With the arrival of chilly weather, you’ll find rich, velvety drinking chocolate at Davis Street Espresso in Bishop Arts. A high-end bain-marie contraption churns the dark elixir, made from the coffee shop’s own Five Mile bean-to-bar chocolate—the Dominican Republic cacao, for those of you who are connoisseurs of the four bars—melted down and accentuated with Mill King milk to form a dark elixir.
Owner Shannon Neffendorf remembers his first experience of drinking chocolate from a time when he was working in Milan, Italy. Turin, nearby, known for its chocolate tradition, is where the epiphany occurred, thick, spoonable richness served in a cup that seems a gift from the Mayan gods.
The warm cup at Davis Street reminds you of the ancient ritual uses of cacao. Its beautiful richness comes not from cream. You almost forget the milk, so enamored are you of the complexity of the cacao. Treat it like dessert, or the most outrageous breakfast with one of the shop’s fluffy sourdough cinnamon rolls. The spice blends into something like Mexico.
On the lookout for other new libations on the shop’s menu: there’s also a rotating water-kefir drink (fizzy and like kombucha), currently spiked with tart pomegranate and ginger.
Neffendorf got advice from his friends at Dandelion Chocolate, current kings of the bean-to-bar landscape, as he researched the best way to serve the elixir. He would love to return to Italy soon, and it would be with a new eye for the drink that became such a status marker of European coffee shop society.