January 31, 2014, was a day that the Kansas City coffee community just got a little bit bigger. Just off of 85th St and Wornall, Second Best Coffee opened their doors and started making some delicious coffee from PT’s Coffee out of Topeka, and Dogwood Coffee out of Minneapolis. From the very beginning they have been welcomed with open arms and we have already been seeing a ton of great feedback from this shop that has been open for just about a week.
Today was a perfect day to go in. As soon as I walked in I was welcomed by Phil(or some of you know him as @kcphilthy on Instagram); plus I already saw people that knew and conversed with them for almost 30 minutes before I even ordered my drinks. There was a steady line of people walking through the doors. I talked to some people who have already been here about 8 times. Which is, to me, a sign that they will definitely be here for a while.
As soon as you walk in, you are not only greeted by the lovely Phil and owner, Nathan Anderson, but also by the beautiful wood covered this place. The wood is everywhere, but it is done in such a way that is not overbearing. Utilitarian Workshop did a fantastic job at bringing this place together. One of things I was really excited to see was the custom Slayer Espresso machine. It is absolutely beautiful. In the coffee community another word to describe that beauty would be sexy. Weird. Yes, but that is definitely the best way to describe us, the coffee community. If you are a bicyclist then you will love this little addition to the shop. It is a bike rack. That’s right if you rode your bike to Second Best, then you can bring it inside and hang it on their wall while you enjoy a cup of coffee.
I asked Nathan Anderson, “Why Waldo?” The slogan under their logo explains it best. “Midwestern Modesty.” Nathan was telling me that one reason is that he lives in Waldo so it makes to most sense. He also said that there are already plenty of great shops in Midtown such as Oddly Correct, Broadway Cafe and Roastery, Mud Pie, Filling Station, Parisi, and so many others. There is no reason to step on toes and compete with great shops that already have such a big customer base. I respect this, and it will be great to have another great shop south in Waldo.
They are serving two different roasters currently. PT’s Coffee out of Topeka and Dogwood Coffee out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can get a lot of the classics, such as a shot of espresso, macchiato, gibralter, cappuccino, and latte. They have a few flavored drinks such as the mocha which is made with Askinosie Chocolate. Amazing chocolate made in Springfield, Missouri. They also have a few house made syrups such as vanilla and a honey lavender. All of their drinks are made with whole milk, and are going to be served in mugs. If you want a drink to go they only serve it in 12 oz cups. If you are not into coffee, that’s ok. They are also serving local tea supplier, Hugo Tea. If you need food they have a different variety of pastries, today they had cinnamon rolls. They also have Jiffy Mix Muffins, which I’ve heard are delicious, as well as Chelsea’s Star Bars.
One thing that they sell that sets them apart from most coffee shops here in Kansas City is their breakfast burritos that they make ahead of time and then grill to order on their panini press. They get the meats for the burritos from the local butcher shop, Local Pig. They have a vegetarian option as well as a meat option. This morning when I had arrived they only had the lamb sausage left. This burrito was delicious. A nice crunchy outside from the press, with a balance of spice from the sausage, but also between the meat and vegetables. The chorizo sausage breakfast burrito is absolutely a must from what I hear from almost everybody.
Some might call me crazy, but I ordered a lot of coffee, but I love coffee. Plus I had friends there to help me finish the coffee I could not. There is no reason I have to be over caffeinated before noon. That’s what the Caffeine Crawl is for. I started by coffee experience with a shot of Dogwood’s Bolivia. It was delicious. It was sweet, and very balanced. Nathan told me that this coffee is another reason they love the Slayer. It is because when they normally pulled this shot it was also too sweet as a shot, but then with a little tweaking this shot turned into something else.
My next course was the gibralter made with PT’s Flying Monkey Espresso Blend. In case you did not know a gibralter is essentially a 4 oz drink that is equal parts espresso and milk. This coffee stood out well in the milk. It was a little nutty, a nice orange rind acidity. It was topped with gorgeous latte art from Phil.
My last course was a Clever pour over of PT’s Ethiopian Dern Kochoha. You do not see many shops using the clever, and when I asked Nathan why? He mentioned that it is not intimidating to the guests. They are not afraid to ask questions about the coffee or the brew method. Which brings up a good point. You do not have to worry about talking to your barista and them possibly getting distracted and messing up the coffee. Plus the Clever Dripper is a very easy way for guests to enjoy that same cup of coffee at home. This coffee was delicious. It brought me to a tropical island. I tasted roasted pistachios, a pineapple acidity, almost papaya or mango fruit notes and a medium body. If I knew I was not going to have more coffee that today then I would have finished the entire cup.
My first trip to Second Best Coffee was a complete success, and I will definitely be trying to make my way down on a more regular basis. Congratulations on your first week and cheers to many more. Can not wait to see where things go in the months and years to come.
Address: 328 W. 85th Street, Kansas City, MO 64114
Hours: Monday – Friday: 6:30a.m. – 1:00p.m.; Saturday 7:30a.m. – 2:00p.m.