Natural berry flavours from the ruby cacao bean make for a hot chocolate like no other we’ve ever tasted.

Just last month, Nestlé Japan made news for becoming the first company in the world to market and produce the next big thing in sweets: ruby chocolate.

Available as limited-edition Kit Kat bars, the ruby chocolate is characterised by a remarkable new natural berry colour and flavour, extracted from the ruby cacao bean after years of development by Zurich-based company Barry Callebau.

Hailed as the first new type of natural chocolate to appear in over 80 years, the Ruby Kit Kats sold out within minutes of going on sale, but now in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day Nestlé Japan has a new treat in store, which allows customers to try the new product in hot chocolate form.

▼ The new Hot Ruby Chocolate is only available from the second floor cafe
at the Kit Kat Chocolatory boutique in Ginza, Tokyo

The ruby chocolate is the star of the show at this flagship Kit Kat Chocolatory, with a beautiful display dedicated to the product inside the first-floor shop.

The displays continue upstairs at the cafe, where images of the ruby chocolate, produced as part of the Chocolatory’s Sublime range of Kit Kats, can be found on the hot pink walls.

Here at the cafe they serve a number of cakes, parfaits, and hot drinks, but the Hot Ruby Chocolate with Raspberry is a special menu item that’s only available for a limited time, from the first of February through to Valentine’s Day.

After ordering the hot beverage during our visit, it didn’t take long to arrive at the table, and the first thing we noticed was the gorgeous, rich ruby colour of the hot chocolate, which blends beautifully into the pink surroundings.

With a single ruby-flavoured Kit Kat wafer on its side, the hot chocolate comes in a small pink espresso cup, which would be empty in seconds if we gulped its contents down like an ordinary beverage.

This is definitely a drink designed for sipping, which is a good thing, seeing as it contains the rare ruby chocolate ingredient, which deserves full attention from our curious tastebuds.

Rather than being smooth, the hot ruby chocolate had a very grainy appearance, which added a textured feel to the drink.

We didn’t know whether to start with the drink first or the Ruby Kit Kat on the side, but according to the cafe staff, it’s entirely up to the customer to decide how to enjoy the hot chocolate set.

Being the hot chocolate-loving SoraNews24 reporters that we are, we opted to try the drink first, and when we took our first sip, we were instantly blown away by the flavour.

It was hard to pinpoint exactly what was going on with our tastebuds, but whatever it was, it tasted exactly like berry. And not a sweet strawberry flavour, but a much more tart, raspberry-like flavour.

The berry flavour was so intense that we had to check the menu again to find out what the drink’s exact ingredients were. According to the menu, the drink was made from a blend of ruby chocolate and raspberry puree, which gave it its delectable sour-yet-sweet fruity taste.

 ▼ Combined with the thick and slightly grainy texture of the drink, this tasted like a hot fruit smoothie!

While the drink had a thick and creamy texture, it was still hard to pick up on any chocolate notes, so we took a bite of the ruby Kit Kat to identify the flavour we were looking for.

Once we’d tasted the Kit Kat, we were surprised to find that it became much easier to taste the berry chocolate notes hiding within the drink. Now it took on a new complexity, with the same depth of flavour that you’d find in a regular hot chocolate, and fruity top notes making way for a more mellow, creamy berry chocolate finish.

▼ To add fuel to the “to-dunk-or-not-to-dunk” debate surrounding hot drinks and sweets,
we decided to dunk for a few seconds…for research purposes.

As it turns out, if you’re thinking of dunking, you might want to think again, because although it adds some of the chocolate from the bar to the drink, it does nothing to change the flavour of either.

▼ Plus, you’ll just end up melting the chocolate off the Kit Kat,
leaving you with little more than wafer to enjoy on the bar!

With or without the dunk, this drink was a new experience for our tastebuds, and we highly recommend everyone try it if they have the chance.

If you were to blend raspberry puree with a hot chocolate made from dark, milk or even white chocolate, you wouldn’t ever be able to get the same balance of flavours achieved with the ruby chocolate blend. It’s a perfect match that will have you craving hot ruby chocolate again and again!

The Hot Ruby Chocolate retails for 1,000 yen (US$9.18), which might seem a little pricey, but considering it includes a single-wafer ruby Kit Kat on the side, which retailed for 400 yen when they were available, it turns out to be a pretty reasonable deal.

Plus, while you’re at the Chocolatory you might want to keep an eye out for their exclusive limited-edition Sakura Strawberry Special Kit Kats, which are just as pink as the ruby Kit Kats, but bursting with springtime cherry blossom flavours!

Photos © Oona McGee/SoraNews24