K’UL Chocolate from Minnesota is a Winner

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There’s something beautiful about autumn. It’s the death of the old and hibernation of thoughts. There’s time to decay and time to be reborn. It’s all done with grace and as a dance. Leaves float to the ground gently and create a blanket to hug the earth as the cold weather comes. Like a butterfly cocoon, the beauty of the process is hidden until it’s ready for soft, unfolding exposure.

Fall brings strong desire for hot chocolate and cozy blankets in front of a camp fire. Camp fires bring s’mores. What are s’mores without some delicious chocolate… Chocolate in the cold weather warms the soul.

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Raving About: Rise Up Coffee Roasters

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Rise Up Coffee Roastery, Easton, Maryland

There are a few well-known coffee roasters located just outside of Washington, DC, in the little state called Maryland and the coffee scene is dripping strong. One of the states’ coffee staples is Rise Up Coffee Roasters, a company that relishes in its Eastern Shore, Chesapeake Bay roots with the hashtag: #WeAreMarylandCoffeeOnce you take a visit to Rise Up’s roastery, a renovated 1920’s gasoline station in Easton, it’s hard to argue with the company’s rich coffee culture.

Time Cupsoul’s first encounter with Rise Up Coffee Roasters was actually within Washington, DC, at a tiny pop-up cart right outside of Friendship Heights metro station. It was exciting to try a new iced drink from a small push cart decked out with coffee bags and a little umbrella. The iced coffee was delicious. This brief encounter with the company was positive.

10254166_1441094642798710_328599779_nAfter some online sleuthing, it was quickly discovered that the company, started in 2005, roasts USDA Organic and Fair Trade coffee in small batches and was just a short drive from DC.

The roastery and HQ, aka the renovated 1920’s gas station, is in Easton. Rise Up also has locations in St. Michaels, Salisbury and East College, Maryland. As always, Time Cupsoul must go to the source, so Easton was the obvious choice.

Road trip completed, the roastery’s parking lot provided ample space to secure a spot while sipping on coffee. The Rise Up menu included selections from Mad Eggs, the permanently parked food truck that serves brunch delights to hungry Rise Up patrons. The yogurt parfait, showcasing local granola, sounded delicious. A small cappuccino to go with it? Perfect.

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‘Luck of the Irish’ – Bean and Goose Chocolate Bar

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day today in the United States and what better a day to taste a handmade Irish chocolate bar!

Bean and Goose Chocolate is a sister-owned craft chocolate operation in Wexford, Ireland. Heeding a barista’s recommendation, the “Single Origin Irish Sea Salt and Cocoa Nibs, Cocoa 76%,” was purchased. Would pure chocolatier craftmanship and a touch of Irish luck make this bar a winner?

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The Bean and Goose bars’ packaging (seen also on other selections), is somewhat minimalist, with one washed color and bright white lettering (see picture above). The Irish Sea Salt and Cocoa Nibs bar has a grey paper package, and upon turning over, reveals a white sticker with further information regarding the brand: “We are Karen and Natalie Keane, sisters and premium chocolate makers based in the Wexford countryside… We create chocolate that reflects contemporary Ireland, its flavours, its colours and its people.” Never having traveled to Ireland, this concept seemed exciting. What flavors would reveal themselves?

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Traveling the Caribbean: Grenada Chocolate Company

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A dear friend and sailorwoman recently navigated through the Caribbean and stopped on the island of Grenada. A gorgeous island located near St. Lucia, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago, Time Cupsoul looked up pictures of the stunning oasis and followed the friends’ adventures via reading articles online. Among other attractions, a key discovery was made: Grenada has cocoa trees, and The Grenada Chocolate Company is an award-winning bean-to-bar maker on the island. After a few short weeks, the “Organic Dark Chocolate Nib-A-Licious 60%” bar arrived at the Time Cupsoul doorstep, direct from the Caribbean Sea.

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What 2015 Taught Time Cupsoul

The year 2015 was filled with so many wonderful travels and coffee adventures for Time Cupsoul. Perusing the year’s statistics sparks joy, humility and appreciation.

Wishing you a 2016 of inspiring time cupsoul’s and much more chocolate and exploration for us all 🙂

Thank you for joining in!

Cheers!

These are the posts that got the most views on Time Cupsoul in 2015:

1 Nahat Cafe: Energizing Vibes in TLV 

2 Da Da & Da: French Lover’s Heaven in Tel Aviv 

3 La Mano Coffee Bar: Fix Your Karma 

4 Blue Crab Coffee Co: Great Coffee, Great Town 

5 Café Noir: Coffee For Your Classy, Romantic Side  March 2015

The top-viewing countries reading Time Cupsoul in 2015:

67 different countries visited Time Cupsoul more than 2300 times in the year 2015!

Most visitors came from The United States (881). Israel (796) & Brazil (216) were not far behind. Thank you also to loyal visitors from Serbia, Turkey, Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, Portugal, the UK, Spain, India, Canada, Malaysia, South Korea, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina… and to all of the other wonderful visitors! Your views and comments are deeply appreciated 

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Ceremony Coffee Roastery & Espresso Bar: Annapolis’ Best Kept Café Secret

 

Time Cupsoul’s Instagram already gives away a slight obsession with Ceremony Coffee Roasters in Annapolis, Maryland. Alas, Instagram posts are not enough to truly represent what this coffee bar offers: enchantment.

In time cupsoul searching adventures, what has become increasingly evident is that a coffee shop affiliated with, or wholly containing a roastery, predicts good coffee. Though not the case 100% of the time, those that fit the description tend to embody a certain dedication to coffee excellence and ambiance. Again, not a rule, but a clue.

Ceremony Coffee Roastery & Espresso Bar in Annapolis does embody this dedication. I’ve frequented this location numerous times and each time am impressed with the quality of service, cleanliness, and liveliness so tangible in the space. As evident from the pictures, Ceremony’s drink selection is varied and innovative, never to leave the patron bored or disappointed with lackluster recipes.

Reverence for coffee reverberates throughout the converted warehouse along with radical transparency; the roastery in the back is literally open for view. The roastery is a feast for the eyes and the ears. Clinking and whooshing noises complement the tiny coffee beans as they spew out like a firework from the roaster. In another room, there might be a class going on where baristas and novices alike can learn more about coffee. Basically, there’s this wonderful sense that something exciting is always going on at Ceremony. Whether it’s roasting beans, baristas inventing a new seasonal recipe, or arrival of a shipment, the patron is invited into the secret little Ceremony Coffee world. It’s as if Ceremony embraces each wandering newcomer without judgment and with VIP access to a perfect little coffee hideaway. Ceremony just seems to attract local coffee aficionados and appreciators, and if you aren’t one, well, Ceremony can help you there.

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