One sunny summer afternoon, my husband and I felt like we found ourselves in a rabbit’s hole. We set a date for a date, and we choose to have high tea at The Chocolate Chamber in Mabolo because it is far away from the maddening crowd and we could talk about life. What was an idyllic afternoon summer date turned into a magical date with someone better than my husband and I.
I felt funny upon opening the doors of TCC’s Mabolo shop. Something was awry, amiss. The usual tables and chairs were not there. They were piled outside, pushed to the sides. I thought, oh no, when I’ve decided to visit, they decided to close. My mind stopped momentarily when someone said, Hi, do you have an appointment? And I said slowly, stammering, no, I don’t have an appointment. And that someone said, Okay, please help yourself with our chocolate products. I was too stunned to say anything at all. I am no chocolate lover and I was there primarily to eat ensaymada. But, I would not say no when offered to have a try of TCC’s marvellous chocolate creations. And, there they were, laid out lovingly on the table in front of me.
Somebody said, I will be with you in a minute. And, frankly, I was already too shy to respond that I continued eating the truffle-flavored chocolate. When my husband joined me, he was in a disbelief. He could not believe what I’m doing. And, I just told him to sample the chocolates. And, true enough, someone, a young child, began telling us what each of the chocolate product was and what’s inside them. Then an older man carried on the conversation, telling us the history of TCC (it starts with Lola’s tradition of making tsokolate), the pains and gains of growing cacao trees in Cebu climate, the process of making the chocolates (involves fermentation), how cacao can be utilized to make many more products other than chocolates, the chocolate beauty industry where the money is, and many, many more interesting information that I didn’t want our conversation to end. The older man, whose name turned out to be Edu, because we exchanged names after we have had the lengthy and interesting conversation, was soon joined by the beautiful Raquel. When I saw her, it is no wonder the TCC chocolates were not just delicious, but also beautiful.
I was enthralled not just by Raquel, but also by Edu, and the magical life of creating beautiful chocolates. Okay, making chocolates is not magical. It is expensive and hard work. I just wrote that to make the blog post sound magical because I thought the experience was magical. 🙂 I was so enthralled by both of them I almost forgot our main reason for visiting, which was to have a date. Later on, I learned they don’t serve food and drinks in their Mabolo shop anymore, only in the Robinsons Galleria branch, and the Mabolo shop would serve as their display shop or gallery. Edu was kind enough to reserve a table for us the following day. My husband and I painfully bade them good-bye, and they were not in a hurry at all! We left the chocolate chamber not just filled with one of the best kinds of chocolate we can find in the country, but also with much respect to farmers and farmer-entrepreneurs who are taking agriculture to the next level.
About the TCC high tea
The TCC high tea is served from 15:21 to 17:21 every day. It is best to reserve a table ahead because there are few tables at the Robinsons Galleria shop. The tea set costs P650 and includes one cup of chocolate drink. I find the food included in the set filling, but we had to order an additional cup of drink because we wanted to try another flavor.