Kansas City was lucky enough to have two days packed full of caffeine fun. On Sunday we had just as many stops as we did Saturday except, we had one more coffee related stop than the day before, because if you recall, Saturday we also went to Annedore’s, a chocolate shop on the Kansas side of Stateline.
To start off the day, we were at the Lab and About the Coffee's place, where Stubbie from E.F. Hobbs and his truck, Coffee Cake KC, teaching about us about hobby roasting. He also showed some of his toys he modified to use for coffee roasting. We learned about the first and second crack, and a lot of people asked a ton of great questions. I also over heard a Crawler say, “I’m gonna make one of those.” Stubbie also mentioned that when he started roasting his own beans, it was the last time he had cream or sugar in his coffee.
Our second stop was at the Roasterie, where Paul, the Bean Hunter, showed us around the plant and we learned about the Roasterie and about the way they roast their beans.The Roasterie air-roasts their beans, which make them the only ones in the city that do so. We also learned that they roast all of the coffees to order, so that there is no waste and everything is fresh. They have an extremely large custom blend demographic, making over 3,000 blends. All of their coffee are hand packed and using a machine that replaces the air in their bags with nitrogen so their coffee lasts longer. Because the air we breathe can age the coffee we love so much. With any coffee they happen to have left over or made too much of they donate their coffee to missions and charity events. At the end of the tour we had a tasting between three different coffees, all from the same region but three different processes: Wash, Pulp, and Pulp Natural. I think I enjoyed the Pulp Natural the best, because it brought the brightness of the coffee more compared to the other processes.
Our next stop was the Filling Station off of 29th and Gillham. At the Filling Station they serve Oddly Correct’s coffee and Broadway's espresso. They also make awesome freshly squeezed juices. My favorite is the Liquid Sunshine. They also make delicious sandwiches, salads, and wraps. While we were here for our stop we enjoyed a beer infused with Broadway's espresso, and a couple of bourbons infused with Odddly's coffee such as their Mexico Chiapas and Ethiopia Sidamo. It was definitely still early in the morning when we went to this stop, but it's five o'clock some where kicked it and we enjoyed the drinks that we had. My favorite out of the three was the Sidamo Bourbon, I believe.
Our next stop was basically my apartment. Not quite, but my neighbors, Mud Pie Vegan Coffeehouse and Bakery on 39th and Wyoming. There we had a multitude of their amazing baked goods. I was happy to see that they had their mozzarella and herb scone. I also had their peanut butter rice crispy treat. We didn’t just eat all of the pastries, we also enjoyed their multitude of milks they provide at Mudpie’s. We had their special chai blend, but served with different milks: soy, almond, cashew, hemp, rice, and coconut. Before I left the shop, I grabbed a sandwich for lunch. I grabbed an Jack Barbecue Sandwich; they get their sandwiches from a local vegetarian restaurant, FUD.
Our next stop is at a very familiar place I go to every Saturday morning, the City Market. We were on our way to Quay coffee off of 4th and Delaware. There we met with Cory and Tanner, co-owners of Quay. There we were taught not only how to do a V-60 pour over, but we were also taught the importance of grind size, and water temperature. They also told us of how they got started in the coffee industry, I caught one saying, “Kansas City’s scene isn’t competitive, it’s more supportive.” Time and time again, I find this to be so true.
Our second to last stop was taking us to Johnson County, Kansas, where we met up with Hobte of Revocup. Located just off of Quivera and College. There we learned about what Hobte loved so much and that was his homeland, Ethiopia. We tasted some of his beautifully roasted coffee, that he roasts in house. We also had a tasting of this mystery french press that he had made. We were to guess what origin it came from. As soon as I tasted it. It reminded me of my favorite origin, Kenya. I was correct. Hobte then jumped behind the counter and help make macchiatos and espresso shots. They were heavenly. You could even see coffee fanatics talking flavors, and re-tasting the espresso to see if they could taste it.
Our last stop was at Latte Land off of Stateline. Little did we know that the person leading the presentation was going to be on the cover of the current BARISTA MAGAZINE. Marcus Boni taught us about espresso. Taught us what it isn’t, like grind size, roast, but what it was a brew process. We tasted the espresso we were given and were told to pull out different flavor notes. We were also given a homemade fig newton to pair with the espresso. Unfortunately the pastry contained nuts, so I had a slight allergic reaction. Even so I can tell you that the pastry with the espresso went perfectly together.
As our Caffeine Crawl came to an end, ironically we didn’t have a bunch of overly hyper people on our bus, we had a ton of over-dose caffeinated people that all we wanted to do was take a nap. It was a successful event. I can not wait to see what the LAB has in store for the next Kansas City Crawl, but you can bet that I will be participating again next year. If you can make it out to the crawl, I’d say plan on making it out now, at least for just one of the days.
Get ready Kansas City, Midwest. This is just the start of our coffee culture about to explode!