Since January, Broadway has held these Wednesday tasting adventures at its roasting facility and café at 4012 Washington.
"If you know a little bit about coffee, then you can know a lot more than the average person," says Norton, who suggested the tasting idea during her job interview last September. "And you can learn a great deal in a really short period of time."
On Friday, the tour starts at 5 p.m. and stops by Oddly Correct, Quay Coffee, Shang Tea and Foo's Fabulous Custard. On Saturday, it's from 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. with the Filling Station, Broadway Roasting Co. and Annedore's Chocolates among the stops. And on Sunday, Parisi, Latteland and the Roasterie headline the 11 a.m.-3:45 p.m. jaunt.
There are coffeehouses - quiet places to sip a latte, read a magazine, eat a pastry - in almost every neighborhood in the Kansas City metro. In the city's Historic Northeast, not so much. There are plenty of saloons in this area, which boasts the town's first upscale suburb, Pendleton Heights, but even the neighborhood's current gentrification hasn't lured in a bevy of new coffeehouses and art galleries...yet.
But 18 months ago, a clean-cut former Olathe resident, Dan Smith, moved his wife, Wendy, and four children to the area and renovated a two-story building at 3401 East Independence Avenue (it was formerly a second-hand store) to become Eleos Coffee House, where he roasts coffee, serves coffee and conducts Bible study groups every morning at 10 a.m.
"They're not in your face about the religion thing," says actor Ron Megee, who lives a few blocks away. "And the coffee is great."
The Pitch: What's it like to the best barista in the world?
Licata: To be honest, I don't think it has sunk in yet. The world title is one that I have sought for so long, and now that I have it I am a little in shock! To me it does mean a few things. My perspectives are valued by the industry, and I am now a representative for people worldwide who love specialty coffee. It is an honor and a privilege.
"We always want to add a little extra something into our experiences," Kolsto says. "And this allows us to share mediums."
"The idea was to strip away every toy," Helt says of the campfire experiment, conducted during last year's Caffeine Crawl. "We wanted to really focus on all of the variables that we manipulate to make coffee."
Fat City asked him how coffee perfectionists might begin their own quest at home.
"Every time I sit down with someone," he says as he slides a chair back from one of Flywheel's four tables, "it gets busy."
Before Freeman, 41, can sit, the door swings open, sending him behind the counter again. The customer is a regular.
"There are not too many places that I can go to get a coffee, where I can walk through the grounds that were used to make the coffee," the man jokes.
He's teasing Freeman, who has been using espresso grounds to fertilize the grass seed planted in a small, spotty patch next to the shop's parking lot.
Freeman pushes up the sleeves of his brown hoodie, revealing another pair of sleeves in ink - a reminder of his days playing bass in bands like the Shaker Hoods - and works his equipment. He retorts: "There's going to be lush green grass where I can put my picnic tables this summer."
The new location of Kansas City roaster/coffee shop/institution Oddly Correct is a bigger, prettier, better space. Multiple brewing methods for multiple coffees roasted each week and locally supplied milk.
The space at 3940 Main is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Fat City visited with owner Gregory Kolsto back in December to talk about his plans for Main Street and the decision to serve milk in his new shop.
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