10 Unique Hot Drinks That’ll Warm You Right Up
With winter in full swing, there’s never been a better time to visit the neighborhood’s bakeries and coffee shops for a delicious hot beverage to warm you up. Whether you prefer coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, there are plenty of unique hot drinks to be sipped and savored at cafes across Astoria and Long Island City. Take a look at our favorite twists on coffee, tea, and cocoa to enjoy this month—and beyond.
White Chocolate Matcha Latte at Unicorn Coffee Co.
This smooth, creamy latte is the perfect coffee alternative. It pairs energizing (but not jitter-inducing) matcha green tea, which has an earthy flavor, with a hint of sweet white chocolate for an ideal cold weather treat. Other notable standouts on Unicorn Coffee Co.’s regular menu include their French Toast Crunch Latte and White Chocolate Raspberry Latte.
2531 31st St. | 845-572-5380 | @unicorncoffeenyc
Turkish Chili Hot Chocolate at Mighty Oak Roasters
As this spicy take on the traditional hot chocolate proves, hot cocoa doesn’t have to be boring. The Turkish Chili Hot Chocolate is a fan favorite from Mighty Oak Roasters that’s made with black Urfa chili for a major kick. If you prefer your hot drinks to come with a jolt of espresso, you can also have this one prepared as a mocha. Another cozy hot beverage on their menu is the Autumn Spiced Latte, with nutmeg, cinnamon, and demerara sugar. It’s available year-round due to popularity and will make you feel toasty on cold days.
2801 24th Ave. | 718-777-9663 | @mightyoakroasters
Rose Milk Tea at Infinitea NY
Infinitea NY is known for their refreshing iced milk boba teas, but they have plenty of satisfying hot drinks on their menu too. The Rose Milk Tea (seen here hot and iced) is creamy and fragrant, with a subtle floral taste. You can customize it with your choice of dairy or nondairy milk and even choose your preferred sweetness level for a hot beverage that’s tailored to you. With rose petals sprinkled on top, this tea is almost too pretty to drink.
2309 Astoria Blvd. | 718.777.0698 | @infiniteany
Cookie Butter Latte at Coffee Plus Cake
Get your dessert fix with this ultra decadent drink, available on Coffee Plus Cake’s seasonal winter menu. The Cookie Butter Latte is topped with cookie pieces and house-made whipped cream for the ultimate comforting cup. (Iced version seen here; it’s also available hot.) They have plenty of other tasty seasonal hot beverages on their winter menu as well, including their Toffee Nut Latte and Orange Hot Chocolate (which has a house-made, freshly roasted marshmallow in it for campfire appeal!).
2511 Astoria Blvd. | 718.433.9394 | @coffeepluscakeny
Sahlab at Black Star Bakery & Cafe
Sahlab is a popular Middle Eastern milk pudding drink that’s traditionally served warm and enjoyed as an afternoon beverage or winter dessert. You can find it on the menu at Black Star Bakery & Cafe’s Vernon Blvd. location in Long Island City, a hop, skip, and a jump from Astoria. Black Star Bakery & Cafe makes their Sahlab with beautiful Middle Eastern ingredients like rose, orchid, pistachio, and cardamom.
1001 50th Ave. | 347.527.1636 | @blackstarbakery
Lavender Latte at Sip A Cup
Move over, basic vanilla and hazelnut flavors: There’s a much more sophisticated latte ingredient in town these days. We’re talking about lavender! The Lavender Latte at Sip A Cup marries traditional espresso and milk with the subtly sweet and floral flavor of lavender. On their regular menu, Sip A Cup also has a Rose Latte, which has a similar floral flavor profile to lavender, as well as a Nutella Latte, which is an excellent choice for those craving something sweet.
2517 30th Ave. | 914.458.5315 | @sipacupastoria
Chagaccino at OK Café
One of the trendiest wellness ingredients of the moment is chaga, a type of medicinal mushroom that some studies show may help boost immunity and relieve stress. Now you can sip the slightly earthy, bitter chaga at OK Café. The newest addition to their menu is the Chagaccino, which contains espresso, chaga, cacao, cinnamon, vanilla, monk fruit sweetener, and your milk of choice. Another unique beverage on the menu year-round is the Lavender London Fog, which is made with Earl Grey tea, foamed milk, and lavender and vanilla syrups.
2204 33rd St | 718.440.8789 | @ok_cafe
Ginger Brown Sugar Matcha Latte at Communitea
Matcha is clearly having a moment—in fact, it shows up in many of the drinks we’ve featured on this list. One of the most interesting takes on matcha happens to be this latte on the winter menu at Communitea. Matcha is an excellent complement to the sweet brown sugar and spicy, warm ginger. Bonus: The ginger syrup in this drink is made in-house!
1118 46th Rd | 718.729.7708 | @communitealic
White Chocolate Mocha at Sway Cafe
At this European-style cafe in the heart of Astoria, you can sip a just-the-right amount of sweet White Chocolate Mocha (adorned with Instagram-worthy latte art!) while noshing on a croissant, crêpe, or breakfast sandwich. Other hot drinks to warm you up at Sway Cafe this winter include the Honey Almond Latte, Matcha Latte, and Chai Latte.
4110 34th Ave. | 929.208.4763 | @swaycafeny
Matcha Hot Chocolate at The Mill Coffee Company
What do you get when you pair the earthy flavor of matcha green tea with the sweet taste of cocoa? This excellent caffeinated creation from The Mill Coffee Company in Long Island City, which you can’t get anywhere else. If you’d like something without caffeine, try the Hot Vanilla, another twist on the usual hot chocolate. It’s flavored with vanilla and steamed milk, with an optional sprinkling of cinnamon for extra warmth.
4461 11th St. | 718.843.6455 | @the.mill