For a superior cup of hot chocolate, turn to a top-performing coffeehouse.
Dogwood Coffee Co. goes all-out in its quest for quality. For a packs-a-wallop sensation, try the combination of small-batch Askinosie cocoa and Scharffen Berger chocolate (the Parka location follows an all-Askinosie recipe) with steamed farmstead milk from Forest Lake's Autumnwood Farm. $2.75 and $4.40.
3001 Hennepin Av. S. (Calhoun Square), Mpls., 612-354-2952, www.dogwoodcoffee.com, and also available at Parka, 4023 E. Lake St., Mpls., 612-886-1585, www.parkampls.com
The warms-you-from-the-inside-out hot chocolate at Kopplin's Coffee adheres to the same formula that is the hallmark of Andrew Kopplin's beverages: top-shelf ingredients and meticulous methodology. Callebaut semisweet chocolate, tempered by slightly bitter Valrhona cocoa, is swirled into ultra-creamy milk from Castle Rock Organic Farms in Osseo, Wis., and the results are richly rewarding. $4.25 and $5.
2038 Marshall Av. (at Cleveland Av.), St. Paul, 651-698-0457, www.kopplinscoffee.com
At Spyhouse, dark and semisweet chocolates are artfully blended with steamed milk for a mellow, comforting cup of warmth. The company's newest edition in northeast Minneapolis could be considered the Twin Cities' most attractive atmosphere for savoring a hot caffeinated beverage. $3 and $3.50.
945 NE. Broadway (at Central Av. NE.), Mpls., 612-345-4348; 2404 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-377-2278; and 2451 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-871-3177, www.spyhousecoffee.com
At home: Don't want to leave the house? Learn how to perfect the process at home, at http://tinyurl.com/k33sn7w.