Where to: Find the Best Shops for Hot Chocolate and Tea in Manhattan and Brooklyn!
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Jacques Torres does steamed milk and deep dark chocolate, for a bargain $3. In warmer weather, ask for the frozen hot chocolate. 350 Hudson Street, (212) 414-2462 and 285 Amsterdam at 73rd Street, (212) 414-2462; also at 66 Water Street, Brooklyn, (718) 875-9772. www.mrchocolate.com.
Payard's incredibly rich hot chocolate is made with whole milk and half-and-half. Payard also has "Le The" for $21 -- sandwiches, scones, madeleines and miniature pastries; a "royal" version ($26) adds caviar and blinis. 1032 Lexington Avenue, between 73rd and 74th Streets. (212) 717-5252. www.payard.com.
At Cocoa Bar, the "artisanal" hot chocolate is a time-consuming process, with Belgian chocolate broken up, and steamed milk added. The result is addictive. $3.75, plus $1 for a pillow-y homemade marshmallow. Cocoa Bar Manhattan is at 21 Clinton Street, between Houston & Stanton, (212) 677-7417; the original Cocoa Bar is at 228 Seventh Avenue, in Park Slope, Brooklyn, (718) 499-4080; www.cocoabarnyc.com.
At Sweet Melissa's in Brooklyn, a pot of tea, finger sandwiches, petit fours, and scone is $19.95; $14.95 for kids under 12. 276 Court St (Douglass); (718) 855-3410; 175 Seventh Ave (1st and 2nd); (718) 502-9153. www.sweetmelissapatisserie.com.
The Chocolate Room has classic hot "cocoa": hot chocolate made with milk chocolate, and hot chocolate made with bittersweet -- both with steamed milk. For parents, there is coffee or espresso with hot chocolate, offering a double rush of caffeine and sugar. Drinks are $4.50 for 8 oz.; homemade marshmallow or fresh "whip" is 75c. At 86 5th Avenue, in Park Slope, Brooklyn, (718) 783-2900; www.thechocolateroombrooklyn.com.
New in tea
Looking to make great tea at home? The Zarafina Team Maker Suite steeps any variety of tea, at the correct temperature, so you can control the strength. The tea goes from an infusing chamber to a ceramic serving pot; included maker are two tea cups and a serving tray, $149.99 at Williams Sonoma and www.zarafina.com.
The Republic of Tea has a new Hot Apple Cider Tea, a caffeine free herbal blend that tastes remarkably like . . . apple cider. $11 for 36 bags (in unbleached paper).