Fall Caffeine Crawl 2014

Better late than never, right? The fall Caffeine Crawl back in October took Kansas Citians and visiting caffeine addicts a tour of some of the best bean joints in town. 

My tour started out at Parisi, where we were served coffee before experience a phenomenal demonstration of molecular gastronomy to make coffee caviar. To illustrate the juiciness of the coffee pearls, Kate served them with homemade pomegranate pop rocks. It was a truly unique way to experience the coffee flavor.

Molecular Gastronomy Demonstration at Parisi

Coffee Caviar and Pomegranate Pop Rocks at Parisi
Kate and the folks at Parisi also served carbonated plums in order to illustrate “sparkling stone fruit acidity” which is a coffee term, but one that can be sometimes difficult to place. “Coffee should be fun.” – Kate. 

The second stop was at Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard, where our group was again offered some home-brewed coffee while getting the run-down on how they make their famous coffee custard (for special occasions, only!). The coffee frozen custard, which uses a unique toddy-like ice cream method) was paired with Christopher Elbow citrus chocolate bar and was literally the smoothest and creamiest dessert ever experienced.

Foo’s has been serving KC custard and coffee since 1988.
Leaching out coffee flavor for frozen custard. 

Coffee Frozen Custard with Christopher Elbow
Chocolate Square at Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard. 

Oddly Correct, the primarily whole sale coffee roaster, was our next stop. Their location downtown is their tasting room, where they focus on educating coffee lovers about the effects of temperature and time on the end flavor results in the coffee.

The Costa Rican coffee was served three ways. 

Coffee 1, the control coffee, was sweet, complex, uniquely smooth and flavorful. Coffee 2, roasted at 8* hotter than the first coffee, resulting in a darker roast, had a more caramel flavor, it stayed on the tongue longer, was heavier and had diminished sweetness. Coffee 3, which was roasted 7* lighter than the control coffee, was lighter on the tongue, sweeter with an up-front sweetness and was less complex and almost underdeveloped.

Discussing the effects of roasting time and
temperature on coffee beans at Oddly Correct.

PT’s at the Crossroads began their presentation with three different types of chocolate that were blended with different types of coffee. They have recently re-blended and re-launched for the new season, so you’ll always find something different in their chocolate selection. 

The Ethiopian chocolate was smooth and phenomenal. 

Jeff began the company in 1993 and began roasting in 1997. According to USA Today, they are the 5th best roaster in the states, which along with his two Cup of Excellence wins with at least two coffees in the top five of the competition since 2007 proves this is one of the best local coffee shops.

Jeff telling us about his family/friends from
whom he gets his coffee from Guatemala. 

The first coffee, a caturra, was sour, bitter, and floral. The second coffee, the Paca Mara (a likely future cup of excellence winner, and my personal favorite) was smooth and sweet, while the third coffee, margagatura, was bold and robust. It was created by blending two coffee varieties and has won the Cup of Excellence twice. 

Caturra, Paca Mara, and Margagatura coffees from Guatemala. 
Black Dog Coffeehouse began their presentation with a wonderful array of Ibis toast and jams (seriously, you haven’t had toast till you’ve had this stuff!) 

Using Messenger Coffee, they demonstrated the flavors of pour over coffee. The Ethiopian was sweet and tasted of berries, while the Guatemalan had flavors of red apple and chocolate. The third coffee, Suluwase, tasted almost of garden vegetables. They explained that for pour-over, the water should be 204-208 degrees and the coarseness of the grind depends on the filter and how strong the coffee will be.

It was nice to have the flavors and grinding explained by people who understand them, as well as be able to relax and enjoy their large space. 

Our final stop of the day was to Homer’s, where Jarred had the local band, Attic Wolves, performing while we sipped on Messenger Coffee and tasted a great variety of snacks that they offer. 

Homer’s is a place of fellowship, where people can go to hear (free) live music in a non-smokey and non-bar environment. It’s a great concept, and with delicious coffees like the Adado, which tasted of blueberries with a sweet finish, and Sumatra, which had a dry finish, it’s nice to know that you can find both great entertainment and great coffee. 

Homemade scones, ginger cookies, and sugar cookies. 
All in all, this was a perfect Caffeine Crawl, and I can’t thank the folks at The LAB enough for making this a thing. It’s always a phenomenal time where patrons can enjoy a multitude of coffees, teas, chocolates, and other treats while learning about all the things that are involved in making our cup of joe. 

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