Creamy Collagen-Boosting Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

On my last trip to New York, I tucked into this tiny little tea shop while I waited to meet my client. In truth, I arrived in Brooklyn a little earlier than I needed to, for the purpose of hoping to manufacture an experience just like the one I ended up having. I had hoped to find a nice cozy spot to have a cup of tea and just watch people.  Google map in hand, I walk and walked, and was about ready to give up, when I found this brightly-lit pastel tea shop. About a block away, the pastel colors stood out like a beacon among the dark brick buildings that lined the street. And, surprise, there was not a soul around to bustle against or hide me from the proprietor who spotted me coming down the sidewalk and waited for my arrival.

Just the look of the shop, with its bright windows, made the dreariness of that cold, blustery fall cloudy day disappear in a bath of faux sunshine.

And, when I walked inside, the owner was holding the door open for me, and standing at the counter, I found they had my favorite teas! We talked and chatted about what a find these teas are, and how practical the tins are for everything else you need to store things in. He did not carry  Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea, so I settled for Earl Grey Supreme — which came in a much more colorful tin. And then, even though I just had lunch before I arrived from Manhattan, he persuaded me to try one of his spinach-feta calzones, with buttery flaky crust, that just came out of the oven. I could not resist.

I had hoped to bury myself in a book, sipping tea while waiting for my client — but the energy was too charged for me to put my head down, and there was so much to watch outside the windows.

And before I had finished my first cup of tea, my client was on his way to whisk me away to taco shop!

So, back home, I try to re-create that experience wherever I can. Following the tradition of adding a bit of chocolate powder — but I have a new addition. Believe it or not, this healthy addition makes the hot chocolate taste creamy, rich and indulgence.  Plain Gelatine powder.  Just a pack, quickly stirred as soon as you add the boiling water, so it dissolves. Believe me — it’s just one more sweet way to get bone-building, collagen boosting health benefits while remembering your own memory of the small cafe you visited in Brooklyn.


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