What Does Dilettante Mean?

What Dilettante Means to Us

Every café has a story behind it. Between finding a name, finding the perfect location, and eventually serving customers, a café is defined. Dilettante’s Mocha Café has had a long, 45-year journey, and in that time, we have had the opportunity to share our craft with many people in the Pacific Northwest.

The word ‘Dilettante’ came from the founder of the Dilettante Mocha Café, Dana Davenport. He worked for years in French restaurants, and his peers referred to him as a Dilettante to dissuade him from pursuing his dream of becoming a chocolatier.

Dilettantes are often ascribed to dabblers or amateurs, but Dana grew attached to the beautiful Italian word instead of feeling discouraged. Using his family’s heirloom recipe notebooks, Dana began crafting a menu for his café. He would name it ‘The Dilettante’ to honor the passion of others who were once described as dilettantes.

The first Dilettante café opened in Seattle’s historic Capitol Hill Neighborhood in 1976 and changed people’s idea of what a Dilettante was. Dana committed himself and his company to quality coffee service and artisan chocolates.

Menu items, store locations, and even customers have all come and gone over the years, but Dilettante’s coffee and chocolates continued to be shared. Dilettante’s long history has led to the perfection of several confections. Ephemere chocolate truffles, Rheingold toffee, and the Hapsburg Bean Blend were all made possible due to Dana Davenport’s ingenuity.

Visitors to the Dilettante Mocha Café can see the influences of its rich history. With each mocha, pastry, and chocolate, Dilettante attempts to redefine what it means to be a dilettante.

Those living in western Washington can stop by and visit a Dilettante Mocha Café at Kent Station, Sea-Tac Airport, Bellefield Office Park, and Bellevue’s Plaza Center. Visit any of the pages below, order online, and enjoy chocolate and coffee craftsmanship, perfected over four decades.


View Dilettante Mocha Cafés


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