Washingtonian hailed it as one of the “three [DC] bakeries you don’t want to miss,” it had a glowing write-up in the Washington Post, and Eater DC covered this shop as housing the “Steve Jobs of bread.” Welcome to Seylou Bakery & Mill, the capital’s first-ever mill-in-house, whole grain bakery in Shaw.
Happy summer from the bellows of Washington, DC where the mosquitoes have started to buzz around all of us and the fireflies are officially out. It’s been quite a wet and stormy spring here and we’re so excited for June.
Lately, we haven’t stopped enjoying glorious sunsets beyond the national monument, sight-seeing and shopping in the city… and of course, nibbling on chocolate galore.
Last week while at the National Coffee Association Convention (NCA), Ms. Andi Trindle Mersch from Philz Coffee spoke about their made-to-order brand and customer service model, Philz’s “thing” that sets them apart. She also broke the news that cold brew may be coming soon to a Philz shop near you! This isn’t a recorded session living online, so please allow us to reflect and expand upon her words.
Philz’s Made-to-Order Brand Model: In our experience, whenever a customer walks up to a Philz coffee shop counter, they are greeted joyfully, asked for their order — a choice between one of the roasts – light, medium or dark — and then, between sweet or creamy. Once the coffee is made, the customer is always asked if it’s too sweet or creamy or just right. One gets the feeling that it’s truly made for you. In the era of customization, especially for the millennial generation, by asking if the order tastes okay or if it needs adjusting, Philz creates the opening for a second chance. It’s a welcomed chance for the customer to say, “hey, this isn’t quite right, can you fix it before I accept it?” Giving the customer this level of power gives them more ownership of their experience, their coffee and, their day.
Note from the Editor: Our predictions seem to be coming true. As of 1/16/2020, Commonwealth Joe has opened at the Amazon building across from the Crystal City metro on South Bell St/18th St S. Open to the public at 8 am, daily and to Amazon employees starting at 7 am.
From what we understand about CEO Jeff Bezos and the Amazon HQ1 in Seattle, we can only surmise that a robust coffee scene – showcasing local DMV roasters – will be a part of the new Amazon HQ2 at National Landing.
Why do we think that we all should be talking about an exciting coffee scene with Amazon’s arrival?
International Chocolate Day, another beautiful chocolate holiday in the yearly calendar. Which chocolate bar did you enjoy this day? We hope it brought you a time cupsoul, a moment of inspiration and serenity.
Time Cupsoul celebrated with a bar from Harper Macaw. This ins’t a new feat. We’ve already been harping on Harper Macaw, first breaking the news of their holiday bar, Winter’s Cheer, last season, and also, naming them as a truly must-visit/must-taste DC chocolate maker in this guide. Yet, we simply must harp some more. And if we had a real harp, well yes, we would henceforth strum its beautiful strings and sing a romantic ballad to this DC brand.
This month, The Chocolate House in Dupont Circle, DC, had a chocolate tasting for River-Sea Chocolates, a bean-to-bar chocolate company based out of Sterling, VA. Time Cupsoul was excited to discover another local chocolate-maker, especially after the realization that Undone Chocolates has quietly slipped from the local chocolate radar screen. Who knows about that? One loss, but another big gain for the DMV region with River-Sea Chocolates.
The cherry blossoms may be on their way, but there’s still time to grab a delicious hot chocolate in the District. There are numerous articles online that list top hot chocolate spots in DC, but none of them match up with this list!
- Buttercream Bakeshop‘s Hazelnut Praline Hot Chocolate — If you haven’t been to Buttercream Bakeshop, first of all, do yourself a favor, please go. It’s one of Time Cupsoul’s favorite bakeries in all of DC (try a Queen Bee or a unicorn bar or a muffin) and this particular hot chocolate is absolutely unbelievable; it’s like drinking a Ferrero Rocher. Hazelnut heaven. 1250 9th Street NW.
