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On Saturday I met my good friend Leigh for brunch at Portage Bay Cafe (I had a Tijuana Benedict which was awesome.) Afterwards, we decided to grab a coffee and stroll though the hip, foodie mecca that is South Lake Union in Seattle. We stumbled upon Kakao, a coffee and artisan chocolate bar.

Photos by Shanda Foisy. Please give credit when re-posting or pinning. Merci.

We ordered a macchiato and a dry cappuccino, perused the shelves, and each picked out an indulgence to take home. I chose two varieties of TAZA Chocolate, an organic, fair trade, stone ground chocolate. I was initially drawn to it because of its unusual packaging, but once I tasted it, I was not let down.

The heat from chili got warmer the more I ate. It was almost like magic. This simple piece of confection had so many layers; so much complexity.

It is an un-emulsified chocolate which gives it a slightly grainy texture at first, but that almost made it better. I don’t chew my chocolate – I savor it, letting it slowly dissolve in my mouth. The sandpaper like texture added another dimension to the flavor, but it still finished smooth – the way you want it to. You experience the flavors and textures in ‘courses,’ much like Violet did with the gumball in Willy Wonka. The Salted Almond was first grainy, then nutty, then salty. Then I tired the Guajillo Chili Chocolate. It was crumbly, then sweet, then spicy. The heat from chili got warmer the I ate. It was almost like magic. This simple piece of confection had so many layers; so much complexity.

Photo by Shanda Foisy

The shop owner told me it also melts nicely making it a good bar for sipping chocolate. This morning I meted it down, mixed it with a touch a cream and made a Toasted Almond Mocha. I don’t have a fancy espresso machine, but over the past few years Justin and my in-laws have gifted me a stove top Chambord espresso maker and a hand milk frother which work well.

Have a great Sunday morning over coffee!