Buffalo Milk White Hot Chocolate with Truffle Oil, Orphans Kitchen, Auckland
Orphans Kitchen are notorious for subsituting everyday food items with luxurious alternatives: their sourdough bread is served with housemade beurre noisette, their breakfast eggs are of the duck variety and buffalo milk substitutes cow's in this indulgent hot chocolate. A silky layer of house-infused truffle oil hides underneath a cloud of frothy, snow-white milk, and after a good stir, melted white chocolate permeates every sip, making this more of a dessert than a tea or coffee substitute.
Matcha Latte, Little Bird Unbakery, Auckland
Anything this green must be good for you – Little Bird Unbakery believe so anyway – referring to this green tea and nut milk latte as a 'morning antioxidant boost'. Organic, handpicked green tea is ground to create matcha, meaning the whole of the plant can be ingested to absorb its supposed health benefits. It's naturally bitter, but in this sorcerous-looking form it's blended with macadamia and cashew nut milk for a smooth and creamy taste.
Raw and Spicy Hot Chocolate, Utopia Hot Chocolate, Christchurch
Nothing beats a crispy and sunny winter's morning at the Christchurch Farmers' Market at Riccarton Bush. The setting is totally idyllic, with a stream running alongside a vast line of incredible food stalls. A hand-warming cup of Utopia 'raw' hot chocolate completes the romance of the experience. Co-owner Mandy Klapschuweit makes a variety of interestingly flavoured versions, but our favourite is one made with homemade raw hazelnut milk (from Selwyn Orchard hazelnuts), raw cacao, cinnamon, cardamom, coconut sugar, allspice, chilli, ginger and star anise.
Peruvian Criollo Hot Chocolate, The Wellington Chocolate Factory, Wellington
The Wellington Chocolate Factory calls on the exceptional quality of their single-origin chocolate beans to create the ultimate hot chocolate. 70% organic cocoa beans and 30% organic raw cane sugar are couched for 72 hours to unleash strong, luscious chocolate flavours, 25 grams of which is then steamed with 100ml of milk (dairy, nut or soy). You'll soon be able to buy their hot chocolate range in beautiful 250 gram boxes to take home too, in the following varieties: 70% Single Origin Peruvian, 70% Single Origin Dominican Republic and Salted Brittle Caramel. www.wcf.co.nz
Mulled Wine, Tay Street Beach Cafe, Mt Maunganui.
A unique beach-side setting makes a glass of traditional mulled wine special at Tay Street Cafe. Good quality red wine meets a blend of spices, aromatic orange and sugars for a drink regulars crave after dog walking on 8˚C afternoons.