A New Kind of Coffee Bar
Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Coffee and chocolate are natural partners, though it took Elizabeth Montes of Sahagún, the tiny artisanal chocolatiere in Portland, Ore., to take it beyond the obvious “two great tastes that taste great together” to a mash-up so pure they become an integrated whole. Meet KA-POW!, a chocolate bar made with coffee — in other words, a coffee bar.
The idea behind the confection is to treat coffee beans like they’re cocoa beans: coffee provides the color and flavor (helped by some sugar), while cocoa butter provides the texture. It looks like chocolate, snaps like chocolate and melts like chocolate. But it has the full, rich, lingering flavor of coffee.
That is, it has the flavor of beans from small-batch coffee producers like Extracto Coffeehouse and Roaster, Heart Roasters, Ristretto Roasters and Stumptown Coffee Roasters. And because KA-POW! is only made with single-origin beans, each batch is distinct: there’s the musky fruit of the Ethiopian Sidamo Guji from Ristretto Roasters, the clean cherry of the Guatemala Finca Antigua Buenavista from Stumptown Coffee Roasters. As their coffees change, so will KA-POW!
“When people appreciate the flavor, it’s because the beans are roasted by these incredible masters who are all around me here,” Montes said over the phone. “I wasn’t a huge coffee drinker before, but in Portland you can’t escape it.”
And if you want to get KA-POW! outside of Portland, you need to mail-order it.