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:
- Flavor. Surprisingly nothing dramatic. Pretty average flavor, although I didn’t stir mine as much as Peggy and so had a nice chocolate finish.
- 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.
- Size. We both ordered mediums and delighted in the availability of mugs.
- 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.