Crow’s Coffee – Kansas City

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Crow's Coffee - by Steve Agocs
Crow’s Coffee – by Steve Agocs

I first learned about Crow’s Coffee, one of the newer coffee shops in Kansas City, a handful of months ago from my friend, Emily Farris (the famous radio/podcast personality and freelance writer with a CV three miles long… see Feed Me KC and Feed Me Creative) who was a consultant helping Crow’s get their start off on the right foot (wing?). For some reason I thought Crow’s was in Waldo, but it’s actually a fair jump north of that neighborhood over by UMKC. Good parking, walking distance for students, nice wide sidewalks for a couple park benches and pretty decent amount of room inside. What more do you want to know? Oh, the coffee… 🙂

Crow’s Coffee is using Messenger Coffee Co. coffee, a relative newcomer to Kansas City’s burgeoning artisanal coffee roasting scene. I have been following Messenger on Instagram for a while and didn’t even know they were local. I know virtually nothing about the company or their beans and their website doesn’t lend a ton of information yet, although I’m sure we’ll hear a lot more about Messenger in the coming year.

I ordered two drinks, seen in the photo above, an espresso and the “controversial” (in the coffee community, at least, and then only if you care, which no one does, LOL) Gibraltar. They were both good. The espresso is what I’d consider of the “traditional” variety, leaning more toward an Italian/European style with nice roasty flavors. The other side of this spectrum would be what is considered “West Coast” style espresso, which tends to be really bright, somewhat sharp and even lemony. Hit up Oddly Correct one of these days for an espresso if you haven’t already and you’ll understand what I mean.

The Gibraltar was tasty and the Messenger espresso (pulled off a gorgeous Ferrari red La Marzocco machine) worked great with milk. Gibraltars are named that because they are served in a small 4-oz glass called by the same name by the company that sells them. Until the past year or two this drink was called a “cortado” which is a shot of espresso with steamed milk/foam poured into it. It’s bigger than a macchiato, which is basically an espresso with a dollop of foam on it, but much smaller than a latte or typical American cappuccino. Although, go to Italy and order a cappuccino and this is about the size of drink you’re going to get, as opposed to it’s oversized American counterpart. So, it’s basically a mini cappuccino. The “controversy” comes from the re-naming of the cortado, thanks to Blue Bottle in San Francisco which was supposedly the first company to pour these little guys into Gibraltar glasses.

Like I said, WHO CARES, right?! There’s no murder, no sleeping with wives, etc around this Gibraltar/cortado/cappuccino mess, so it’s hardly a controversy outside of the blogosphere.

Crow’s was comfortable and quiet while I was there (10-11AM on a Wednesday morning), the decor is pleasant, the coffee is good, and they order a good selection from drip to pourover and Chemex and the usual espresso-based milk drinks. The outdoor seating is a nice plus, especially as we move into Autumn, and I think with their location, good service and solid coffee they are going to have a successful time here in the UMKC neighborhood.

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