It comes as a big surprise to people that Kansas City has one of the most robust coffee scenes in the country. I’ll let you in on another secret… KC is an AWESOME food and beverage city, so if you like stuffing things into your piehole, then you need to get to Kansas City!
Now, a couple disclaimers… This is not intended to be a comprehensive guide. That’s what Google is for. These are my picks for good roasters and shops, but there are many more. Also, things change, so places open, move and close and this is my hobby, not my job, so use Google, Yelp, etc to help you out. I will update this when I can, but we’re talking a couple times a year, maybe, so please use this as a resource, not the only resource! Things are listed below in no particular order and I’ve attempted to stick to KC and the immediate ‘burbs. Without further ado…
Cafes That Also Roast:
Oddly Correct – 3940 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64111
I go to Oddly Correct more than any other place in town. The quintessential “third wave” coffee shop, Oddly Correct is quirky, takes coffee seriously and does a fantastic job roasting and serving their products. This is a relatively small shop in/very close to Westport, which is a highly trafficked and cool restaurant/bar/local shopping area in KC. They usually have one single origin and one seasonal blend espresso on bar with 3-4 different coffees available for pourover as well as multiple types of cold brew. Their roasting space two doors down on the same block and they do a great job. Expect lighter roasts that highlight the beans’ origins. They don’t have cream or sugar available for your coffee and it’s either espresso (and lattes, capps, cortados, etc), Kalita Wave or cold brew so it’s not a rush in and rush out place. They use whole milk for milk-based drinks. Very limited breakfast pastry items, coffee is the highlight at Oddly.
Broadway Cafe – 4106 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64111
Broadway Cafe (Broadway Roasting Company) has been a staple in Kansas City for a long time and is smack-dab in Westport. They also have a small cafe attached to their roasting facility. They roast their own beans and I would say they lean toward slightly darker and more developed roasts. They usually have their espresso blend and house blend available by the pound in dispensers so you can get as much or as little as you want, then bags of their other selections, generally in two sizes. I love their espresso, which leans toward the more chocolatey/caramel side of things. I have never had a bad shot here. You get a free refill with espresso, so if you want to act like a local make sure you ask for a drip coffee or, what I do, iced tea to go for your refill. Best deal in town! Nice pastry and light lunch case, lots of seating. This is the preferred hangout for arts scenesters, hipsters and weirdos (I say that all lovingly!) in KC, so the people watching is the best in town and if you can snag one of the outdoor chairs and stay a while it will be worth it!
Thou Mayest – 419 E 18th St, Kansas City, MO 64108
We move into the Crossroads Arts District (tons of galleries, lofts, restaurants, etc) with Thou Mayest, which is one part roaster, one part coffee shop and one part bar. The space was built by KC’s Utilitarian Workshop and it’s a big, very cool environment. Thou Mayest overlooks the concert space next door and so it’s a popular hangout when there are live bands next door. It gets insane on First Friday weekends! The entire Crossroads loses its mind (in a good way) on FF’s, so it’s a great time to see how vibrant this part of Kansas City is. Thou Mayest has swag and bags of coffee available and is playing with collaborations, barrel conditioning and coffee/beer collaborations with their neighbor, Torn Label Brewing Co.
PT’s at the Crossroads – 310 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108
Toward the outskirts of the Crossroads Arts District you’ll find PT’s foothold in the Kansas City market. PT’s is based out of Topeka, KS, about an hour away, but they’re awesome and a welcome addition to Kansas City’s coffee scene! The shop is large and comfy with indoor and outdoor seating. PT’s has a Slayer espresso machine and they take lots of pride in their shots and milk-based drinks. PT’s has pourovers and on-the-go batch brewed coffee as well as good breakfast and lunch menu and bags of coffee for sale, too. A top notch cafe from a great roaster that has been in the business for a long time and still remains a leader in the industry!
Second Best Coffee – 328 W 85th St, Kansas City, MO 64114
Second Best can be found in the Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City and they are both a micro-roaster as well as a multi-roaster shop featuring constantly rotating guest roasters. Second Best started roasting earlier this year and their coffee approach tends to be toward lighter roasts. They have an awesome Slayer espresso machine and do Clever dripper immersion coffee for their brewed coffee. They have cold brew from Kyoto drippers and also nitrogenated cold brew on tap. Some basic breakfast bites. Espresso tends to be bright and have lots of high notes and I always get a cortado when I’m here!
