Choffy: For A Serious Cup Of Cocoa

Coffee has become more serious lately. We know this because now we have coffee "tastings" which involve the art of "cupping" -- I like to refer to this process as "sniff and slurp," as that is what it basically is.

It isn't enough just to enjoy our beverages anymore -- nowadays we need to know everything about the liquids we imbibe. Wine, beer, coffee...even bottled water went through their pretentious phase, as evidenced by water sommeliers (who have since, mercifully, evaporated). I'm waiting for soda tastings to come into vogue just so I can hear people say things such as "The acidity quotient of Mountain Dew contrasts nobly with its sugary nose". But soda has to wait in line. Next up: Cocoa.

I knew that Choffy wasn't just a frivolous product such as Hershey's or Nestle Quik as soon as I saw the packaging. Normally my chocolate mix doesn't include origin of cacão (Ivory Coast); or batch number (104); or type of roast (medium). Choffy is made from organic cocoa beans that are roasted in small batches. An eight-ounce cup contains more antioxidants than two servings of blueberries, and boasts a "gentle yet long lasting" stimulant called Theobromine. How does it taste? Read on.

I brewed a cup by the preferred French press method -- two level tablespoons per 6 ounces of water. The cocoa is richer and fuller than other brands, with a slightly bitter/tart flavor; it has the taste of high quality chocolate. Folks who are used to drinking regular hot cocoa may want to add a little sugar to bring out the chocolate notes; pouring in a bit of cream does the trick too. It's very tasty this way.

​Another serving idea: Make an iced hot cocoa. The recipe, of course, is to make it hot, let it cool a bit, then add ice cubes and a little cream. Dee-lish, as well as more suitable to quenching thirst on a hot summer day (I'm surprised the company doesn't suggest this on its website). It probably would work real well as a base for chocolate milkshakes and ice cream, too. Choffy costs $15 for a 12-ounce bag, although it appears that one can make quite a few cups from one package.

Choffy is meant to be a healthy and tasty alternative to coffee, and its robust cocoa flavor should prove a real treat to adults who love chocolate. Seriously.

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Miami New Times' restaurant reviewer for the past decade, and the world's indisputable master of disguise.
Contact: Lee Klein