Like eighty-four percent of American adults, we drink coffee literally every day. But never with more enthusiasm and joy than on cold winter mornings, when the weather forecast threatens with snow and the sun hangs low until after the working day begins, only to sneak out of sight before it is over. So January seems to be a good time to take stock of the city’s best new coffee shops, which have kept opening up fast despite the changing dynamics of life after a pandemic.
We’ve visited all the remarkable new openings to pick out eight favorites that can warm you up on these cool winter days, from a tiki-themed store in Crossroads that will transport you to warmer skies to a seventies-chic store in Overland Park that ‘Makes you feel beaten up on scooby snacks.
Particularly missing from this list is Cafe Cà Phê, which has closed its temporary location while preparing to open its brick and mortar – we are excited to see what the city’s first Vietnamese coffee shop looks like in its new form.
523 Southwest Blvd., KCMO. Open 8.00-16.00 Tuesday-Friday and 9.00-15.00 Saturday Sunday.
Mexican-owned and Latin American-inspired Cafe Ollama brews their special blend of coffee slowly in a traditional Mexican clay pot known as a barro. Their specialty, café de olla, is a traditional coffee spiced with cinnamon, star anise and piloncillo with roots dating back to the Mexican Revolution. All of their drinks are named after owner Lesley Reyes and her husband’s abuelas, bringing a little piece of Mexican culture to their Southwest Boulevard location. -SG
Rock Island coffee
6515 Railroad St., Raytown. Open 8.00-14.00 Friday and 7.00-14.00 Saturday-Sunday.
Thatcher Rogers has been around coffee all his life. His father was a longtime senior Starbucks employee. “From the time I was born until I left home to study, my dad was just coffee,” says Rogers, who owns and operates Rock Island Coffee KC in the front corner of Raytown’s Crane Brewing. Rogers grew up in Atlanta and went to college in South Carolina, where a college internship led to him meeting KC-based coffee consultant Tracy Allen. Rogers was so impressed that he paid to fly himself to KCI twice a month to study in Allen’s laboratory. Rogers eventually moved here to work for Allen’s coffee consultant, but this weekend he now has his own project, Rock Island Coffee. Rogers frys and prepares everything himself for the small operation – a perfectly balanced Mexican chile cortado on a recent visit showed his abilities. – MC
519 E. 18th St., KCMO. Open 7.00-22.00 Monday-Saturday and 9.00-18.00 Sunday.
The Crossroads’ tiki-themed coffee bar and art collective, Hitides, is a great place to make you feel like it’s summer all year round. They make classic espresso drinks, drip and pour coffee over, cold brew, tea and hot chocolate, including a black lava sea salt hot chocolate. But their specialties include a creamy smooth dole-whip, prickly palm lemonade and a sea-rose latte topped with dried rosebuds. Hitides has also paired with Donutology and Meshuggah Bagels to offer a selection of tropical donut and bagel flavors like a Coconut Rum donut and Redtide Berry Bagel Toast. -MH
Photography by Natalea Hi
8350 W. 151st St., Overland Park. Open 8.00-18.00 Tuesday-Friday, 8.00-16.00 Saturday and 9.00-16.00 Sunday.
Overland Park’s Jinkies are decorated with seventies swag and references, from the Scooby Doo-named lemonades to the vintage plates that hang on the walls. The mother-daughter duo Lisa and Madi Dombrowski own the store and are proud of their unique seasonal flavors, such as their latte with cereal milk and popcorn flavors presented last summer and this past holiday season’s Funky Mitten’s latte that combined s’mores and raspberry flavors and was topped with toasted marshmallows, chocolate sauce and a red drizzle. -AS
3940 Main St., KCMO. Open 7.00-14.00 Tuesday-Saturday and 8.00-14.00 Sunday.
Transit Coffee took over a main street space that previously housed one of the city’s most prominent coffee bars, Oddly Correct, which is now located on Troost. Transit quietly opened in September last year and stayed under the radar due to tram construction. When you find your way in – the baristas on duty expect things to remain slow until the traffic cones fall – you will find the same warm room with brick walls plus a small food menu and some creative drinks, among others. our visit, a miso caramel latte that brought out the best in its salty, umami-dense ingredients. – MC
719 N. Sixth St., KCK. 7.00-13.00 Monday-Friday.
Black-owned Kinship Cafe is about more than coffee. It’s about community. Located in the Strawberry Hill District and owned by TJ Roberts, the cafe holds everything from meditation sessions to financial literacy and career training in their rooms in the evenings and weekends to give Kansas City community fair programs. The kinship specialty, Flash Brew, is made with beans from Black Drip Coffee, a Kansas City Black-owned company, and brewed over ice to reduce acidity and bitterness. Kinship also plans to offer coffee from various local burners to provide something new each quarter. -SG
Photography by Caleb Condit & Rebecca Norden
4101 Troost Ave., KCMO. Open 7.00-16.00 Monday-Thursday, 7-3 Friday and 9-15 Saturday Sunday.
When Armando Vasquez and Michael Hastings could not find the support they needed to get on with their business in JoCo as a gay couple of different races, they went to the Manheim Garden Neighborhood. In 2019, they opened Anchor Island on Troost and became owners of KC’s first LGBTQIA +, Latino- and American-owned tropical coffee shop. Some of their unique creations include Dirty Sunrise, an orange juice drink with espresso shot, cherry flavor and dark chocolate and a green espresso, an unroasted, earthy coffee drink. (Anchor Island is the only coffee shop in the United States that serves green espresso.) -MH
9127 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. Open 6.00-20.00 Monday-Friday and 7.00-19.00 Saturday-Sunday.
Austin-born Summer Moon has locations all over Texas, from Houston to El Paso, and all serve coffee made from beans roasted over oak in a pit that looks like something you would make breasts on. Their drinks use a proprietary moon milk-sweetened creamer – the recipe is so secretive that employees do not know what’s in it, even though Redditors has some interesting theories. Summer Moon recently expanded to a location near Overland Park in the center, and moon milk lattes are the main feature along with the stylish and comfortable space. — MC