Pirate’s Bone Coffee – 645 East 59th Street, Kansas City, MO 64110
PBC is notable for going old school and pan-roasting their coffee. PBC is near the Brookside neighborhood, which has some good restaurants and bars and local shops. As of this writing, I have not been over there for a visit yet, but they have a full coffee and tea menu as well as some pastries and things to snack on.
The Roasterie – three locations, with the flagship (look for the airplane, you won’t miss it) at 1204 W 27th Street Kansas City, MO 64108
The Roasterie has been part of the Kansas City coffee scene since forever, basically! It’s a big operation with three cafés and you can find their bagged and bulk coffee in most local grocery stores. Always check the dates on those bags, though. The cafés are well-placed and serve a good drink with lots of food options available. These are classic, full-service operations. My experience with Roasterie coffee is that they tend toward “second wave” style coffee, but The Roasterie is a favorite in Kansas City and they even offer tours of the main facility, which happens to be nearby Boulevard Brewing!
Parisi Artisan Coffee – Two locations, one at Union Station downtown and one in the suburbs in Leawood, KS
Parisi has been around for a long time, like The Roasterie. Like The Roasterie, you can usually find Parisi coffee in most local groceries and their cafés are full service affairs with full beverage menus, breakfast and light lunch items. They have possibly the world’s cutest cortado and I like their espresso, too. I have not had drip/pourover at Parisi yet.
RevoCup – 11030 Quivira Rd, Overland Park, KS 66210
RevoCup is in the suburbs in Overland Park. It’s a popular morning and quick lunch spot. They roast their beans on premises and usually have a lot of different coffees available for purchase. RevoCup is owned by an Ethiopian couple who donate a lot of money back to charities in their home country. I’ve only been there once and I haven’t had enough of their coffee to give my two cents, but it’s a popular spot, probably for good reason!
Filling Station – several locations (Midtown near Union Hill at 2980 Mcgee Tfwy, Westport at 1010 Westport Rd and in Overland Park, KS at 7420 Johnson Dr)
Filling Station has several locations around the Kansas City area and they are owned by Messenger Coffee, an excellent roaster here in KC, so that’s whose beans you’ll find behind the bar. Filling Stations have lots of seating and breakfast and lunch choices in addition to to-go coffee from Fetco batch brewers, pourovers and espresso/milk drinks. You’ll find the familiar coffee & creamer stations here and these are always popular places whether you’re needing a quick cup or want to hang out for a while. The Westport location is right by another KC institution, the Record Bar!
Blip Roasters – 1331 St Louis Ave, Kansas City, MO 64101
Blip Roasters started out as a roaster and pop-up in the West Bottoms antique shops, but is on the verge of having their walk-up café open very soon. The West Bottoms is heaven for antiquers (especially on First Fridays weekends when everything is definitely open for business) and photographers and it’s my favorite part of town, for sure. Blip has limited offerings (batch brewed drip coffee and espresso-based drinks as of Sept. 2015) in their walkup coffee shop. No tables and chairs, but lots of areas around the shop to park it on a step if you want to and the patio in front of the walkup is nice and big and has plenty of stand-and-chat space!
Maps Coffee Roasters and Velo+ Bike Shop – 13440 Santa Fe Trail Dr Lenexa, KS 66215
Maps Coffee Roasters is located inside Velo+ Bike Shop in Lenexa, KS. Both are owned by modern Renaissance man, Vince Rodriguez, who has combined his long coffee career and his love of bicycles and custom framebuilding into one big playground! Vince roasts on a sweet Loring roaster (air, not drum) that is also available for guest roasters. He can customize blends, bags and do pretty much whatever you’d like. Grab a coffee when you stop in and coffee is always available for sale in bags, too.
Benetti’s Coffee Experience – 6109 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown, MO 64133
Benetti’s is way out in Raytown, MO and I have yet to visit, although I have had their coffee before and liked it. It offers equipment of all types as well as being a full service cafe. In January 2015 new owners took over Benetti’s while in January 2014 the wholesale arm of the company branched off to become Messenger Coffee Co., who supply coffee to half the cafés in the city it seems like!
Post Coffee Co. – 200 NE Chipman Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063
Post Coffee Co. is out in Lee’s Summit, which may as well be on the other side of the planet for me. As such, I have yet to try their coffee or make the trip out (it’s about 30-35 miles away… Kansas City sprawls, to say the least). They have a great-looking modern aesthetic and I would love to try some of their coffee, but it’s just so far away! I’ll get there, eventually, but if you’re out that way you should check them out and let me know what you think!
