Day one was a ton of fun. I was surprised I only stayed up til about 2 a.m. before I fell asleep. Then I had to be up in about 6 hours to get ready for the second day of the Caffeine Crawl. It started at About The Coffee with PT’s Coffee from Topeka, Kansas. At this first stop we went over what exactly Direct Trade is. That’s essentially the core of what PT’s is about. They love making relationships and seeing how the farmer’s use the money received to improve the quality of their coffee. Scott Baldwin, from Slayer, and Ozzie were pulling shots of the Panama Elida Estate on the beautiful Slayer. Then outside, Sadie was brewing the Panama on the Chemex. Then Marty was inside discussing the kyoto brew, where we also got to taste the Panama brewed as a kyoto. Wow first stop and I was already getting jittery.
We all hopped on the bus and moved onto our next stop. We were on our way to the Crossroads District to Crossroads Coffee House. There Jalene had three different toddy brews for us to try. One made with PT’s Cold Front, one from Intelligentsia, and the last one was a toddy cut with apple cider and caramel. It was delicious. They also provided this tasty sample of Boulevard Cheddar Ale Soup served with a piece of pretzel bun.
Not like we needed to be filled anymore, we hopped on the bus and were on our way to the Filling Station. There we had a bourbon infused toddy latte, a vegan affogato made with coconut ice-cream, and then an Autumn Spice Juice. This juice was made with sweet potato, pineapple, apple, ginger, and pumpkin spice. It was amazing! In my opinion, the Filling Station is the best place in Kansas City to get freshly squeezed juice. The Filling Station was also the lunch stop so everyone stopped in and grabbed food for the rest of the day.
On the way to Benetti’s Coffee Experience in Raytown. I learned that there was a group on our bus. They are volunteers that help run the coffee shop at a church, the Rock KC. Dan is the leader of this awesome crew, and learned about the Caffeine Crawl in April. He an awesome way to end out the year with a get together with their group. He also wants their shop to grow and thought that the crawl would be great exposure to the coffee scene in town and learning ways to improve their own shop. It was great having Dan and his group on the bus, they were asking a lot of great questions all day.
We arrived at Benetti’s and it did not surprise me one bit that they did something the route of Sumatra and Indonesian coffee. The importer from Popa Damos Lintong was at Benetti’s and we learned about the coffee. Ben has been working with this importer for the past three years. We learned that the wet hull is the traditional way of processing coffee in Indonesia. Someone asked if they had to worry about animals eating the berries while they were being dried. He responded saying “the animals pick their own cherries.” Everyone laughed. I also learned that people are cutting down coffee bushes in Indonesia, which is affecting their coffee production such as the Roya is affecting the coffee production in Central America.
As usual we were running a little bit behind and were on our way to Broadway’s Roasting Facility. There we had a Kyoto brew of their Ethiopia Yirgecheffe. Jon Cates was talking a little bit about the farm Guatemala Antigua and how the farmers usually don’t know what their coffee tastes like. I hear this comment a lot and I am always surprised by this comment. Because we showed up late, we were only there for about 15 minutes.
Our last stop was a Annedore’s and Hi-Hat on Stateline. There we had really awesome chocolate and got a little goodie bag filled with peppermint bark, a chocolate turtle, and a few other goodies. We learned about what white chocolate really is. White chocolate is made with cocoa butter, milk, and sugar. Then we went next door to Hi-Hat where we had this really tasty Aztec Hot Chocolate. Made with the chocolate from Annedore’s, it had a really nice spicy quality to it, but it wasn’t over powering like they can be sometimes.
Day two was sadly over, but once again relationships were made. It is really awesome to see some many people connecting and making new friends. As a coffee professional it is really exciting to see people learn more and get excited about coffee. If have not been on a Caffeine Crawl, I highly recommend it.