There’s coffee, and then there’s coffee. If you think Taster’s Choice is just fine, you have a ton of options in Kansas City. But for truly unique coffee and tea, your best bet is Kaldi’s Coffee.
“We’re a very lucky company,” says Chris Berola of Kaldi’s. “We’re small, especially in regards to huge coffee companies. We have 14 locations in three states. With that, we’re small enough that we can be flexible with our offerings, but the size does let us go directly to countries to buy coffee from farmers. It’s direct trade.”
We often hear about fair trade, but direct trade takes it a step further.
“Fair trade is, in effect, a system that was set up in 1978 and never changed,” says Chris. “The farmer gets $1.74 per pound for coffee. We seek out the best coffees we can find in Central America, South American, Africa, and the Pacific Rim. Then, we negotiate with farmers to let us buy whole lots. They get $3 to $4 per pound, and we’re able to solely be the people who sell the coffee from this farmer and give them feedback on the coffee.”
It’s a very personal route from farmer to consumer. But don’t think that Kaldi’s is just for coffee snobs.
“We focus on being approachable,” says Chris. “A lot of coffee shops will give you flak for wanting a very sweet latte. But to us? If it’s something you like and it makes your day, then drink it. Don’t worry about it.”
No matter your taste, the crew at Kaldi’s works to provide the very best. Their baked goods are made from scratch at their location at 79th and State Line. And they make their vanilla syrup and seasonal syrups, too.
And then there’s the tea.
“About two months ago, we partnered with Firepot out of Tennessee,” says Chris. “In the past, we were a buyer in the tea market. Now, we’re actually sourcing tea like we do our coffee.”
A traditional tea bag doesn’t provide room for tea leaves to expand. But the Firepot loose-leaf set up doesn’t have those constraints.
“It’s almost like a chemistry set,” says Chris. “It gives you a deeper, richer flavor.”
With the holidays right around the corner, Kaldi’s Coffee is offering delicious seasonal options. Their baked maple pumpkin latte, apple cinnamon bread, or gingerbread walnut scone will get you in the spirit.
“We’re just the friendly neighborhood coffee shop,” says Chris. “Everyone needs a little pick-me-up, whether it’s caffeine or a little sweet. We just want to make it comfortable for everyone.”
Visit Kaldi’s Coffee at The Village at Briarcliff or online.Read More News