for a great price.

Dutch Bros. Coffee is only in a few states around the US, so if you don’t have one near you, Starbucks is the runner-up for where to get a quick cup of hot chocolate. Their hot chocolate was nice and rich, and the whipped cream added a creamy touch.

But, if you’re looking for an affordable and sweet hot chocolate, Dunkin’s hot chocolate is also a tasty choice.

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