Angel Falls Coffee Company

Angel Falls Coffee Company

The second stop on our tasting tour took us all the way down to Akron. Angel Falls Coffee Company was the furthest destination on the list so we conquered it during a day off of work.

From the outside, Angel Falls has a cool retro facade and on the inside it is homey and was fully decorated for Christmas. The one thing we did notice when we entered was that it was busy. So busy for a late Tuesday afternoon that there were no seats available. Luckily, Peggy took it upon herself to meet some new friends and find a spot at a large round communal table.

But first, it was time to decide which of the four types of Venezuelan hot chocolate we would try. In the end, Peggy ended up going with the dark chocolate with cinnamon and cardamom, and I chose the regular with lavender. We also ordered a frosted sugar cookie to share.

Here’s what we thought:

  1. Flavor. According to Peggy, she was in love after the first sip. Hers was a perfect blend of spices to compliment the rich and sweet drink. Mine was more subtle. The lavender was a delicate afterthought to the rich chocolate. To say that we both loved our drinks is an understatement.
  2. Topping. Peggy asked for a little whipped cream, and I asked for the same. Although, when the drinks were ready hers was loaded with it and mine had just a hint. I believe the discrepancy occurred because two different people had made our drinks.
  3. Size. The size was extremely generous for the price, which was less than a chain latte in a smaller cup.
  4. Atmosphere. As I mentioned earlier, we were struck by the homeyness of the place. It was the quintessential independent coffee house. Everything from the mismatched furniture to the vintage Christmas albums decorating the walls to the steamed up windows made this a charming and comfortable place to be in. We even ended up chatting with the other women at the table who were interested in our challenge.

We both agreed that Angel Falls was a gem not only for their tasty hot chocolate but for the inviting vibe and relaxed atmosphere. We’d love to go back more but with the location being so far away we know that’s not practical. I definitely plan to go back when the weather is nicer to enjoy their patio and mural.

Bonbon Pastry & Cafe

bonbon

The inaugural stop on our tasting tour occurred at Bonbon Pastry & Cafe in Ohio City on a busy Christmas Eve morning. Bonbon had been selected as the first stop based on convenience but after a couple of missed attempts it appeared that wasn’t the case.

We finally settled on Christmas Eve morning because it fit into both of our schedules. The day was unseasonably warm, but I was ready to start this challenge as I arrived at the overly crowded and bustling cafe. Peggy joined me shortly after.

When I first walked in the door my eye caught the sign advertising the Mexican Hot Chocolate as the special. As a fan of this unique sweet and spicy treat and after exchanging some messages earlier in the week with Peggy about champurrado, I knew this was the one I wanted to try. Peggy concurred and ordered the same.

Below is the way we will rate each hot chocolate and location:

  1. Flavor. The Mexican Hot Chocolate had a nice blend of sweet and spice. It was not too sweet though and you could taste the quality bitter chocolate used.
  2. Topping. According to Peggy this was the best marshmallow she had ever tasted. It was a homemade one too. The green and red sprinkles were a pleasing holiday touch and also a possible ode to the Mexican flag colors.
  3. Size. We both agreed that it was too small and simply didn’t last long enough through us eating our meals and chatting.
  4. Atmosphere. Being at Bonbon always makes me feel like I’ve been transported to Paris. And the staff that day had a decidedly French manner as well. It seemed as if they were not having their best day likely caused by the largest crowd I’d ever seen there.

All in all our first tasting experience was a success with a few setbacks in the service department. We’ll definitely make a return trip just not the day before a major holiday.