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Hip or Hyped? Round K

By Isabella Pestovski (ME ‘19) and Morgan Wolfe (ME ‘19)

This week, Morgan and Bella visited Round K to try their specialty drink, the Matte Black Latte. The owner of the cafe, Ockhyeon Byeon, put his own twist on the goth food trend by using coconut ash instead of activated charcoal powder to give his drink its distinct black color. The drink is made with cacao powder, almond milk, and espresso in addition to coconut ash.

Upon first sip, the latte tastes like a mocha but it is definitely sweeter. The drink is also topped with a whipped-cream looking substance which, in actuality, is thick like pudding. In spite of a slightly grainy texture—possibly from the coconut ash—the topping did taste good. As we poked at the topping skeptically, we were instructed to “take off the lid and dip it.” Not quite knowing what this meant, we used our straws to mix this substance into the drink, which made it sweeter and thicker. The Matte Black Latte at Round K is definitely a unique drink you cannot find anywhere else. It also tastes really good, even though it’s not like a classic latte.

We were overall impressed with our experience at Round K. The espresso beans were ground fresh for each drink right in front of us! The Matte Black Latte is vegan too, so it’s a great option for those who don’t consume dairy.

The shop is really cute and has a nice atmosphere, with an open seating space in the back and jazz music playing in the background. The shop wasn’t crowded the afternoon we visited, but more people came in as the day wore on. The shop is also known for its breakfast and is most likely more popular in the morning.

The drink is expensive ($6.50 per Matte Black Latte) so it may not be ideal for an everyday coffee fix, but it’s a great place to go on a cool coffee date or catch up with friends and family who may be visiting the city. It’s also perfect for a ~spooky~ Halloween treat!! All in all, we both think the drink tastes good and is a fun twist on a classic beverage.

Final verdict: Bella and Morgan both say HIP!

Round K
99 Allen St.
Sunday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Monday-Wednesday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Thursday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Saturday. 9 a.m. – 12 a.m.

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