I want you to think of the place where you had your first coffee experience. Whether it was at a local shop or a chain. Whether it was a blended drink, mocha with extra whip cream, latte, or even a cup of black coffee. Whatever you had to drink or where ever you were at, you will always remember how you felt, or who you were with.
Thats what Black Dog is for me. I have had a few encounters with Starbucks in my past, but I honestly never really enjoyed it. I thought it was because I did not like coffee. Then my really good friend took me to Black Dog for the first time in 2006. I remember walking in and getting a little bit overwhelmed by the menus and had no idea what to order. Then the barista eased me into it. Asking me what I like, what I have had, and we ended up deciding on the blended haystack. It was a blended drink with caramel, vanilla, coconut, espresso, milk, and do not forget the whip cream and caramel drizzle. We all started somewhere. I still enjoy that nice blended drink every once in a while. It is because of this experience Black Dog will always have a place in my heart. It is why I have been coming here on and off for the past seven years. If you ever went to Shawnee Mission West High School, this was definitely the place to hang out and study.
About 6 months ago they have had new ownership. Ron and Carole Mutsch are the new owners of Black Dog. With their new ownership came some changes. One of the first changes the Mutsch did was changing the coffee. They used to carry PT’s coffee out of Topeka, Kansas. They are now carrying Benetti’s Coffee out of Raytown, Missouri. With that change came another level of coffee quality. Ben and Nick of Benetti’s have made their way to Black Dog on a regular basis getting them new grinders, new brewers and training their staff on espresso, milk steaming, and pour overs. Jordan has been working at Black Dog for just about 4 and a half years and is really excited for the change.
What better to compliment the new coffee but a remodel of the shop. Their new bar at now allows the customers to see their espresso machine, which is a beautiful Nuova Simonelli, as well as low counters to allow the baristas to do pour overs easier, which is a new menu item. They use to have a menu right in the center with about 20 signature drinks with crazy names such as the Dirty Blonde, Haystack, Mocha Surprise, Vanilla Sky, Bear Hug, and many many others. That list has now shrunk to about 6, but I heard one of the baristas tell a customer that they can still make the drinks that they love but now it’s just less overwhelming for the new people that come in and want to keep a focus on the taste of beautiful coffee they serve. It was also great watching the baristas teaching each other pour over technique and seeing them taking notes and wanting to perfect it. This is a sign that the baristas are very excited about the change, which hopefully their regulars will take the change with the same attitude.
Carole also told me that her sons are baking some awesome artisan breads for the shop. I was not able to try any of the breads this time, but next time I definitely will.
When I went in I received a shot of espresso and a Sumatra pour over. They told me I could get my shot right away and then it would be a while to get the pour over. Allison pulled my shot and it had such beautiful crema and was a tasty shot. Then while I was watching Jordan make my pour over I got to meet Carole, and she is such a sweet woman who is willing to stop and talk and listen to anybody that wanted to talk. When she wasn’t talking to customers, she was running around the shop making sure everything was great and clean. This is such a great change and can not wait to see where Black Dog goes from here.
They have already made an imprint in the Kansas City Coffee Community. They were just on the Caffeine Crawl that took place on November 1-3, and just made it to the Sprudge’s list of 17 shops you have to visit while you are in Kansas City.
They are currently working on their website, but they are now active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Check them out, they are definitely worth a stop. Go and check the coffee shop that will always have a special place in my heart.
Address: 12815 W 87th Street Pkwy, Lenexa, KS 66215
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 6:00a – 9:00p; Friday: 6:00a – 10:00p; Saturday – Sunday: 7:00a – 10:00p