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The Reflection

Chocolatea is everyone’s cup of tea

2 votes

Westnedge Avenue is long and filled with business. From Crossroads Mall to Best Buy to Sam’s Club, there is everything and more within the two-ish mile stretch of suburban hell. However, near the end of the drive from Kalamazoo to Portage, there is an unsuspecting strip-mall with a tattoo parlor, a sketchy pawn shop and an absolutely awe-inspiring tea and chocolate shop.

Chocolatea is the average soccer-moms favorite place in the world. The cute shop has a short but well-organized menu of sandwiches, tea brewed to-order, and their particularly good tea

Chocolatea’s signature tea latte, photo by Tova Carter

latte. They also sell a large variety of loose leaves tea, teas that have not been bagged yet, and various tea accoutrements that take up most of the floor space.

For people unfamiliar with loose leaf teas or tea culture, it can be overwhelming for many of  the senses. The walls filled with giant jars each pouring out its own aroma. The idea of having to fill one’s own tea bag or weigh one’s own to-go bag of tea with special storage pots can be daunting, especially if one has never interacted with it before. However, if one is having trouble picking, the staff is extremely kind and excited to help. To make it extra special, the owner is almost always around and more than happy to help too. This makes it a welcoming environment, not only for veteran tea drinkers, but for newcomers as well.

The menu definitely has its pros and cons, but one cannot go wrong with one of their specialty tea lattes. With caffeinated, non-caffeinated, and syrup-enhanced flavor options, there is a latte to suit everyone’s needs and wants. Unfortunately, they are a bit expensive. That tends to be a common theme at Chocolatea. Except for the loose leaf teas, everything seems to be overpriced―but, for an occasional treat, it is more than worth the cost.

Chocolatea’s selection of chocolate and pastries, like their loose-leaf teas, is large and diverse. However, unlike their loose-leaf teas, it is very expensive. Artisan treats are often expensive, but theirs are overly so. The treats are tasty; however, unlike the tea lattes, this splurge is not worth it. One’s money would be better spent on, well, another tea latte, or on one of their food items.

Megan Rees, Gull Lake Alumni, sips on her favorite tea latte. Photo by Tova Carter

Their seasonal chili, served with a roll, is absolutely fantastic. Chocolatea also has a delicious mozzarella sandwich, served with garlic aioli and apple slices. The sandwich is refreshing and filling: perfect for homework session at Chocolatea.

Overall, Chocolatea is the perfect place for a middle-aged, middle-class suburban mom who is looking for a cute place to have a date with her girlfriends, which is fitting, considering the shop is in Portage. Don’t allow that to be a turnoff for ating there, however; its atmosphere is welcoming and comfortable. Chocolatea is welcoming, cozy and has something to fit everyone’s needs.  


[caption id="attachment_23989" align="alignleft" width="300"] Tova Carter poses for mug shot.[/caption] This year is my first year on newspaper, and my final one at Gull Lake high school. I’ve always wanted to do newspaper but never seemed to have the time. I enjoy writing and have a passion for news.  

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    [caption id="attachment_23989" align="alignleft" width="300"] Tova Carter poses for mug shot.[/caption]


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