If you’re keen on trying the blackest coffee around, you may want to give the Matte Black Latte at Round K cafe in New Your City a Try. As the owner of the place puts it, “it’s black like my soul”.
When people say they want their coffee black, they usually mean they want it with no cream or sugar, but Round K owner, Ockhyeon Byeon, wanted to give it a more literal meaning. To him, black coffee was just a dark brown, so he started thinking of ways to make the popular drink actually black. At first, he used different types of activated charcoal, which we’ve seen used in many other goth treats, like pitch black fish and chips, or jet black cheddar cheese, but then he settled on coconut ash, which not only gave the product its dark color, but a nutty flavor as well.
Photo: Round K
Located in New York’s Lower East Side, Round K started selling its now famous matte back latte since 2017, and even though the drink’s color was a bit unnerving to some, it soon became one of its most popular items. It’s made with over 90 percent Dutch process cacao, a double shot of espresso, coconut ash, almond milk and some ice. The finishing touch is a topping of “black whipped cream” made with coconut ash, marzipan and coconut cream.
“[Customers are] always surprised and shocked [when they first try the drink], no one expected it to be actually black, so when I serve people the drink, their first response is often, ‘Wow, it really is black,’” Ockhyeon Byeon told Mail Online. “After they take a sip of the drink they are amazed by how Matte Black tasted like ‘sweet dessert.’ Then they ask us for the ingredients in the drink and how we made it taste so sweet and unique.”
Matte black coffee has become so popular that several other coffee places around New York have come up with their own copycats, but Byeon doesn’t mind too much. If you want to try the original, you can find it Round K, for $6.50 a serving.