My good friend Betsy has been on my mind recently. Betsy and I met in grad school, and she stayed in Boston after we graduated while I moved away. When I would visit Boston, I loved staying with Betsy for so many reasons, but one reason in particular was her coffee. The gal knows the importance of being a gracious hostess, of making a strong cup of coffee for her guests. Betsy recently relocated to Chicago, and I was lucky enough to see both Betsy and our lovely mutual friend Sarah during a trip to Chicago earlier this Spring. Betsy was kind enough to host us and play tour guide, so thanks to Bets, I was fortunate enough to try a mocha at Dollop. Dollop is a beautiful coffee shop located in downtown Chicago on E Ohio St. I knew this place would be good when I walked in; we had Lauryn Hill playing in the background, and in the foreground stood bags of Q’s Nuts for sale (Q’s is made in my old home town of Somerville, MA!). http://www.dollopstreeterville.com/
As always, I opted for the regular mocha latte; however, the list below indicates only a few of the more lively mocha choices. My friend Sarah tried the Mexican Mocha, which was far better than mine. But let me tell you about my mocha. I tasted mostly the espresso and the milk flavors, while the cocoa flavors emerged during the last two sips only. From experience, I should have known to stir the mocha if the first
ten few sips taste more like a latte than a mocha. While this mocha lacked a flavorful balance of the three ingredients, I could have very well asked for a spoon to evenly distribute the three.
The mocha glowed a rich espresso color, in perfect harmony with that of the steamed milk. The mocha to the right is mine, to the left is Sarah’s. I love how crisp and clean the cup/saucer look, especially as it relates to deep color of the mocha. This contrast in colors brings out the richness of my mocha as well as the mocha-art-heart in the middle. I wish this was served with a spoon, but we just established that I need to get better at remembering to both ask for a spoon and use it when my mocha tastes not of cocoa.
Dollop is so aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I walked in and was WOWed by the natural light; we are talking floor to ceiling windows. Despite the minimalist decor, Dollop felt quite comfortable. Betsy, Sarah, and I located some couches and made ourselves at home. The variety of seating options was impressive, ranging from cozy leather chairs to community tables. The vibe was lively, with a mixed crowd of business men in a meeting, students studying, and women reading on the e-readers. Lauryn Hill seamed to be on repeat, which was fine by me. I particularly enjoyed the eye catching wall art, some of which is captured in the below picture (Hi Sarah!). I was most impressed with the educational materials floating around Dollop, including the photo that shows four distinct ways of brewing coffee. A bit more color throughout Dollop would have been nice; but perhaps, much like the stark white cup/saucer, Dollop strives to be free from ostentation, and lets the quality speak for itself.