I've already written about The Shop and their flavored hot chocolates, but I cannot lie: it was a chief happy moment today.
The Shop is a coffee shop in Rhode Island that has an annual tradition of serving flavored hot chocolates at the beginning of the year. They keep one flavor for a week, and then they change to a new flavor. At the end of the tasting period (originally 4 weeks; now, eight weeks), participants vote on their favorites --and with eight options, the flavors become very inventive.
The first year, my vote went to peanut butter. Last year, I voted for Cranberry. This year my vote is TBD. We are only half-way through, but today's flavor was Tres Leches. I was pleasantly surprised, mostly because I didn't know what to expect. It was sweet, but had a nutmeg or cinnamon spice to it, and it was the perfect feel-good treat on a crisp, windy day.
Plus: the homemade marshmallow. I have an unexplained fondness for this additional touch.
Perhaps it's because the first time I ever had a homemade marshmallow was at a coffee shop on the main street in Hanover --The Dirt Cowboy-- back when I attended grad school. The Dirt Cowboy was where all great conversations took place. I used to order their hot chocolates or chai lattes with these delectably huge marshmallows, over which my friends and I would discuss all of life's greatest questions. Maybe that's why I love this time at The Shop so much. A subconscious part of me is placing myself back in time, remembering those happy moments, and the warmth I felt both inside and out.