In an unassuming little storefront in Nashville’s historic Germantown neighborhood sit some of the best chocolate truffles you may ever taste in this lifetime.
The Cocoa Tree, just north of the city center, has seen a few moves in the few years it has been operating as a business. A very small operation run by chocolatier Bethany Thouin, The Cocoa Tree prides itself as an “artisan chocolate cafe” and though the cramped little store doesn’t have the flashy signage preferred by larger chocolate operations, the numerous media mentions prove this store has a product standing on its own.
In the strictest sense, The Cocoa Tree isn’t a restaurant. It offers only chocolates for sale and though it has some cramped tables and chairs for people to sit and talk, the little store won’t make a meal for you. Still, it maintains the feel of a little coffee shop while serving you dessert. Signature products include the aforementioned truffles and chocolate cocoa. Each batch of the goodies is handmade and the variety of truffles is very impressive considering the size of the operation.
Each truffle is made with unbelievable flavor packed in it which keeps hitting you in succession as the silky chocolate melts in your mouth. The “Amy’s Balsamic Raspberry” truffle tastes of a dark chocolate bittersweetness before the tart raspberry flavor hits you. The “Jimmy’s Sambuca” truffle bites with a coffee flavor before the sweeter chocolate takes over the palette. Each truffle can only be described as a unique experience. They all have the distinct cocoa flavor which adds tartness to whichever accentuation the truffle is decorated.
There are a number of other options in the store — peanut butter pie, cheesecake, and truffle cake among them. The truffles are the main attraction here, though. A number of seasonal varieties keep them fresh and the favorites are always available in some quantity. The store sells box chocolates in addition to individual truffles, and you’ll find coming here with a friend or two makes it a lot of fun to try the variety of wonders The Cocoa Tree has to offer.
Don’t bring too many people though, because the store really is tiny. It’s uncomfortable to wander around when a crowd can quickly congregate in the shop’s little front area. In the summer a patio offers a little more space, but it’s very difficult to sit and enjoy your chocolates in the store itself when colder weather prevents that. I can’t blame the little store for not being able to the average customer I would recommend grabbing your chocolates and going somewhere else with them — be it to one of Cocoa Tree’s neighbor restaurants or elsewhere. Just make sure you try the truffles.
- The store offers small group tastings for parties of six or so. Take advantage.
- At $2 a truffle, the cost adds up quickly. Indulge in a variety of them so you don’t get bored quickly.
- Come for desert — otherwise you might end up eating everything!