Matte Black drink at Round K Café on the Lower East Side is said to detox the body, but not whiten teeth.
This black coffee looks more like depresso.
The latest noir novelty is a Matte Black Latte served at Korean-style coffee shop Round K Café on the Lower East Side, and it looks like a depressing, pitch black slushy.
Perhaps a “take that!” response to the colorful food craze of Unicorn Latte and ubiquitous rainbow bagels, this dairy-free iced latte gets its creepy color from coconut ash mixed in with espresso, cacao powder and almond milk with coconut cream and marzipan for sweetness and a creamy finish. The frozen sip costs $6.50 a pop.
The coconut ash, a form of activated charcoal that you can eat or even bathe in, has alkaline properties that help get rid of toxins and clarify the body. The stuff is also used to medically treat alcohol poisoning, prevent hangovers, alleviate bloating and gas.
Activated charcoal has been used in face scrubs, lemonade and even in recipes for a “Charcoal Chai” teatox on Gywenth Paltrow’s lifestyle site Goop.
The coconut ash has also been rumored to “whiten teeth,” Round K owner Ockhyeon Byeon told Gothamist.
“It might be better in your latte than on your teeth,” dentist Ronald Burakoff, chair of dental medicine at Northwell Health tells, Moneyish.
The American Dental Association has currently not evaluated or approved any charcoal teeth whitening products, he explains.
“The long term effects are unclear and the short term effects may be transient. There’s really no credible scientific evidence that suggests it works,” says Burakoff.
The Matte Black Latte is the latest sip joining a slew of other pitch black products on the market including squid ink pasta, black bun hamburgers (thanks to Burger King), and ice cream.
Last year, Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream on the Lower East Side in Manhattan turned tongues a shade darker with its Black Coconut Ash ice cream. The frozen treat also contains activated charcoal. And other black lattes have been saturating social media lately – some containing ground up back sesame seeds to give them a more goth look.
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