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3 Cups Chapel Hill- I really like this place

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3 Cups Chapel Hill- I really like this place

detlefchef | Mar 10, 2005 07:26 AM

Each time I go, I like this place more and more. The coffee is not as strong as you may be used to, but it's worth getting yourself adjusted. Because it's so damned delicious once you get past that fact.

Last night I attended "Chocolate 101" there, hosted by a woman who, along with her husband, is starting the sandwich shop next door (which looks quite promising based on the menu). She'd worked for El Rey and Valrhona for some years and certainly knew her way around the Cacao bean. But for a few too many, "Can you believe I used to get paid to do this" digressions, it was an enormously informative class. My favorite was the Michel Cluziel 60% and the Domori 60%, I think primarily for texture and finish. The Domori had hot pepper in it, so I'm curious to try their unflavored ones as well. We tasted 3 offerings from Plantations of Ecuador which were interesting in the fact that they don't add vanilla. While that did allow the true flavors of the chocolate to show, I feel they were worse for the exclusion. The Valrhona offerings were delicious as well.

As for 3 Cups itself, a few things should be noted. The instructor made a point of applauding their selection (or in this case lack thereof). While Southern Season may have every chocolate on the face of the earth, 3 Cups has gone through the trouble of selecting only some really remarkable producers. This is a trend that I hope continues in specialty shops. After all, where is the art in simply opening up the catalog and saying, "Give me one of each". I'd like to think a specialty merchant knows more about his/her wares than I do, and would thus narrow down my choices.

Another point worth mentioning on 3 Cups and chocolate is that they made it very clear that they don't mark it up very much.

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