Kakao – Seattle, WA
Kakao Chocolate & Coffee Cafe
415 Westlake Ave N
I admit freely to having some cravings for sweet stuff and giving in. The times are few and far between though, so thankfully I’m not on a permanent sugar high like some people I know who guzzle litres of pop a day or never are without a sugary doughnut with their morning coffee, a candy bar at their work desk, or pass on a daily dessert at dinner time. When I do crave something with chocolate as its primary ingredient, its often a dark variety bar.
Earlier in August, I was exposed to a variety of sample product from a Vancouver-based XOXOLAT ahead of a private function. The use and dedication to serving single origin chocolates struck a chord with me, as it reminded me of what a segment of the coffee scene is like with its strive to procure ingredients from reputable and solo operations.
While on this recent trip to Seattle, we came upon the Kakao Chocolate & Coffee Cafe, located right by the Tesla showroom and an outpost of Serious Pie. A very large and open concept space, outfitted with a mishmash of comfortable looking and more stiffer wooden furniture. Big bright windows and high ceilings, led me to think this used to be some kind of industrial or commercial storage facility before it was transformed to the people-friendly business it is today. While primarily concentrated on the chocolate realm, they do give ample attention to their coffee beans as well for their espresso (provided by Seattle roaster Herkimer Coffee) and the loose leaf tea on the menu is from Miro Tea.
While I was inside, I noticed a mix of somewhat stereotypical Seattleites. From young mothers out for a lunch date with their fellow housewives, to a group of hipster looking, technology start-up types in for a quick caffeine kick on a meeting break. Though I misjudged one fellow, as I saw him ordering a chocolate drink (with menu choices between Ghirardelli and Valrhona drink-bases).
On some shelves leading up to the counter was an array of chocolate product for sale, in various bar forms. Colorful packaging, different sizes and brands. A chocolate lovers paradise. Even some pretty unique flavors!
I suppose its a growing trend to come up with these non-traditional ingredient pairings or integrations with sweet chocolate. I know that bacon infusion is quite the popular one. I for one, am not fully sold yet on these kinds of wacky creations but suppose they do serve a purpose and a niche market out there. So nothing to frown about in the end as its simply creativity and business coming together.