Sweet Moses


Earlier in the week when I mentioned to someone that we were planning to go to Sweet Moses as our seventh stop on our hot chocolate tasting tour, they replied that they thought it would be the best one. I think she may have been right.

Peggy and I had planned to meet up on Friday afternoon but had to reschedule for Saturday.  Looking back,  we are both glad it happened this way, since before getting our hot chocolate, we stopped to see the Near West Theatre. The Open House showing off the new building was joyous and put us in a good mood by the time we got to Sweet Moses.

Although once there and inhaling the delightful smells of the sweet shop, Peggy admitted it was a challenge to order the hot chocolate when the ice cream that Sweet Moses is known for looked so enticing. She ordered hers with only a homemade marshmallow and I choose the marshmallow and the whipped cream as my topping. We also decided to split a brownie with walnuts.

Here’s what we thought:

  1. Flavor. Rich and sweet. This may have been the most delicious hot chocolate I have ever had. If not, it’s definitely in the top 3. Apparently, they use a recipe from 1911. It paired very nicely with the bittersweet brownie.
  2. Topping. Peggy said her marshmallow was the best yet. She said it melted perfectly yet still allowed her to enjoy the gooeyness of it. I would agree and loved both the whipped cream and my marshmallow. It was a nice touch to have both.
  3. Size. They didn’t ask us which size we wanted, so I assume they only have one. It was a typical size mug.
  4. Atmosphere. Being an authentically recreated soda shop, the atmosphere was fun with lots of families and friends gathered together enjoying sweet treats.

In the end, I am happy we had to delay our visit by a day, because it allowed us to enjoy ourselves more on an unusually sunny winter day and to partake in the festivities of the Near West Theatre. Plus, it was a wonderful kick off to my birthday weekend. I would definitely go back to Sweet Moses for the hot chocolate – and more. I’d also bring out of town guests looking to taste some of the best hot chocolate in Cleveland.


Phoenix Coffee Company


On a bitterly cold day, we made the sixth stop on our hot chocolate tasting tour. Although Phoenix Coffee Company has several locations, we traveled to Cleveland Heights to taste their locally talked about Phoenix Hot Chocolate made with vanilla and cinnamon.

The drive to the other side of town was eventful as we ended up on back streets we had never been indulging in the visual new. But as soon as we stepped into the Lee Road Phoenix, that all evaporated as we were greeted by a contemporary and almost stark interior. The people quietly working also seemed a bit soulless.

We both ordered the Phoenix Hot Chocolate from an overly-friendly and eager barrista. I say eager, since she was intent on creating the perfect design on each of our drinks, but only somewhat succeeded on Peggy’s. By the time, I got mine it was already lukewarm.

Here’s what we thought:

  1. Flavor. Surprisingly nothing dramatic. Pretty average flavor, although I didn’t stir mine as much as Peggy and so had a nice chocolate finish.
  2. Topping. We both had whipped cream and you can tell from above one of the designs was artful and the other a big abstract mess.
  3. Size. We both ordered mediums and delighted in the availability of mugs.
  4. Atmosphere. As I mentioned earlier, it was stark and so was the vibe. I noticed an annoyed glance from a couple of people as we were the only ones chatting, which was strange since it is a coffee shop and not a library.

As we were leaving, Peggy looked at me and said, “I really have nothing to say. It was a pretty bland experience and nothing really stood out.” I agreed. As usual the conversation was great, the hot chocolate was average and the only warmth inside was a rustic fake fireplace surrounded by books reminding us both of the Phoenix Coffee we remembered before the hipster re-brand.