Sipping Chocolate. In 90 Degree Humidity. In Vermont.
On a trip with the love of my life and parents to Middlebury Chocolates in Middlebury, Vermont.
If I said that it took you ten minutes to walk down the main street in Middlebury, VT I’d be exaggerating. It’s honestly more like five.
But regardless, in 90 percent humidity, it’s hot.
Last summer, my partner and I visited my parents in what we thought would be a welcome break from the heat and stank of NYC. We were wrong. It was sweltering.
But since it’s not our style to sit indoors sipping sweet tea, I whipped out my phone and googled: “bean-to-bar chocolate Middlebury VT.”
A bit of a side note. The love of my life, my beautiful girlfriend and I, are bean-to-bar chocolate makers. So as it has become my habit wherever we go, we find the local craft chocolate makers, track them down and taste their goods.
On this trip, Middlebury Chocolates was our mark.
A little background might be in order. My partner and I started our journey of chocolate making a little less than a year ago.
And besides making a ton of chocolate, we’ve also eaten a sh*t load of other people’s.
Because the best way to refine your palate and perfect your craft when it comes to chocolate, is to taste what’s out there and then to search for more.
So about halfway down the main drag in Middlebury, down a steep incline, at the edge of a river was Middlebury Chocolates, the most quaint idyllic chocolate making shop we’ve come across.
Enter Middlebury Chocolates and you walk into an exposed brick, reclaimed wooden paradise with the scent of cacao heavy in the air.
This trip was special for a few reasons, one: we were experiencing a small (not that well-known) chocolate maker and two: we were exposing my parents to our world. Though Middlebury Chocolates makes a variety of different single-origin chocolates, I was there for two reasons: my search for the ultimate 100 percent bar and the finest sipping chocolate within driving distance of NYC. Within the cafe of Middlebury Chocolates, with only a curtain separating their dining room from their factory, I found one out of the two.
Though I fell more in love with their 95 percent bar than their 100 percent — producing a palatable 100 percent bar is a true art form — I did find the sipping chocolate of my dreams.
My mother ordered a vanilla cardamon bonbon, my father a milkshake, and my partner purchased a half dozen chocolate bars to take home and taste.
I dove into the sipping chocolate.
Though everything was delicious, I definitely left my taste buds on the worn-out sofa of Middlebury Chocolates.
Just me, my mug of sipping chocolate and my demolished taste buds (in a good way).
I fluctuate between my love of authentic (but more watery) Colombian hot chocolate, the kind I used to get at the bakery across the street from my old apartment in Queens, and the thick sweetness of European drinking chocolate. The sipping chocolate I found here brought the best of both worlds together. It had the thickness I craved with the spiciness and intensity of true actual cacao.
Sweet is not how I would describe this drink, but definitely addictive. I sat on that sofa and imagined myself stopping by this cafe every day for my morning cup of chocolate. Could I really uproot my life for a cup of cacao? The answer was probably not, but trust me, it was a tough call.
If I’ve ever left my heart somewhere, it was on a pleather sofa in Middlebury, VT. Maybe not the sexiest of places, but truly the most delicious.
Sip some chocolate.
7 Frog Hollow Aly
Middlebury, VT 05753
Sara Sugar, founder of Dalloway Chocolate, has also written about getting your NYC chocolate fix here & here & here & here