On a recent vacation to Santa Fe, New Mexico, I found my way to this shop. Top priority. And it was as much as I had expected. Why, they even have an altar to chocolate.
Kakawa is most known for its elixirs, which are made using old Aztec, European, and Colonial recipes. Drinking chocolate, not hot chocolate. Since there were quite a few to choose from, the clerk told us that we could sample as many as we needed to find one we liked. I found the Aztec Warrior (made from 99% chocolate) a bit too warrior-like for my tongue. It wasn’t the intensity of the chocolate itself, but that 1% of spices (including chili) that made me cringe slightly. Although chocolate and orange isn’t my favorite, I was tempted to get the 1666 Italian Citrus. A much lighter, smoother taste after the Aztec Warrior. But my ultimate choice was the 1692 French. It was gentle and sweet at the same time as it was dark, ending in a taste of cloves. I had imagined these elixirs to be thick, stiff things, but while thicker than hot chocolate, they’re smooth and liquid enough to be pleasant. They cost $3.50 for the smaller cup, which is about three ounces.
Now to the service. Excellent. I guess that’s what happens when chocolate enthusiasts get together. Since we were the only ones there for almost the entire time, we got to chat with the clerk. He spread chocolates out on the table for us to sample. I was tempted to try all of them, but prudence bid me stop at four tastes.
One of these my family decided to purchase: Kakawa’s own handmade Chili Chocolates. They’re made from 80% chocolate and a four chili blend that includes a kind grown only in Santa Fe. Be warned that these are nothing like Lindt Creation 70% Chili, which wasn’t at all spicy to me. As soon as one of these hit my tongue, I could taste the spice and it only became more intense. The chocolate seems nice, but I wasn’t able to pay much attention to it because of the spice. My less squeamish companions assure me of its worthiness and its ability to blend with the chili. It is a nice taste, if you’re alright with spiciness. These are nine dollars per fourth pound. I also purchased three bars, which I’ll be reviewing next.
So if you’re ever in Santa Fe, definately stop here. Be prepared to spend a little money, but it’s worth it. It’s also a great place to just hang out at the end of the day.
And did I mention how good the service is?