SOMA Chocolatemaker: Embodying the Essence of Chocolate

This article was written in 2018 and updated in 2020.

The 70 percent dark chocolate bar from Dreketi, Vanua Levu Island, Fiji, by Soma Chocolatemaker had a big reputation to live up to…

  1. Time Cupsoul had never eaten chocolate from Fiji
    • According to the brands’ packaging, Fiji’s national flag touts a cacao pod in lions paws (reputation signal and/or national pride, perhaps?) and also explains that, the Fijian concept of “vanua” means the land as an “extension of oneself; including one’s life, sustenance and culture”
  2. The tasting notes on the bar were listed as “chocolate, honey and grapefruit”
  3. The Soma Chocolatemaker chocolate molding is one of the most whimsical in the industry, notable for intricate details and a romantic rendition of the cacao forest (cacao pods, tropical birds, and cacao flowers)
aerial view of beach and huts
Photo by Damon Hall on Pexels.com

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Espuma No. 4

ESPUMA: Noun; Froth. A WEEKLY CURATED COLLECTION OF COFFEE & CHOCOLATE THEMED ARTICLES, ITEMS & THOUGHTS.

Just the cappuccino froth. For your weekend.

Quote for the weekend

Our mind is inherently calm in its most natural state. Our mind is like the bright, blue sky when we’re born. It’s like a blank canvas for a painting.

James davis

Coffee & THIS WEEK’S morning paper

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Some chocolate dessert

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This post contains just a few affiliate links, which means that if you click through and buy something, you may help support an insatiable coffee and chocolate habit 🙂 Any written opinions here are by time cupsoul/our own. Happy weekend!

Espuma No. 3

ESPUMA: Noun; Froth. A WEEKLY CURATED COLLECTION OF COFFEE & CHOCOLATE THEMED ARTICLES, ITEMS & THOUGHTS.

Just the cappuccino froth. For your weekend.

Quote for the weekend

Go in the direction of where your peace is coming from.

C. JoyBell C.

Coffee & THIS WEEK’S morning paper

Some chocolate dessert

Please subscribe below to receive Espuma and other time cupsoul posts in your inbox.

Join 383 other subscribers

What do you think of Espuma? Comment below with any feedback; comments are always welcomed.

This post contains just a few affiliate links, which means that if you click through and buy something, you may help support an insatiable coffee and chocolate habit 🙂 Any written opinions here are by time cupsoul/our own. Happy weekend!

Start Your Sunrise at Washington, DC’s Newest Coffee Roastery: The Roasted Boon Co.

The coffee is fantastic at The Roasted Boon Co., a brand new coffee shop and roastery in Shaw, DC. The roastery just opened it’s doors on July 20th and opens every day at 6 am, so if you are comfortable enough to grab takeaway during the pandemic, there is the advantage that you can arrive early and beat the crowds. (We were the only ones in the shop besides the baristas this week. Note that The Roasted Boon Co. is the only coffee shop we’re aware of that opens at 6 am in DC right now.) Plus, the cleanliness of the store seems top notch; each employee at The Roasted Boon Co. wears a mask, there is a Plexiglas pane in front of the register, and ample hand sanitizer for your use. You can also order things online, according to their store signage. As always, please trust your own judgement.

The Roasted Boon Co. Coffee Shop Interior
Image © time cupsoul. The interior of the Roasted Boon Co. roastery in Shaw, DC is decorated with a white Diedrich coffee roaster and colorful splashes and nods to the Eritrean “boon,” or coffee-making ceremony.

The coffee at the Roasted Boon Co is as we said — truly fantastic. We didn’t know what to expect of the new roastery, but the small latte that we got was honestly wonderful. An Ethiopian and Brazilian blend of beans, the espresso tasted rich, full-bodied and delicious. Having the option to get a “small” latte also added to our happiness; a latte with too much milk is never fun on a sweltering DC summer morning. The iced latte was the perfect size and had the optimal amount of ice.

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How to Support Local DC Coffee & Chocolate Shops During the Coronavirus Self-Quarantine

These are unprecedented times in recent human history. We now have the opportunity to be responsible and to stay at home to reduce the curve.

As that this is a website about coffee shops and chocolate stores, we know that many local businesses will suffer during these trying times.

Please consider buying some coffee beans, chocolate bars, online merchandise or gift cards to support your favorite local brands and enjoy their delicious offerings in the safety of your own home. Below you will find our DC list.

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Top Ten Places to Find Delicious Hot Chocolate Drinks in Washington, DC

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Little Red Fox‘s Hot CocoaThis 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

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.

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After 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.

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