Winter is here. While we moan about the cold and the how early it gets dark, the positive thing is that this means it’s hot chocolate season! When it comes to the best hot chocolates around London, my top picks have been Dark Sugars and Chin Chin Lab. And now I’d like to introduce you to a new contender in the market – Knoops Chocolate!
Knoops Chocolate is a hot chocolate speciality shop named after the owner, Jens Knoop. Fun fact, the Dutch name “Knoop” actually means “button”. How fitting is that Mr Knoop here makes drinks out of chocolate buttons! Anyway, he has had a passion for chocolate for a long time and has spent years to perfect his personalised hot chocolates which is what you now see on Knoops Chocolate’s menu. He started out with shops in Rye and Clapham Junction. Most recently, the newest outlet at High Street Kensington has just opened its door in October.
The shop’s just a stone’s throw away from the High Street Kensington station. It has a really bright interior, following a minimalistic design that gives the illusion of a spacious area. The first thing that caught my eye was the wall of “Knoopology”, offering a range of chocolate pouches to make at home, including their Knoopifier (i.e. the hot chocolate maker). Then, the second thing that caught my eye is the wall of percentages, which is actually their hot chocolate menu, showing the wide range of chocolate percentages for you to choose from!
Along with chocolate percentages, you have a number of milk choices (e.g. oat milk, almond milk, etc) and different flavour topping options (think of sea salt, chilli, and many more!). Vegan options are also being catered. Basically, there’s something for everyone and you can customise as much as you want.
34% Chocolate with Cinnamon and Sea Salt
This was the Drink of the Month, which I’d been hearing some raving reviews right before my visit. How did it live up to the expectations? Well, it was darn spot on!
The chocolate screamed the perfect hug in a mug (or cup in this case). It’s also particularly fitting to the upcoming festive season with the delicious touch of cinnamon. The sea salt really made the flavours pop out. Having 34% chocolate means it’s at an enjoyable level for everyone – not overly rich and simply luscious to taste.
67% Dark Chocolate
I also tried out something more simple and went with a cup of classic dark chocolate. After a long thought over what percentage to get, I eventually settled with 67% – so not too intensely dark – and with regular milk.
For this, I enjoyed the chocolate quality. It’s got a slightly more grainy texture, blended with the foamy texture of milk. It almost reminds me of the one from Dark Sugars, but flavour-wise it wasn’t as rich and fell short a little in my opinion. I would say it’s decent but not particularly impressive, especially after trying out the phenomenal Flavour of the Month above.
…Knoops Chocolate is certainly a strong contender to being one of the top spots for hot chocolates in London. I really enjoyed their concept and genuinely feel they have a huge potential. The range of chocolates and flavourings is truly exciting and I’d definitely be keen to explore & try out more in the future. They also do milkshakes which I can’t wait to try out when the weather’s warmer!
Nearest station: High Street Kensington
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