You had me at no cellphones and no dogs, Z's Divine Espresso & Coffee Roasters (10 E. 9th St.). The faint keyboard taps of a half-dozen people hunched over laptops also let me know that this is a Lawrence coffee house for the working set.
Z's uses organic and fair trade coffees and is a small batch roaster. The iced coffee there is one of my favorites -- an iced Americano with two shots of espresso. But that doesn't mean it's watered down. This iced coffee is smooth and not bitter, and it's a great representation of the other espresso drinks. The baristas can also make any of the lattes as an iced drink.
There's a small selection of baked goods from the Great Harvest Bread Company. I'm a fan of the molasses oatmeal muffin; it's only lightly sweetened and it's as filling as a bowl of oatmeal.
Just off of Massachusetts Street, Z's Divine is never quite empty and never quite slammed. And the patio is ripe for people watching (though it might be difficult to top the man who walked past me yesterday, wearing a sleeveless black motorcycle vest with an
image of Joe Camel in a leather jacket smoking a cigarette, while an identical cigarette hung from the man's mouth).
Z's has two locations -- the downtown shop and Z's East (1800 E. 23rd
Street), which is perfectly situated for grabbing a coffee to keep
you company on the drive back to Kansas City. The East location opens
at 6 a.m. Monday to Friday and 7 a.m. on the weekends.
Z's celebrates its 10th anniversary this month, selling all of its coffee beans for $7.99 per pound.