As a self-diagnosed chocoholic and sweater weather fanatic, I have sipped many unique hot chocolates in my days. There's nothing better than drinking a steaming cup of liquid chocolate while walking through town on a windy St Andrews day. Unfortunately, I've realized that all hot chocolate is NOT created equal, and it can get overwhelming choosing which coffee shop serves the best hot chocolate in St Andrews.

But have no fear, my friends: I have taken it upon myself to sample hot chocolate from every coffee shop in St Andrews*, and then provided you with a ranking of them.

*Note: this list only includes coffee shops that offer take-away, not sit down cafés or restaurants.

8. Gregg's

Price: £1.80 (size S)

Overall Rating: 1/5

Gregg's hot chocolate comes in at the bottom of our line up. At the lowest price of all the hot chocolates, I was hoping to have found a great bargain. Unfortunately, I was left disappointed by its watery consistency and lack of overall flavor. 

7. Costa

Price: £2.60 (size S regular)/ £3.35 (size S seasonal)

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

Costa pulls out all the stops when it comes to its hot chocolate. From the whipped cream and dusting of chocolate on top, to the surprise marshmallows at the bottom, it's surprising that the shop comes in so low on this list.

Honestly, all of the extra bells and whistles are the best part of this drink. The hot chocolate itself is way too sweet and syrupy; it tastes like a toothache waiting to happen. If you're feeling adventurous, Costa does have seasonal flavors like Billionaire's (pictured) and Lindt, which sound more promising than the OG hot chocolate.

6. Starbucks

Price: £2.50 (size tall regular)/ £2.75 (size tall signature)

Overall Rating: 3/5

Ah, Starbucks. 'Tis the season of the red Christmas cup reveal! Obviously when given the choice of regular or signature hot chocolate, I went with the overpriced signature, which includes whipped cream and — well, honestly, just whipped cream.

I'm automatically docking a point off for having to pay an extra 25p for whipped cream when most of the other places offer it for free. While the overall flavor is good (it's slightly bittersweet), the texture is gritty and not as smooth as some of the others on this list. 

5. Pret A Manger

Price: £2.40 (regular size)

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Unlike Starbucks, Pret offers free whip on their hot chocolate, and they don't skimp on it either. Plus, the baristas' machine-like operation makes for a super quick in-and-out, which is great for in between classes.

The chocolate itself isn't bad, although it isn't quite as hot as I would like for the brisk St Andrews' weather. Its bittersweet taste, although kind of watered down, hits the spot if I need hot chocolate and I don't have time to stop elsewhere.

4. The Cottage Kitchen

Price: £2.75

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

The Cottage Kitchen comes ahead of Pret mainly for its creamy texture. If you're a milk chocolate fan, then this one's for you. This one-size-fits-all cup of cocoa is one of the priciest on the list, but the quaintness of the shop, along with the insane amount of real whipped cream that they put on this drink, makes up for it.

If you want a real experience when looking for hot chocolate in St Andrews, this semi-hidden cake shop does the trick. I'm not personally a huge fan of having my hot chocolate taste this light and milky, but it wasn't bad overall.

#SpoonTip: get Cottage Kitchen's vegan chocolate cake with your hot chocolate — it's to die for!

3. Old Union Coffee Shop/ Rector's Cafe

Price: £2.10 (regular)/ £2.40 (deluxe)

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Now this is a good cup of hot chocolate. The Students' Association run both of these coffee shops, and they never disappoint when it comes to their drinks. The Old Union Coffee Shop also doubles as a great group study place, as its cozy environment makes for easy hearing.

The deluxe hot chocolate includes whipped cream and chocolate powder on top, and the only reason this isn't my top choice is that you have to pay extra for the whipped cream. This drink is rich and smooth, with a strong chocolate flavor that's cut by the whipped cream. The best part? The Students' Association offers a loyalty card that can be used at both shops.

2. St Andrews Waffle Co.

Price: £3.10 (8 oz.)

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

The Waffle Co. might be known for their amazing waffle concoctions, but they also make a mean hot chocolate. This drink is basically a dessert; it's made from freshly melted chocolate (milk, white, or dark), with a mountain of whipped cream and marshmallows. I'm glad that they offer a smaller portion (8-oz.) in addition to their bigger sizes (12-oz. and 16-oz.), because there's no way that I could finish a large. My only wish is that it could be just a little cheaper.

1. Taste

Price: £2.55

Overall Rating: 5/5

My favorite cup of hot chocolate in St Andrews has to be from Taste. Although there isn't any whipped cream on top, the barista's cute design will make you forget that. This hot drink is perfect for a typically windy St Andrews afternoon. The bittersweet, rich taste brings this cup to the top of my list.

#SpoonTip: Taste loves promoting a healthy environment — you can get 15p off if you bring in your own mug or reusable cup. Just make sure to bring cash because they don't accept cards.

All in all, I have to give it to the coffee shops of St Andrews — they know how to make some amazing hot chocolate. Pretty much anywhere you go, you're going to enjoy it. Honestly, the only thing I don't recommend doing is drinking eight cups of hot chocolate in one day. I found out the hard way that sometimes you can have too much hot chocolate.