If I had to rate my vices in order of which ones I would have most trouble eliminating from my life, it would go something like this. Easy: booze, wine, and beer. Difficult: coffee. Impossible: chocolate. What other substance so beautifully marries, caffeine, sugar, mystery, intrigue, and a brain-dump of a serotonin-releasing chemical called theobromine? Only chocolate.

I wasn’t always a chocolate addict. It happened in 2006 when I returned to Portland after a stint in Spain and discovered that Cacao, Portland’s most comprehensive all-around chocolate shop, had taken roost in the West End, my new neighborhood. Thanks to owners Aubrey Lindley and Jesse Mannis, I discovered the diversity in the final product derived from the Cacao pod—from the the funky Indonesian, the smoky Sao Tome, and the piercing citrus fruit character that’s only found in chocolates from Madagascar. For me, it was a revelation that chocolate could be like wine.

I’m less of a coffee geek than a chocolate whore, but I appreciate knowing the difference between varietals, and I’m always grateful to a barista-in-the-know. Living next door to Coffeehouse NW doesn’t hurt.

So why the ramble?

On February 4th, Ecotrust and Slow Food Portland are teaming up to showcase the best of Northwest chocolate and coffee, and this will be an event that will sell out. For a measly ten spot (Eight bucks for Slow Food members), visitors can sample goods from Alma Chocolate, Cacao Drink Chocolate, Claudio Corallo Chocolates, SahagĂșn, Theo Chocolates, Xocolatl de David, Caffe Vita, Cellar Door Roasters, Portland Roasters, and of course Stumptown Coffee.
The fun starts at 5:30 pm, and you buy tickets here.