Blog

  • Coffee Milk Slushy

    Serving up a sample of this delicious new Coffee Milk Slushy to a customer at the coffeehouse, which she’d never heard of before, I mentioned the drink “coffee milk” was more popular on the East Coast. She replied that she was from the East Coast and had never heard of it.

    So, taking that as kind of challenge, the way you challenge a Scrabble word play, we decided to do a bit more research. Turns out that I was not wrong – Coffee Milk is more popular on the East Coast. In fact, it is the official state beverage of Rhode Island. But it is still not widely known there, either. Turns out we were both right.

    So what is a Coffee Milk Slushy?! Well it’s pretty simple really – we make a coffee syrup in the kitchen (we make all our syrups in house), add it to milk, and put it in the slushy machine to give it an iced-milk consistency. The flavor is lightly coffee, sweet, and refreshing. The caffeine content is lower than a cup of coffee, but still enough that you will feel the buzz.  


    (Not served in a Cortado glass unless requested.)

    Another fun tidbit about Coffee Milk is that when it was coined, the term “milk shake” meant syrup added to milk and shaken. A milkshake as we know it today, ice cream and syrup whipped together, was known then as a “cabinet”, which probably referred to the dispenser of such a creation was part of a large refrigeration cabinet in the back of the restaurant. (source)

    The most complicated step in making coffee syrup is getting the sugar to water ratio correct. While we boil other syrups to infuse spices and dissolve the sugar, you don’t want to boil coffee and potentially change its flavor. So, the measurements must be precise. You can see Justin putting in the careful work below.

     

    Coffee milk slushy is currently available at the Coffeehouse on Capitol Hill, and will be available for the remainder of spring and into early summer.

    If you are not able to make it to the Capitol Hill location, you can try our coffee syrup in milkshake made over at Meg’s Hamburgers in Pioneer Square (truly delicious).

  • Intrigue's Aaron and Karl in Brooklyn

    Intrigue's Aaron and Karl spent 3 exciting days in NYC this week! The Brooklyn-Queens Connector project sponsored us to share our Seattle street car experience. Aaron served on a panel with other small business owners from Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Portland. We represented Seattle well, we learned about how serious Brooklyn takes their chocolate, and we were inspired by all the culture, art, and history.

    Street Car

    BQC proposed project

    The panel was relatively easy considering it was a local government event. Sometimes those scenes can get heated. Where our experience was mostly around mitigating construction impact to storefront, these communities were more concerned with what neighborhoods will be served, loss of parking, and cost. We also fielded a lot of questions about the impact of Amazon on Seattle, which is still a hot topic there.

    Aaron spoke with confidence and did his best to inspire the crowd. There are so many benefits the street car brings to Seattle, but how construction is planned must take small business voice into account from the beginning, like they are doing with the BQC. Aaron had some tips about what construction / timing pitfalls to watch out for, and how to handle certain problematic situations.

    Brooklyn

    This was the fun part of the trip. We were put up in the posh Reynard Hotel, previously a barrel making factory. The walls were rough brick, the ceilings huge planks of old wood, and the floors were heated, smoothed concrete. There was a two way mirror in the shower and funky wallpaper. It was delightful, weird, and outside was cold, and windy.

    We went to Mast Brothers chocolate. Mast bars were part of our hotel mini bar, and everyone in the neighborhood knew of the brand. Brooklyn treats their chocolate makers like an integral part of the neighborhood vitality and charm, even though Mast had a troublesome PR issue that hurt the whole craft chocolate industry.

    Chocolate is a thing in Brooklyn. The hot cocoas and mochas we had were made with fine chocolate. It was so inspiring to know that we do the same for Seattle, even if we are still figuring out how to communicate the beauty and cultural significance of craft chocolate here. We came back with ideas.

    Speaking of great mochas, a special shout out to a small café called Bakeri. It was so charming, delicious, female-run, and authentic. Please include this spot on your list of sites the next time you go.

  • Flowers & Chocolate at Intrigue

    Valentine’s Day got a little easier – this year, get your chocolate and your flowers both at Intrigue Chocolate!

    Intrigue Chocolate is partnering with Love Blooms this year to offer bouquets of flowers to accompany boxes of chocolate. Love Blooms is offering two different styles of bouquet, one in red and one in white.

    Chocolate and flowers are a classic match for Valentines Day. Chocolate is available in our stores all the time, and flowers will also be available from Feb 14th – Feb 17th.

    We encourage you to pre-order in our stores! We have forms in both locations for your convenience. Sorry, we cannot take pre-orders by phone at this time.

    Stop on by this Valentine’s Day for all your romantic gifting needs this year. Thank you in advance to shopping in your local communities. See you then!

     

  • Womxn's March Poster Making Event at the Coffeehouse

    (photo credit to the Boston Globe)

    This Friday, the 18th, from 6pm – 8pm, we are hosting a poster making session for the Womxn’s March on Saturday, the 19th. Bring your own poster board, and we’ll provide markers and table space!

