The 40th Caffeine Crawl took place in Kansas City as loads of people traipsed around the city tasting teas, chocolate, and coffee.
The route I took (with my parents!) started at Kaldi’s Training Center in the City Market. They started by serving us an aromatic black as well as a mint-jasmine tea from their new Firepot Nomadic Tea line. They were both flavorful and tasty.
Kaldi’s focused on blending flavors. They demonstrated this using mocktail Horsefeather’s with and without bitters and with their ‘Tis The Season blend coffee as espresso.
The second stop on our crawl route was Quay Coffee (pronounced Key, just fyi) where they demonstrated cold coffee three ways: cold brew, Kyoto, and Japanese Ice Brew style. Each type highlights a different aspect of the flavor and offers up pros and cons for brewing, method, and flavor.
The third stop on our route was PT’s at the Crossroads where they served coffees that were harvested 3 different ways. Each one was vastly different, highlighting the importance of harvest methods in the end resulting flavor.
Next was the tasting room at Oddly Correct. The demonstration focused on beans and the different parts of what makes up a coffee “bean” (really, the cherry) and the process it goes through to become the coffee that we drink.
The Broadway Roasting Company (which I must admit, we had a hard time locating) did a wonderful pairing of different coffees with snacks as well as an aromatic game. It really highlighted the importance of pairings (just like with wine) and how the food can compliment the flavors in the coffee.
Last, but certainly not least, on our route was the lovely Heirloom Bakery & Hearth. The snacks. The drinks. Oh, it was so lovely. A delicious iced coffee from Thou Mayest was infused with orange peel and served with a bbq pork (marinated in cold brew coffee) sandwich.
And the affogato. All summer I failed to find myself this tasty espresso treat, and here it was, served to me in October. Espresso over Shatto vanilla ice cream that had been mixed with seasonal spices (like nutmeg and cinnamon). It was divine, and a beautiful way to end our Caffeine Crawl.
As a nice little bonus, one of my local Northland coffee shops (Headrush Roasters) included coffee and tea in our good bags for me to enjoy the next day (same day = too much caffeine). It was almost like a bonus stop.
I can’t thank the local coffee shops and roasters enough for their hospitality and enlightening presentations during our Caffeine Crawl or The Lab for putting on such a rewarding event. As always, I encourage you to purchase tickets to the next crawl; you’ll learn loads and try countless delicious treats. Cheers!