Saturday, August 2, 2014

Dolcezza Gelato Factory & Coffee Lab

Dolcezza is a gelato and coffee shop located in Washington DC serving daily-made gelato and expertly crafted coffee drinks in 5 shops and several downtown farmers’ markets. We recently visited the Dolcezza Gelato Factory & Coffee Lab, located in the Union Market neighborhood, that produces small batches of hand-made gelato every morning using the best available ingredients: local fruits, herbs, nuts, cheese, milk and cream.

Combining old-world methods and a curiosity for innovation, Dolcezza "crafts an exquisite gelato with a conscience."  Tours of the production facility are given on Saturdays at 2pm and 4pm, and Sundays at 1pm and 3pm, however were closed for the day we visited due to another pop-up that happened earlier (which apparently sold out quickly). Other than coffee, guests are able to order freshly spun gelato and sorbetto that will be produced at that very moment. The menu depends on what is being produced that day.

What makes their gelato enticing is that first, the gelato has half the fat and half the calories of ice cream, and the sorbetto has no fat, consisting mostly of fruit. Second, the gelato contains much less air than ice cream, making it denser, smoother and giving you more food in your cup. Third, the gelato is served at a warmer temperature, allowing you to taste the gelato when you eat it, instead of leaving your palate shocked by the freezing cold ice cream.

We chose three of the daily flavors: Valrhona Dark Chocolate, Lemon Ricotta with Lavender and Berries, and Creamy Cardamom & Basil.  The chocolate was very dark and has a slight roasted coffee flavor.  The lemon ricotta was creamy but the lavender notes were a bit too perfume-like.  The creamy basil was refreshing and a great palate cleanser.  Since the gelato is served at a warmer temperature here, they all were melting right away, causing a bit of a mess.  Nevertheless, we enjoyed our little artisanal treats.  Prepackaged pints and push-pops are available to-go, as well.

Total Rating: 3.7
Food: 4, Price: 3, Service: 3, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 4

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