Why settle for hot chocolate, when you can have hot mint chocolate?

Last summer, Japan went on a huge mint chocolate kick. Sure, the flavor has been a mainstay of supermarket freezer sections for decades, but this year you could find all sorts of sweets, from Western-style cookies to traditional taiyaki sweet bean cakes in mint chocolate flavor.

But there was some pretty solid logic behind the boom. Since mint provides a cooling sensation, it’s a great taste to build a dessert around during Japan’s steamy summer months. But now Japan’s Cafe de Crie chain is looking to keep the mint chocolate trend going with mint chocolate drinks served piping hot.

Back in June, Cafe de Crie added mint chocolate shakes to its menu, in both standard and extra-mint versions.

They were both delicious, and helped the chain steel a little bit of attention from its higher-profile rivals like Starbucks. So on November 8, Cafe de Crie started selling a new drink called the Hot Mint Pure, which is sort of like a green, mint-flavored hot chocolate.

With a creamy base and a thick dollop of mint cream on top, the 420-yen (US$3.80) Hot Mint Pure, as well as the 440-yen Extra Mint Pure, are served with a few rectangular chocolate chunks on the side. While we suppose you could eat them as-is, what you’re really supposed to do is stir them into the drink so that they melt and fulfill the chocolate criteria for these mint chocolate beverages.

As we sat at our table with our Extra Mint Pure sitting in front of us, we could smell the enticing mint scent carried on the steam rising from the cup. But when we took a sip, the mint flavor was surprisingly smooth. As a matter of fact, we’d go so far as to say that if you’re the kind of person who often shies away from mint chocolate because the mint punch is too intense, you might still enjoy this. And for those of us who’re already mint chocolate fans, we’ve got a new way to stay warm through the winter.

Related: Café de Crie location finder
Photos ©SoraNews24
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where the prospect of a winter with hot mint chocolate is making him rethink his original plan to eat a bunch of salmon and just hibernate until spring.

[ Read in Japanese ]