The Caffeine Crawl, put on by The LAB, is one of my favorite Kansas City traditions. Each Spring and Fall, groups of caffeine addicts traverse the city, stopping at local cafes and roasters to learn about coffee, tea, and chocolate. This year’s Spring Crawl was no exception in quality and entertainment.
First Stop: Blip Roasters, West Bottoms.
Ian Davis of Blip Roasters put on a great presentation about what Blip is all about and what they hope to become in the near future. I was especially impressed with their loyalty to the craft, family, and city with a great throwback to the history of the West Bottoms industry. Serving up hot and iced Guatemalan coffee while showcasing the very cool space, these friendly guys are worth contacting for some delicious local beans.
Stop Two: The Roasterie Factory, Southwest Tfwy & 27th
You can always count on The Roasterie to put on a great presentation. This year, they offered food pairings with different brews. The first was a pour-over Kenyan coffee with pretzels and peanut butter followed by a French Press Guatemalan with Gruyere, and to finish, they offered a drip Sumatra with chocolate. I appreciated the contrasting flavors and the way the food changed the flavor and taste of the coffee. The gruyere with Guatemalan was definitely the most satisfying.
Stop Three: Mud Pie Vegan Bakery & Cafe, West 39th Street
MudPie always puts on a very impressive display of their baked goods during the Crawl. I can’t deny the deliciousness of the Dirty South (chicory coffee with house-made cashew milk), but the true star is the flavorful moistness of their vegan goods. I mean, have you ever had a vegan cheddar bagel with vegan cream cheese and thought “I want this every day of my life because it’s so wonderful?” I doubt it! Head to the West 39th street with a good book and relax in the 1870’s era house-turned vegan coffee shop for some snacks.
Stop Four: Filling Station, McGee & 30th
Located adjacent to Martini Corner, the Filling Station offers up great coffee and juices with an awesome patio. Their espresso is served up in 1 1/2 oz shots, as opposed to two oz, so it tends to be sweeter and less bitter. We were served Affegato, which is espresso over vanilla ice cream. It was unique, sweet, and wonderful.
Stop Five: One More Cup, Waldo
Stacy brought in Tyler, the owner of Hugo Tea, to talk about their Chai tea, which she served alongside house-made granola. The true star of the presentation was the Root Beer Chai, which was cold Chai tea served with Shatto’s Root Beer Milk. Spicy, smooth, and full of flavor, this is definitely worth a trip to the intimate coffee shop, which focuses on organic teas and coffees, supporting local, and environmental consciousness.
Final Stop: Second Best Coffee, Waldo
Located in Waldo, Second Best Coffee is my favorite coffee shop in Kansas City. I was wildly impressed with their presentation last spring, and felt the same this year. Nathan is so passionate about providing the best product to the public in a professional manner and bringing great espresso to KC. They served up a Nitrogenated Cold Brew coffee, which is lighter than a typical cold brew, creamy, and refreshing. It debuted this week on their menu, so go check it out!
All in all, after a day of driving around Kansas City and trying all sorts of fun new coffees and tea drinks, it was a very successful Caffeine Crawl. For more information, including staying updated on the Fall Crawl, check it out online and be sure to join us next time!!