    Intrigue has decided to support this event because of its’ focus on inclusion and equality. From the Seattle Womxn’s website, “…as Martin Luther King taught us, the true path to peace requires the presence of justice, not merely the absence of tension. To build power, we must first name and dismantle injustice inside ourselves, inside our institutions, and inside our culture.” Intrigue supports healing, collaboration, equality, and the protection of at-risk populations.

    If you’d like more information about the march, check out the website here: https://www.seattlewomxnmarchingforward.org/

    During the day of the march, the 19th, we will offer a 10% discount to anyone that comes to the coffeehouse with their sign in hand. See you then!

  • Holiday Happenings 2018 - Chocolate & Decor

    Happy Holidays Intrigue fans!

    We have exciting news this update, specifically the development of the coffeehouse and creative specialty drinks in Chef Aaron's styling. Most importantly, though, we want to encourage you to support small business this year. The final weeks of December are the most important for our business, as it is for many other pop&pop retail establishments. Please make the effort in 2018 to purchase gifts from the little guys. It makes a difference!

    What do you buy the person that has everything? Something unlisted on Amazon.

    Gift Ideas

    Assortment Boxes – These 12pc and 24pc truffle gift boxes are our classic offering, except this year we have 24 different flavors to share (unlike previous years where we offered only 12)! Going to a party? These are perfect for host / hostess gifts. Office or gift exchange? Truffles can be meaningful and significant while staying classy and sincere, and you don’t need to know much about the person for them to enjoy it.

     

    Truffle BarsThrowing a dinner party? These ganache bars are the perfect table appetizer or desert. We recommend 2 bars for every 5 people at the table, or 3 if you want a little chocolate left over. Serve them like a soft cheese on a plate with a knife and a bottle of wine. Want to sit for an hour and catch up? Serve some wine or adult beverages, and then wow the table with chocolate flavors like Red Velvet Cake, Plum, Pear Brandy and Honey, and Grappa.

     

    Cocoa Blends – Our flavored blends are the favorite for mochas and hot cocoas at the new Coffeehouse on Capitol Hill. They are dairy free, so you make them with whatever dairy or alternative you’d like, and for baking. Hosting family with young children? Add some marshmallows and you have a holiday classic. Impress adults too with flavors like Cardamom or Lavender! Making brownies or  cookies? Try adding some spicy Jamaican cocoa, or a cardamom blend for that something extra. Just be sure to adjust the sugar quantity to match, pro tip.

     

    Chocolate Bars – Six flavors inspired by the Pacific Northwest. Need an icebreaker? this is the perfect item to include with a gift card, a assortment or bundle of small items in a care package, or to pass around the table at a dinner. Chocolate bars can help meeting a new family and want to make an impression. Building a gift basket? Chocolate bars with bright flashy packaging are the best!

     

    Coffeehouse Updates

    Check out these new lanterns! Inside are grow light bulbs, for plants and humans. We had a theory that putting them in the windows would draw people in from the grey. It's a vibrancy and color that stands out from the windows. Picture was taken during our last open mic night, every 1st Thursday. Everyone was so pleased with the hall-of-mirrors effect it has, and it sets the stage.

     

    We’ve updated our menus to better “frame” the seasonal drinks and signature offerings. The frames are on loan to us from a friend, who would rather them be on display than in storage. These pre-date the civil war! (If anyone has frames in this style that wants to store them on our wall instead of storage, let us know!)

     

    We've also updated the back area with new shelves to help store the plant-care materials that are in rotation constantly in the shop. Some plants fared better than others, illustrated by the shelf of plant-ready pots. We’ll choose from that category going forward - hibiscus, citrus, citronella, strawberry, wintergreen, coffee tree, pepper plant, and lemon grass.

    This also gives a little more space to the art wall at the Coffeehouse, which until now has been a bit buried in the back. Looking forward to our next iterations of the art wall that will include a focus on Capitol Hill!

     

    Specialty Drinks

    We have 3 specialty drinks we are offering at the coffeehouse:

    Coffee-Milk Slushy – Come try this east-coast inspired beverage of milk, house-made coffee syrup (caffeinated), turned over in the slush machine until snowy and icey.

    Gingerbread Latte – House made gingerbread syrup in your latte. A perfectly fitting flavor for the season.

    Spiced Apple Cider – Fresh squeezed apple cider mixed with our house-made, spiced dolce de crema. (my personal favorite this season, even though I keep going back to the coffee milk slushy!)

    Vegan Eggnog – OUT. We made such a lovely recipe of nutmeg, oat milk, and pumpkin seed oil for texture. But Oatly has another nationwide shortage, and we will not be able to serve the drink this year.

     

    Come Hither

    So come by the Tasting Bar in Pioneer Square, or the Coffeehouse on Capitol Hill for gifting and comfort needs this season. You can also order online, and we recommend you order no later than 3 shipping-days prior to the holiday to ensure arrival.

    Cheers from the Intrigue Chocolate Team, and Happy Holidays!

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