It’s January. The Christmas holidays are over, which means that winter has lost its magical charm and is now just cold and dark. But fear not, for there is a solution to your woes: chocolate. As Imperial is heavy on the science, I’m sure many of us know that chocolate is a natural mood booster, thanks to chemicals such as phenylethylamine – the ‘love drug’ – and anadamide – which activates dopamine production. But that’s enough about the chemical effects; chocolate still needs to taste good for it to really lift those winter blues. So where better to start than the hyped Dark Sugars.

“Now Christmas is over, winter has lost its charm, and is now just cold and dark”

Naturally, as a highly trendy chocolatier, Dark Sugars is located in Brick lane. The founder, Nyanga, opened the chocolate shop following three years of researching cocoa on her family’s farm in Ghana, a real commitment to understanding her product. In 2015, Dark Sugars: The Cocoa House opened, offering rich hot chocolates and an immersive experience where cocoa beans are roasted on-site.

First impressions

Before even entering The Cocoa House the luscious chocolate aroma took over me, and I felt myself entering a chocolate haze. The shop has a very earthy vibe, with an overwhelming number of chocolates on display in wooden bowls in every corner. The chocolates looked irresistible, but I was here for the famously hyped hot chocolate. So I pulled myself away from the gorgeous coffee truffles I had spotted, and went to the hot chocolate bar.

Dark Sugar is a chocolate-lover’s paradise // IG: @tanyakrot;

The hot chocolates

The board above the counter listed a number of different flavours of hot chocolate such as ginger, nutmeg, salted caramel, and cardamom. I decided to go for something a bit different so I ordered cardamom. The drinks are made right in front of you: firstly the spices are added to the light milky hot chocolate and then they cut up the huge slabs of chocolate (white, milk, or dark) on the counter into thin shards to make the decadent topping.

“They cut up huge slabs of chocolate on the counter into thin shards to make the decadent topping”

My cup was quite literally overflowing with chocolate. Then the wondrous melting of the chocolate begins; making an originally nice cup of hot choc into a rich luxurious chocolate experience. The cardamom gave it a nice flavour as well, but really those chocolate shavings alone were incredible. A perfect treat on a cold January day!

Worth the Hype?

Dark Sugars is every chocolate lover’s dream – the aroma of the place alone was enough for me to fall in love. The care that was put into making this chocolatier something special really shows, from the beautiful wooden décor to the amazing flavours of chocolates. The hot chocolate really was incredible and although it is on the pricier side I still believe it is worth the hype.


Hot chocolate: £4.50

Best part

The melting chocolate topping

Worst part

The location (Brick lane is a little far for a daily treat!)