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Starbucks - Hot Chocolate Caste System

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Starbucks in my area are now serving two types of hot chocolate.

If you want the kind of hot chocolate they've always served, you have to specifically order a "signature" hot chocolate.

Otherwise, you get something akin to Cadbury's powdered hot chocolate from a can, minus only the dehydrated marshmallows.

Neither of the two Starbucks I've been to indicate that there are two types of hot chocolate being served. I was automatically charged less than the posted price for my crappy hot chocolate today.

What's up with this? Some kind of recession thing? BIG THUMBS DOWN.

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  1. This has been going on in Edmonton since October. The signature hot chocolate is the new kind, not the other one. I worked there so I know. They use their mocha syrup in the old one and a weird powder mix added to milk for their new kind.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Bryn

      Here, if you want the kind of hot chocolate Starbucks has always served you need to order the "Signature Hot Chocolate". It's thick and rich and creamy, and they keep it pre-mixed in a jug in the fridge. It's more expensive. The "new" type of hot chocolate that they didn't serve in the past is less expensive and is just called "Hot Chocolate". I don't care how they make it- it's thin and watery. At the last few Starbucks I've been to, they don't have "Hot Chocolate" on the menu, just "Signature Hot Chocolate", but unless you specify "Signature Hot Chocolate" in your order you will be charged less than the posted price and you'll receive an inferior product.

      1. re: Jetgirly

        Not around here (southern California): the Signature Hot Chocolate is the new product, and the Classic Hot Chocolate is the old one. As Bryn said, the Signature is made from a mix, and the Classic is made with mocha and vanilla syrup. The default if you say "hot chocolate" is the Classic.

        1. re: dustchick

          Same here in Edmonton, Alberta.

        2. re: Jetgirly

          Jetgirly, I agree - had the same thing happen here in CT. I ordered "hot chocolate" after they told me they were out of caramel for the salted caramel hot chocolate. Never again. With that quality I should have gone to McD's.

          1. re: bakinggirl

            I asked about what syrup they put into that salted caramel one and they said it was the toffee nut. *GAG* They put salted caramel drizzle on top though.

      2. Oh, how I miss the Chantico.

        1. hmm.... I don't like the thick, creamy one (which around here is the new one called signature). I like the much more bitter, thinner, not too sweet one -- in fact, I purposely order it non-fat to keep it bitter and astringent.

          Toronto ON

          1. I don't mind the thick creamy one, though I wish I had a way to get churros to it, because it's more like dipping chocolate than drinking chocolate, but the default here (Orange County, CA) is the powdered mix kind and it's always been revolting. The thick creamy "Signature" one is new and expensive, but still not that good.

            If I want hot chocolate from industrial-grade powder I'll buy a box of Swiss Miss. I miss chocolate like I used to get for breakfast at school in Switzerland.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              Starbucks does not use a powdered mix for their default hot chocolate - it's the mocha syrup and vanilla syrup.

              1. re: dustchick

                the mocha syrup is powder and the baristas mix it with hot water to make a new container of it.

                1. re: Bryn

                  My apologies then. I must say, I must have access to excellent baristas, as the mocha syrup is always nice and dark and well incorporated into the milk.

                  1. re: dustchick

                    They mix it batch by batch, not hot chocolate to hot chocolate it makes like 2 liters of syrup.

                    1. re: Bryn

                      Yes, Chantico rocked. I told them the reason they did not sell very much, was the name was soooo hard to remember!

            2. I like the plain old hot chocolate. In Florida, it's regular milk with the mocha syrup (and I add raspberry). The new signature one is too thick and rich for me.