Chocolate Pi, Tampa, FL
1205 S Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33606, USA
Have you ever followed someone for months on Instagram who 'Instablogs' about a prospective city that you've got on the books to visit? My answer to this is not just 'yes', but 'YASS.' When I'm about to travel to a new city, I spend about the week (or maybe the month) prior researching coffee and foodie Insta accounts. I like to travel by eating and drinking my way through cities. Anyone else empathize? I had a few places on the books for Tampa, but I had been dreaming about a beautiful, glittery and glorious lattes that I'd seen a few weeks prior. I convinced some obliging friends to come along and let's just say they were happy to have been 'dragged' along!
Chocolate Pi has the most decadent lattes I've ever seen.
Coffee talk first.
At any given time, Chocolate Pi has at least three options of espresso. They serve three distinct single origin roasts from different roasters. Right now they are serving a brew with beans from Bandit (St. Pete, FL), Tandem (Portland, ME), Kuma (Seattle, WA) Sump (St Louis, MO), and Novel (Dallas Texas). Coffee purists can select from a list of espresso based drinks, a V-60 pour over option or a cold brew.
But the specialty lattes are what make this place so unique.
I came here to drink glitter with my coffee. I'd been dreaming of one of their decadent flavored lattes and wasn't going to leave until I tried one. The options were plentiful, but thankfully I was there with three friends so... I may have assigned each one of them a 'drink order' :D
From top left going clockwise, you're looking at a: Lavender Mocha, Lemon Mocha, Salted Rose Latte and Chill Orange Latte. I tried all of them and my favorite was certainly the Orange Chili. It had a fun little spicy aftertaste that was contrasted well with the sweet orange. I didn't see it on the menu until it was too late, but if I went again, I'd get the strawberry shortcake latte; it's probably the most decadent of them all, topped with sprinkles and dehydrated strawberries.
The head barista, Jade Yelvington, is responsible for imagining and implementing the drink menu. Chocolate Pi makes all their syrups in house and Jade makes a purposeful effort to match the single origin flavor profiles in the signature coffee to the syrups. She's equally responsible for the joy and fun that goes into their production as well! I mean, look at that glitter people! It's not often that baristas take the time to match a syrup, a curated syrup no less, to the coffee. This is a real treat!
The coffee, however, is just one of the many decadent things at Chocolate Pi. As you can spy above, they've got beautiful range of fresh macaroons in flavors you can't easily pass up. There's a reason each of us got at least three. Their coconut cake looked blissful; so much so that we took a giant piece for the road. Chocolate Pi is also famous on Instagram for their photo-worthy cakewiches. Their Sprinkle Berry - strawberry and graham cracker ice cream sandwiched between two slices of strawberry cake, rolled in sprinkles - looks particularly drool-worthy.
The shop is filled with antique furniture pieces atop a beautiful honey-comb floor. My favorite piece was this church pew on the left. There's lots of felt and lots of pink. The tables are sprinkled with felt fbouquets (that are also available for purchase BTW). The shop is what I'd call shot-gun style: skinny and long. It's not built for large groups. However, at 7 PM on a week night, we had plenty of space.
Chocolate Pie is a lovely place to go on a date or meet a friend for coffee a dessert. Or, it's a fabulous stop for a 'treat yo'self' moment. They've done such a great job with their coffee menu and have really made a name with their specialty lattes. I've already got one picked out for when I return.