- The Royal‘s Spice Hot Chocolate — The Royal team is super creative, constantly innovating for holidays. Did you see their White Chocolate Latte for Valentine’s Day? Have you tried their Honey Bourbon Latte? Time Cupsoul is semi-obsessed with The Royal in general. There’s a mega crush going on here. Don’t miss their Spice Hot Cocoa that comes with brûléed marshmallows and yes, jalapeño. You’ll feel like you’re in a scene of Chocolat. 501 Florida Avenue NW.
- Dolcezza‘s Askinosie Hot Chocolate — When you need a classic hot chocolate fix, this is your go-to. Journey to one of Dolcezza’s DC locations and cozy up to the Askinosie hot cocoa; it’s bright and full-bodied and has natural notes of spice and caramel. Dolcezza just knows what she’s doing, gelato, chocolate and all. Various locations.
- Bourbon Coffee‘s Hot Chocolate — Another perfect location for a classic hot chocolate fix. Bourbon has a few different hot chocolate recipes for you to try. One of Time Cupsoul’s favorite coffee locales in DC, give their cocoa a chance! Various locations.
- Little Red Fox‘s Hot Cocoa — This little gem of a shop uses DC’s own Harper Macaw chocolate in their hot cocoa. Go to Little Red Fox (or The Den) on a weekend to enjoy the ambiance and be sure to pick up some of the market and food items. 5035 Connecticut Avenue NW.
- Cafe Chocolat‘s Hot (Milk) Chocolate — The new kid on the block has some great hot chocolate offerings to keep you cozy as winter melts into spring. Be sure to pick up one of the many craft chocolate bars that the shop has for sale while you’re in town. Cafe Chocolat also has a new iced hot chocolate — hello, springtime! 1423 H Street NW.
- Emissary‘s Hot Chocolate — Time Cupsoul seriously can’t believe that more folks aren’t talking about Emissary’s coffee (roaster: Counter Culture, same as The Royal), and not to mention food! Give not only Emissary’s hot cocoa a try, but literally everything else. And yes, they have avocado toast that’s Instagram-worthy. The dining area is also unique; you will find a lively energy to inevitably boost your day. A great option. 2032 P Street NW.
- The Coupe/Tryst/Open City‘s Lavender Hot Chocolate — This hot chocolate is for the more adventurous, fantastical type. Who knew that lavender could taste so good with chocolate? This drink is unique and it will simultaneously trial and test your taste buds while also calming your mind. Try it out. Time Cupsoul loves this restaurant group! Various locations (The Coupe, Tryst, Open City).
- Colada Shop‘s Chocolate de la Abuela & Churros con Chocolate — The atmosphere at Colada shop is simply unbeatable. The Latin music and Cuban charm will get your blood pumping. Enjoy their thick drinking chocolate with some freshly baked cinnamon churros. Colada also offers hot cocoa de la abuela/grandma’s hot chocolate (“classic Cuban hot chocolate”) that’s delicious. You can’t go wrong. ¡Viva el chocolate! 1405 T Street NW.
- We used to have RareSweets on this list but they are no longer in City Center, so until we’re able to taste more hot cocoa’s ourselves and then update this page, we “softly recommend” hot cocoa at The Wydown or Un Je Ne Sais Quoi! 🙂
Bonus: Pineapple and Pearls‘ hot chocolate — another delectable option to warm your spirit! We’ve also heard that Bayou Bakery in VA has amazing hot cocoa.
Which hot chocolate on the list is your favorite? What did we miss? Please comment below. Happy sipping!
Image credit, clockwise: "CostaRica_20161107_067" by QuiRag is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0, "Brunch at Le Zinc, Noe Valley" by tastingsf is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, "Hot Cocoa Foam November 22, 2011 1" by stevendepolo is licensed under CC BY 2.0, "Hot chocolate" by Taku is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
DC chocolate lovers, you heard it here first! “Winter’s Cheer” is now on sale. Read the flavor below.
Friends at Harper Macaw just shared that they have a new holiday chocolate bar coming extremely soon! Here’s what Time Cupsoul knows for sure: