REVIEW: Black Mocha (formerly Chocaffinitea), Brighton

by - March 16, 2016

I don't think I've ever been so happy to see a business refresh their identity. Honestly, I absolutely despised the mouthful name and the branding of Chocaffinitea. The name set my teeth on edge and logo looked like a 70s technology TV program for heaven's sake. It's the one thing that actually put me off coming for so long!  I just had in my mind that the products would be as amateurish and unrefined as the outside aesthetic was. Which, as it turns out, is not the case. Anyway, it has been happily renamed Black Mocha with a far less quirky look.

Once inside, you'll find one of Brighton's best single origin chocolate shops with a large selection of bars from quality brands like Marou, Roccoco and the slightly bonkers Lobooko. The glorious packaging alone of all the bars is an absolute feast. They also sell Green Valley honey with some really unusual flavours.

Now, I never thought I'd be saying this but I am fully on board this vegan/raw/gluten free cake train. Not that I have any dietary requirements, just that I find them delicious and nutritious, packed full of energy boosting nuts, seeds and fruits. I think it's a textural thing too, I just find them far more interesting, and often less sweet, than a plain old slab of carrot cake. I even have a constant supply of homemade raw cacao energy balls in my fridge. Yes really.

There is always a good selection on offer and the display is really attractive; vegan salted peanut chocolate "snickers" slices, dairy free cheesecakes, chocolate cashew slices, flapjacks, cookies and brownies. It's all here.

I tried a few things now and loved them all. The vegan key lime cheesecake was particularly gorgeous. Funnily enough, I hate traditional cheesecakes but the silkiness of vegan versions I adore.

Although Brighton has a love affair with Small Batch coffee, it's good to have a change and they serve Monmouth brand here along with a large selection of Tea Studio blends. The single origin hot chocolate here is also remarkable. If you try noting else, try this. You will never catch me with one of those creamy, pumpkin spiced seasonal monstrosities from the coffee chains so this hot chocolate is as close as I get to an indulgent sweet drink. I've not had a hot chocolate like it before, full of flavour with a grown up savoury undertone.

But if you really don't have a sweet tooth they also have soups, quiches, salads and sandwiches that look fresh and inviting as well as toasted granola breakfast pots so it's a really useful address to have for an all day drop in.

Also as there is a high proportion of self employed people in this city there is a really useful working space upstairs too although at the time of writing the plugs were broken!

Black Mocha
103 Gloucester Road
Brighton BN1 4AP

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