February 22nd, 2012
Sweet Cup Gelato & Espresso: A Sweet Dream Come True
I really envy those “I’m not a sweets person” people. They pass on wedding cake, don’t ever care to peruse the dessert menu and certainly never ask people to borrow 75 cents so they can buy a snickers from the vending machine. I want to be one of them. I want to understand what it’s like to not crave chocolate.
And then there’s days like today that remind me why I’m okay not understanding.
I walked into Sweet Cup Artisan Gelato & Espresso around 2 in the afternoon in the middle of the week. I was here on a whim. I was after coffee; the sweets part of me usually didn’t whine until later. Greeted warmly by a nice woman, we exchanged hellos. Before my eyes even made it to the espresso menu, they got parked on the gelato display case. Normally gelato looks just okay to me, but this gelato looked like pillows made of dreams and colors and childhood and happiness.
And then for some reason I began to speak at her like the Micro Machine guy – “Oh my gosh, how long have you been open? Oh, you have iced coffee! My friend loves this place and she wrote me an email that we should come here on Thursday, but well, I’m here now too. I was just going to get coffee, but I’m going to get something.” She smiled like I wasn’t a crazy person and said they’d been open only two weeks and asked if I’d like to try any of the flavors. As I tasted a flavor and then another and then another, she told me a little about Sweet Cup.
YOU GUYS. Get this. Jasmine Chida, the sweet woman serving me, didn’t know anything about gelato until she and her husband went to Italy on their honeymoon. After she got back, she thought it over, learned how to make gelato, studied dairy science, and eventually talked to her husband about doing this as a career. She left her job in PR, and opened Sweet Cup. And now, she says, “I really love what I do. I love getting up each day,” she said. I then went out to my car, threw my ID badge on the ground, cried and beat the steering wheel. Kidding, I guess.
So by now I feel the need to tell Jasmine my secret – I don’t really know what the hell gelato even is. My gelato experience is looking into the gelato display at Yia Yia Mary’s while waiting for a table. She explains that gelato is made with whole milk (sorbet has no milk) and has lower butter fat content than ice cream. Because of this greater proportion of whole milk, gelato has about 11-15% lower fat content then ice cream. Gelato is also made without high fructose corn syrup.
By now I’m on team gelato, and I was ready to get a cup in which to face plant. I tried the berry sorbet, kibana (mixture of kiwi and banana) sorbet, and salted caramel. While I could easily eat the vat of any of those, I decided to go with a few flavors I hadn’t tried yet – lemon sorbet, strawberry stracciatella, and hazelnut chocolate crunch.
Again, all three were phenomenal, but people, believe me when I tell you that your eyes will roll back in your head when you try the hazelnut chocolate crunch. It tastes like a melted Ferrero Rocher chocolate but better. I’ll leave it at that. Need more reason to get to Sweet Cup? ALL of their gelato is made in-house (they even juice all of their own fruits!), and their coffee is really freaking good. The latte I had was worth it even if I hadn’t inhaled gelato.
Where – 3939 Montrose Blvd Houston, TX 77006
What – Gelato, sorbet, yogurt, smoothies, teas and coffees
Wear – What you will
How much – Average coffee is $3.00, average sweet treat is $3.00; go big, buy a quart—that’s $12.00
When – Monday through Thursday: 7:00PM to 9:00PM; Friday and Saturday: 7:00AM to 10:00PM; Sunday: 10:00AM to 9:00PM
Web – Website coming soon!