Cocoa + Co for Perfect Valentine's Day Gifts

Friday, January 29, 2016 - 6:09pm

It’s that time of year again, when we’re all tasked with finding Valentine’s Day gifts that are just right for each of our loved ones.

Cocoa + Co, 1651 N Wells St, in Old Town is available so our valentines appreciate us for months to come.

Chocolate is an obvious Valentine’s Day choice, but Cocoa + Co offers far more than the corner drug store. Cocoa + Co has over 175 chocolate bars from all over the world, many of which cannot be found anywhere else in the US.

Your sweetie likes a little spicy with the sweet? There are several different chocolate bars with a chili component. How about some crunch along with the smoothness of properly processed chocolate? Cocoa + Co has chocolate bars with bread crumbs, crystalized ginger, toffee, and other fun, delicious bits.

Cocoa + Co has even more that your Valentine will love. Drinking chocolates are very popular lately, and who doesn’t love a mug of rich, creamy chocolate? Drinking chocolate is not the cocoa of childhood, all chalky and insipid. No, drinking chocolate is thick, frothy, and satisfying.

Cocoa + Co has several different kinds of drinking chocolate, available for drinking in the cafe as well as for preparing at home. I was invited to taste some selections of drinking chocolate in the chic cafe/boutique in Old Town and simply cannot go back to those single-serve packets. Drinking chocolate is made with real chocolate, not cocoa powder, so the cocoa butter provides creamy richness that cannot be duplicated.

Myan Magic drinking chocolate harkens to chocolate’s origins as an unsweetened, bitter beverage of the elite. Updated for our palates, Myan Magic is sweetened just a bit and has the kick of chili at the end; something tasty but not cloying.

Parisienne drinking chocolate is much sweeter and creamier, more like a very adult version of our childhood cup of cocoa.

My favorite drinking chocolate at Cocoa + Co is Mocha Ecstasy which has fleur de sel, espresso, and burnt caramel. Salt complements chocolate so well, and this drinking chocolate is no exception. The first taste is salty, but subtle. Then chocolate, coffee, caramel: perfection. Mocha Ecstasy will having me returning to Cocoa + Co for more.

There’s even more for Valentine’s Day gifts. Beautifully packaged gift boxes containing a variety of chocolate bars, drinking chocolates, etc. A selection of jewel-like individual chocolates, each tiny works of art.

Cocoa + Co owner Kim Hack works with local chocolatier Veruca Chocolates to create Valentine’s Day chocolate bark that cannot be found anywhere else. The pretty confection has pomegranate seeds, cocoa nibs, lavender, and dried cranberries in a delicious and pretty combination that says “Valentine” visually and gustatorily.

If your valentine really loves chocolate Cocoa + Co has a chocolate-of-the-month club that offers selections from all over the globe, as well as educational classes about chocolate.

The best way to impress the valentines in your life: Cocoa + Co.

1651 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60614
Provisions for the Chocolate Life
Cocoa + Co.

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