We adore a campfire moment. Especially in miniature form. The folks at Circle Coffee Co. in Topeka have concocted a seasonal beverage—a cardamom cocoa cappuccino—with an incredible garnish of campfire created with caramelized croissant topped with toasted marshmallow. The whole thing just looks, well, cozy.
We spoke with co-owner David Vincent to find out more.
Tell us about your signature drink!
The Cardi C is a miniature fall adventure on a tray. It’s a cardamom cocoa cappuccino with a crunchy croissant campfire, so the name was obligatory.
Over the summer months we had a small sample bottle of cardamom syrup behind bar and from time to time a few of our team members would make themselves a cappuccino with 10-15 grams of the syrup. It kind of became a secret menu drink we’d serve every so often, so we had some team members and guests asking for it to take a menu spot. As we developed it a bit more and thought through a garnish for the drink, things just got out of hand. We have a bakery in-house, which produces some amazing croissants, so we are laminating dough pretty often. We always have some scraps from the edges that go unused, so we decided to cut them into small strips, coat them in smoked sugar, and bake little “logs” for a campfire. The s’mores theme was pretty obvious, so we decided to sprinkle cocoa powder into the espresso and syrup before pouring the milk. When we get an order we will deliver it to the guests table, or call their name out so they can watch us torch the marshmallow stick on top of the campfire.
Who crafted your signature drink?
Definitely a collaborative effort from everyone, from the coffee bar to bakery. It was fun to see the progression of where the drink started to the all the different elements we added as we went. At one point one of our team members said “this is so extra” so the Cardi C name felt appropriate.
What unique ingredients does it contain?
We made a syrup using both black and green cardamom, cinnamon, and black pepper. We love a proper cappuccino and thought by adding a small bit of syrup we could introduce some of our guests to the idea of drinking smaller milk-based drinks.
Is your signature drink served in a particular vessel? How did you make this choice?
We serve it in a pink Kinto NORI 7oz porcelain tumbler. We have had a few laying around that our baristas enjoy using for themselves so we decided to buy a few more and give our guests the same experience. It’s a really lovely little cup.
Where is it available?
In our shop! You only get the campfire experience if you’re pitching a tent to stay.
Anything else you’d like to share about the drink?
It’s been quite fun to see the reactions from our guests as we torch the marshmallows in front of them before serving. It’s gotten to the point that even during a rush our baristas will make sure to find the guest and deliver it to them just to see their reaction. With so many shops moving to strictly paper cups I think people really enjoy when we go over the top with the garnish and plating.
The drink is available now for $6 through the winter season at Circle Coffee Co.