The coffee scene in Kansas City is only continuing to expand, to adapt and grow. While coffee as a forte of Kansas City might be unknown to those new to the area, local coffee fanatics know– and truly appreciate– what Kansas City has to offer. This article will help you to discore the best coffee in Kansas City.
As a coffee lover myself, anytime I’ve taken a trip away from Kansas City, I’ve quickly realized how unique the coffee shops are in KC. The best part is with so many shops in Kansas City; you can find your favorite (or favorites!)
Top Five Coffee Shops in Kansas City
Ranking the top coffee shops in Kansas City is no small task, especially since there are many ways to list them. You can make your assessments strictly off the coffee, based on your personal preference, but then there are also signature menu items. Does the atmosphere play a part in choosing a coffee shop? Also, check out our Kansas City Brunch Specials.
For a lot of people, it depends what you’re doing with your time there: working quietly, collaborating, catching up with a friend, or enjoying a leisurely treat. Fortunately, there are plenty of options, no matter your tastes.
Oddly Correct might be the coffee shop experience you’ve always wanted to discover for yourself. It’s a small, almost hole-in-the-wall shop, with great coffee that leaves you feeling like you found a treasure in a cup. Of course, the baristas know how to do coffee right.
One of their specialties is their pour-overs, which is the perfect drink to order to make the most of their small-production, made-especially-for-you charm.
The only drawback: remember to check their hours before searching them out. They close a little early compared to other coffee shops.
Messenger Coffee has a beautiful, open feel to its shop, and they need a massive space with the crowd they draw in. The place has three stories, the third story including an outdoor, rooftop area with a fireplace for colder seasons and a great view all year long.
You can’t go wrong with any drinks on the menu, but you could start with the cold brew. It’s worth mentioning that, while we are evaluating coffee shops for their coffee, their baked goods (Ibis Bakery) are also highly recommended. Almost everyone in line orders a beverage plus something from the bakery.
The only drawback: Parking can take some effort to find due to the location and popularity. Similarly, once inside, don’t be surprised to wait in a line.
Monarch Coffee is another shop with a beautiful, inspiring design. The natural lighting and open, white color mixed with the close tables give the place a perfect combination of spacious and intimate. Regarding their coffee too, they excel at both ends of the spectrum.
You might have trouble choosing between their seasonal, experimental drinks and the classics— particularly their espresso– because they know how to do both so well.
The only drawback: Their prices are a little higher than average, but you can decide for yourself if it’s worth it.
The River Market location of Quay Coffee, pronounced “key,” is a cozy shop with an industrial feel. There is a second, smaller location by the Nelson-Atkins Museum, but I would recommend visiting the other shop first. Quay has a wonderfully smooth espresso, which means any espresso-based beverage would be the right choice.
The only drawback: Thou Mayest Coffee Roasters recently acquired quay. Which isn’t necessarily a negative, but new owner can make regular customers nervous for possible changes.
Also in the family of Thou Mayest Coffee Roasters is Thee Outpost, which recently opened in the Collection Ex space. Thou Mayest as a coffee shop was a Kansas City staple before they closed to redirect their energy toward Thee Outpost serving Thou Mayest coffee.
All previous customers expect nothing but the same level of high-quality, delicious coffee and espresso that they used to serve, this time in an outside-the-box, creative/collaborative workspace.
The only drawback: They have only been open since July 2019. Thee Outpost’s place on the list of top coffee shops might be premature, but people know Thou Mayest Coffee Roasters well.
Crow’s Coffee and PT’s Coffee are two more KC favorites that could easily make a list for many coffee enthusiasts. Widening the circle around Kansas City; Pilgrim Coffee Company in Overland Park, KS, is excellent. Post Coffee Co. in Lee’s Summit, MO also deserves an honorable mention.
What should I order?
If you’re new to the universe of coffee, or perhaps more accurately, having a multitude of coffee beverages to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start.
In general, there are two categories of drinks to order from: coffee and espresso. Espresso drinks tend to have the most name recognition. Espresso drinks include lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, macchiatos, and americanos. On the other hand, the terminology surrounding coffee drinks can be more elusive.
What is a cold brew?
Cold brews shine the most during the summer months as a specialty coffee that is preferred cold. It’s distinctly different from iced coffee; however, which was normal (hot-brewed) coffee that was later cooled down. Cold brews are made by mixing coffee grounds and water at room temperature, letting it sit for at least 12 hours, and then filtering it. The result will generally be smoother than iced coffee, with less of an acidic or bitter flavor.
What is pour-over?
A pour-over is precisely like it sounds– it’s a cup of coffee made by pouring water over the coffee grounds. The key here is that it’s a single cup of coffee made individually, not a large quantity made by a drip coffee machine. A pour-over requires a considerable amount of skill, attention to detail, and consistency from the barista brewing it. It produces a cup of coffee with a high quality of taste that a machine can’t compete.
Does anyone order drip coffee anymore?
When visiting a new coffee shop, you might be tempted to get the most exciting-sounding drink on the menu, likely an espresso beverage, but in fact a lot of people make a practice of trying the regular, drip coffee before anything else. Without the extra flavors of specialty drinks, you can determine for yourself whether they get the basics right.