The owner of the Korean style coffee shop, located in the Lower East Side, Ockhyeon Byeon, says he originated this particular variation of the matte black latte.
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Though it looks thick enough to be a milkshake, Round K’s version is actually made from cacao powder, almond milk, and espresso. Byeon eschews the trendy ingredient of the moment that you might expect to appear in the drink – activated charcoal – instead using organic coconut ash to turn the latte black. His version doesn’t include any dairy either.
Byeon opened Round K in 2015, which he modeled after the South Korean coffee houses, called “dabang.”
Along with the iced matte black latte, Round K also serves two more unexpected twists on coffee: A wasabi latte – if you’re looking too add a little spice to your coffee – made with espresso, milk, and a dollop of wasabi paste, and the egg cappuccino, a regular cappuccino blended with an egg and espresso, and topped with whipped cream.
Byeon isn’t the only one cashing in on the matte black beverage trend of the moment: Matte black lattes made with charcoal have been popping up all over social media, coming from in cafes in Sydney, while another version uses ground up black sesame seeds to achieve that creepy color scheme.
Sure, matte black probably isn’t the first color you’d expect a delicious beverage to come in, but Byeon’s iced latte promises to be refreshing and light. Another plus? They’re visually arresting, and just like their unicorn counterparts, they make for the perfect Instagram shot. You already drink black coffee – a matte black version isn't too much of a leap. After all, this does seem to be shaping up to be the summer of odd-colored beverages.