The Bama Brûlée is just one of a variety of lattes, mochas and other drinks one can order at Kai’s Koffee House.
Ever since the tragic closing of Eclipse, the city of Montevallo has been sorely lacking a worthwhile go-to coffee spot. Sure, there are places you can go to get a quick fix like McDonald’s, Jack’s or Einstein’s, but none offer that same charm and ambiance that a more one-of-a-kind establishment often does.
Enter Kai’s Koffee House, the answer to our coffee-craving prayers. Well, sort of. The place has its ups and downs, but there are two things I’m sure of: the coffee is phenomenal and my visit left me with a latte on my mind.
I first came across Kai’s Koffee House through a suggested post on my Instagram feed; the image had no caption, but the swanky drink pictured didn’t need one to convince me that it was worth a try. I waited for the weekend and made a trip to the café.
This brings me to the first con of Kai’s: it’s not exactly a hop, skip and jump away from the University. The coffee house is located in Pelham, which, while not as out of the way as Birmingham, is still at least a 25 minute drive away. For some, the distance might be a dealbreaker, but I was willing to make the trek.
When I entered Kai’s Koffee House, the first thing I noticed was its warm and inviting interior; the walls were a tawny brown and adorned with faux vintage decor, namely posters with Saturday Evening Post-style women accompanied by phrases like “Coffee! You can sleep when you’re dead.” Certificates near the register boasted the café’s accolades: 2016 Winner of Shelby Living’s best of the best awards for best coffee and the 2017 Chandalar Homeowners Association Award for Exemplary Business Service to the Community of Pelham, Alabama.
With a mission statement promising the “fullest flavor experience possible,” my expectations were high. I ordered what the barista told me was the day’s most popular drink, the Bama Brûlée: coffee with caramel and white chocolate flavoring topped with whipped cream. As someone who doesn’t have the biggest sweet tooth, I was unconvinced that I’d even be able to taste the coffee under all that sugar. However, I was happily proved wrong when I took my first sip. While definitely on the sweeter end of the spectrum, my drink still had that distinct coffee flavor I know and love.
A friend that joined me on the outing ordered a cherry chocolate mocha and was met with similar results. Two drinks might not be enough to gauge the quality of the entire menu, but I feel confident giving the coffee house two thumbs-up.
There is one noticeable problem, though, and that’s price. Both online and in-store, the prices are nowhere to be found, which is pretty odd. I’m not sure if it’s intentional or accidental, but if there’s one suggestion I’d offer the café it’s amending that situation ASAP.
Overall, Kai’s Koffee House won’t disappoint. Sure, it’s not the perfect Eclipse replacement; there’s still the issues of distance and mystery prices. But if you’re a coffee aficionado and willing to fill that latte-shaped hole in your heart by any beans necessary, I think Kai’s is the way to go.