Sometimes things just work like magic. We were wandering through the aisles of Whole Foods in Portland looking for inspiration when something caught our eye. There in the coffee section, on the bottom shelf, was a brown package with the word CAMP boldly written across it. A neon sign wouldn’t have done a better job of grabbing our attention.
Further investigation revealed that this wasn’t coffee, but rather a coffee infused drinking chocolate by Treehouse Chocolate. Yes, you read that right: drinking chocolate. Forget watery hot chocolate, this stuff is the real deal. And there were a variety of flavors, too: Original chocolate, coconut chocolate, sea salt chocolate. While looking over the package we saw that Treehouse was based in Portland. So we emailed them right there in the store and asked to meet. We had to find out more.
That day Aaron, the founder and one-man-show, emailed us back and we arranged a time to drop by the shop the next day. In true Portland form, his “shop” is actually an amazing custom-built shipping container inside a cooperatively shared warehouse space. He gave us a quick tour of his workshop and told us about the various steps in his chocolate making process. With the positive vibes of a yoga instructor and the brimming enthusiasm of Willie Wonka, Aaron is exactly the type of person you want making your chocolate. We told him about our upcoming backpacking trip into the North Cascades and happily “loaned” us a few packets to demo out in the field.
Fast forward to the top of Winchester Mountain. We were staying up at the summit and the sun had just begun to set. Pink and purple hues hung in the sky over white snow-covered mountains as the air started to crisp up. This was drinking chocolate weather. So we fired up the stove, melted some snow from a nearby snowpack, and made ourselves a cup. Unlike other hot chocolates we’ve had in the past, this had a deep full-mouth flavor profile. It didn’t just wisp down the back of your throat like thinly flavored water. As we sat quietly, trading sips, we could think of no better way the enjoy the end of the day.
Treehouse Drinking Chocolate is available in select retail locations on the west coast. It is also can be purchased online. For more information visit: treehousechocolate.com
While Aaron at Treehouse Chocolate gifted us a few packets of CAMP Drinking Chocolate, all words and our enthusiastic opinions about his product are our own.