Kaldi’s Coffee – multiple locations, including Country Club Plaza
Kaldi’s Coffee is a St. Louis second-wave institution. I don’t get Kaldi’s often, but I make an effort to have their Rosemary Caramel Latte a few times around Christmas. It’s awesome when I need something sweet! Kaldi’s made a big move into the Kansas City market a couple years ago when they purchased Latte Land, a small local chain of about 5-6 coffee shops.
Quay Coffee – 412 Delaware St, Kansas City, MO 64105
Quay Coffee (pronounced “key”) is a cool multiroaster shop serving the River Market neighborhood of Kansas City. The River Market is home to lots of businesses, lofts and restaurants including a huge farmer’s market on weekends. They serve a variety of coffees roasted in and outside of Kansas City and it’s a comfy place to hang out, especially if you’re young and own a Mac! I’ve always had excellent coffee at Quay, so if you’re downtown in the Market you need to stop in and stay a while.
Black Dog Coffeehouse – 12815 W 87th St Pkwy, Lenexa, KS 66215
Part of the Messenger Coffee Co. family (one of the co-owners of Messenger Coffee Co. is part of the family that owns Black Dog), Black Dog Coffeehouse is a big, comfy cafe that serves drip, espresso drinks and pourovers of Messenger’s excellent coffees. This is a really popular destination and has a great menu including the fantastic breads of Ibis Bakery (also owned by the family that owns Black Dog and co-owns Messenger! LOL). Their natural Ethiopian pourovers are AMAZING and the bread of the day is always killer.
Homer’s Coffee House – 7126 W 80th St, Overland Park, KS 66204
Located in downtown Overland Park, Homer’s has been a mainstay in OP for 13 years! An old-school second wave café made for people who like to grab a table and stay a while. Homer’s has lots of musicians on weekends and serves Messenger Coffee Co. as well as food items.
Crows Coffee – 304 E 51st St, Kansas City, MO 64112
A nice, comfy café walking distance from the UMKC campus. My friend, food and beverage genius, Emily Farris, helped Crows open and it’s a great location and serves the excellent Messenger Coffee Co. product. I always like to have a cortado or cappuccino here.
One More Cup – 7408 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64114
Located generally in the Waldo neighborhood, One More Cup is a cute multi-roaster shop using beans from a variety of KC roasters. They have pastries, cookies and some light lunch items and it’s a popular place to camp out for a while and slow your pace down.
Meta Coffee Roasting Co.
Meta is owned and operated by Zach Tarhini and as of this writing is the most addition to the KC coffee scene. Coffees are available at a couple locations in Kansas City and by direct order. I’ve had the Peru La Florida both as pourover and cold brew and it’s excellent! Meta specializes in organic coffees.
Messenger Coffee Co.
Messenger Coffee Co. is a quickly growing player in the Kansas City coffee roasting and cafe industry. I’ve reviewed several of their coffees and they do a great job. Let’s see if we can keep all this straight… Messenger Coffee Co. was started in January 2014 by Nick Robertson, Kiersten Perry and Matt Matsch. Nick was a roaster and barista at Benetti’s in Raytown, MO and he purchased the wholesale side of Benetti’s from them, then partnered up with Benetti’s head roaster, Kiersten and operations manager, Matt (who is also an owner of Black Dog Coffeehouse and Ibis Bakery). Later in the year, Messenger also bought the three Filling Station locations, who now serve Messenger Coffee, as does Black Dog Coffeehouse and Homer’s in downtown Overland Park. Whew! Messenger and Ibis are looking at the Crossroads Arts District to open up a shared space for the bakery and roasting operation, too.
Encore Coffee Company
Encore coffee company is owned and operated by Mike King. Technically located in Grandview, Encore can be purchased online and at the Merriam Farmers Market on Saturday mornings (which, by the way, is a fantastic market and way less crowded that the OP one, so hit OP super early before the crowd then head over to Merriam for some coffee and a relaxing produce stroll!). Encore Coffee Co. offers several fair trade and organic single origin coffees and will be bringing blends into the mix (haha) soon, too. I also know Mike has been playing with cold brew and nitro-charged coffee, so look for that once he perfects his recipe!
Most of the cafés in Kansas City seem to sell some brewing equipment and odds and ends, but About the Coffee is the place to go for coffee stuff like grinders, pourover stuff, filters, espresso machines and parts, tampers… you name it. Owned by Marty Roe, who services all the coffee machines in the area and is a legend in the KC coffee scene. Also affiliated with Workbench Coffee Labs, which is an SCAA-certified barista and Q-Grader training facility.