Back in 1783, composer Wolfgang Mozart might have enjoyed a cappucino in a kaffeehaus while reviewing his latest symphony.
A kaffeehaus is a blend of culture and coffee, a combination you can find in the Kaffeehaus, Oak Harbor’s newest espresso shop.
“Kaffeehaus” is the original spelling of coffeehouse, the first of which originated in Vienna, Austria. These first coffeehouses were a blending of culture and coffee. For this reason, the Kaffeehaus chose the slogan, “Bringing culture and coffee together, one cup at a time.”
Culture is evident in the Kaffeehaus, located in downtown Oak Harbor. Owner Mabel Alcaide, 21, said she is eager to encourage creativity, get the community involved, and offer a “place to congregate for local artists, musicians, and other people that want to share their interests with others like themselves.”
You can already see creativity flourishing judging by the colorful paintings dotting latte-colored walls. “We don’t ask for a commission,” Alcaide explained, because the art is part of creating the atmosphere. Employees and customers alike reflect Alcaide’s cheerful demeanor, perhaps aided by a caffeine-induced buzz.
Expanding the cozy coffee nook is in the back of Alcaide’s mind. She plans to include a space where she could sponsor poetry readings, open mic nights, and charity events. She hopes to plant coffeehouses in Anacortes and Mount Vernon in the future, and looks forward to more hours.
The Kaffeehaus opened its doors for business a week and a half ago, coinciding with the opening of Jazzbones, another new Oak Harbor hangout. The coffee mecca claims the title as the only coffee shop open in Oak Harbor past 10 p.m.
For the moment, Alcaide brews the first pot of coffee at noon and pulls her last shot of espresso at midnight, but during Race Week she anticipates opening at 5 a.m. to accommodate sailors in need of caffeine.
When the summer draws to a close and school begins, she would like to be open 24 hours a day. “We’re still ironing out the wrinkles,” she said of the schedule, but the Kaffeehaus has already collected several regulars since its opening.
“We wanted to target college students,” Alcaide said, adding that students can look to the coffeeshop for a studious environment.
So mosey into the Kaffeehaus, order a piping hot mocha and a locally-baked pastry, and explore your options. You can watch and chat with your barista in the barstool furniture overlooking the marina, study, read, play Nintendo in the lounge, or check your email in the computer room, where you get free Internet with your beverage.
If it strikes your fancy, purchase art by a local artist. But don’t expect an average coffeehouse —this is Kaffeehaus.