The Kansas City area has become quite the hub of coffee. As a former barista & coffee shop manager, I love the smell, the taste, the people, the community...well, I love the entirety of a good coffee shop. Let's be real though, enough chit chat! Let's get to the coffee talk! [This list is not in a particular order of preference. Each location has a special place in my coffeeshop-lovin' heart.]
Morning Day Cafe - They don't roast in-house...YET. I am sure Miranda has her eye on roasting, as she is always looking for new & amazing ways to add to her offerings! Miranda's taste is impeccable in her beverages & food. She has picked out smooth, vibrant, locally roasted beans & given them her own flair of flavor combos. My favorite is the Trees & Bees Latte (Full disclosure, I helped invent that drink)! If the charm of this place doesn't win you over, the beverages will! Oh, did I mention that she also has a full bar, so they can make you a boozy coffee drink. Some of the syrups are even made in-house!
Parkville Coffee - Do you need a bit of people watching? Grab a cup at the bar, then plop your butt into either a vintage airplane seat near the pick up stand, or become window dressing by sitting at the bar that faces the street. They always have a great selection of unique seasonal drinks. Street level isn't doin' it for you? Hike up the numbered stairs (they skipped numbering 13, you don't have to skip stepping on it though) to the second floor that is filled with art & a variety of vintage furniture. Yes, it feels more intimate there, but that doesn't mean that you need to have a full-on make out session on the couch (I have witnessed this.) Please don't be that couple. I LOVE the 100+ old building Parkville Coffee lives in. Don't leave without a bag of their in-basement roasted beans. Their blends are delicious!
Headrush Roasters - They actually have TWO locations! Both locations have an awesome air roaster right there at the register. Beans are roasted right in front of you! It doesn't get much fresher than that! They also have a whole WALL OF TEA!
North Oak - Tiny, homey, comfy & perfect for small meetups. One time I was there, I found a "Public Ukulele." No, really, it was an adorably painted ukulele with a sign that stated it was there for anyone to play.
Briarcliff - This fall I was really in need of working on my computer while looking at beautiful things. The Briarcliff location has a glorious brand new patio. It boasts a great view of downtown KC, comfy chairs & tables, surrounding one of my favorite things - a fire pit! If the gas fire isn't on when you arrive, just ask one of the baristas to turn it on (it is on a timer so that it doesn't just run constantly).
Messenger Coffee Roasters & Bakery - Messenger Coffee is a monochromatic creation powerhouse. The new downtown KC location is three stories of coffee, bakery, & roaster. On every floor there is a variety of seating options, there is even a meeting room on the top floor. My absolute favorite part is the rooftop patio! It looks out over the KC Star complex. I think that they may have heard me raving about Headrush's fire pit & added their own fireplace in the rooftop patio! The coffee is smooth & perfect for sharing a cup with a friend or cranking out your next blog post.
Colony KC - Colony KC Espresso & Beer is a fabulous community gathering place! They actually serve Messenger Coffee, but also a variety of locally brewed beers (they go outside the "local" area for some brews, but the majority is local). As good as the coffee is, the atmosphere is even better. Long tables greet groups, while all ages play at the ping pong table. They recently expanded next door to open up space for events & concerts. It has kind of become my "Cheers" coffee bar.
Pirate's Bone - Itty bitty & wonderful! If you desire a magical experience, get your coffee (the drip coffee is especially good), then head out the back door. The patio is tucked up behind the building, hidden by an ivy-covered arbor with twinkle lights. Honestly, it is magical! "Pirate's Bone is the only local, minority, alternative, latino, immagrant owned specialty drink/vegan food shop." If that doesn't catch your attention & reel you in, you probably only drink Starbucks. Hopefully, this list will inspire you to pursue local coffee!
The Roasterie - Would you like a tour of the warehouse that plane is launching off of? Seriously, there is a plane on the roof. They offer 45 minute tours of the factory that produces some of Kansas City's favorite coffees. One of my favorite things about The Roasterie is that they offer custom blend creation for anyone. As I typed that, I realized that I really meant "any organization," but wouldn't it be awesome to have your own signature coffee blend!? Hmmm...I may need to look into that idea further. If my city can have a Kansas City signature blend, why not me!?
Opera House Coffee & Food Emporium - Opera House is like a hug from an old friend at the house where you grew up with all of your memories on the walls. The coffee is deliciously comforting after a trip on the streetcar, that you can catch right outside the door. Don't miss the fact that you can order beverages near the front door, then mosey over to the grill for food, the bakery for desserts, & the bar for your boozy drinks. All of that is in one space that originally housed Kansas City's opera house. Live music can still be found here on select nights. This is one of my favorite places to meet friends for a cup before we hit the streetcar to explore downtown KCMO.
Honorable mention: I know that this post is about coffee, but sometimes I just want a good cup of tea at a coffeeshop. It is pretty easy to find locally roasted coffee around here, but local tea? Enter, Hugo Tea. HQ for Hugo Tea is in North Kansas City (it is a separate town from Kansas City, I promise). He has exceptional organic tea, made right here in the Heartland. You can find Hugo Tea in stores, but also in many of the coffeeshops on this list.