Kansas City is having a moment. The “Paris of the Plains” was an early adapter of third wave coffee, but in recent years the scene has hit a critical mass. A new breed of quality focused cafes coupled with a thriving local roaster scene makes KC one of the most exciting coffee destinations in the Midwest. In our opinion, any Kansas City cafe crawl would do well to start at Quay Coffee.
Quay Coffee is one of those rare shops that is focused on quality and precision, but maintains a warm and welcoming ambience. In their words,
With a large service bar, multiple tables, and a large meeting room, there is a lot of space for study, reading, working, meeting, and socializing at Quay Coffee. Our goal is to be an extension of your living-room that happens to serve great coffee.
The interior is familiar, but flawlessly executed: exposed brick, Edison bulbs, jute bags, a deer head. In another space this litany of popular artifacts might feel cliche or contrived, but Quay has an effortless coolness that doesn’t feel alienating. A quick scan around cafe revealed that all sorts of people feel comfortable at Quay- and in large quantities. The space appears to formally have been a bank or jewelry store, because their merchandise is kept in a large walk-in vault.
Not so Oddly Correct
The coffee at Quay comes from local roaster Oddly Correct, with space for a rotating guest roaster. When I visited, Quay had just wrapped up a stint with Handsome Coffee Roasters and was pulling single origin shots of Oddly’s Finca Los Alpes, Colombia until their new guest roaster arrived. I found the shot had a light acidity, pleasant body, and a rich sweetness that lasted for days. I would expect all of these characteristics from a high-grown coffee from Huila, and I was pleased to see both Oddly and Quay were on point.
Julie ordered a cappuccino and was kind enough to let me steal a few sips. Oddly’s Relapse espresso blend paired well with milk, which was well textured and served at a pleasant temperature. Cappuccinos are a delicately balanced beverage that are notoriously easy to mess up. Thankfully, the crew at Quay knows what they’re doing.
A K.C. Masterpiece
In our experience, Quay Coffee is the complete package. Coffees are brewed with precision by a friendly and customer service oriented staff. The space is such you can bring a friend, a book, or even, God forbid, a laptop and enjoy your experience. Kansas Citians are fortunate enough to have an excellent selection of cafes, and Quay Coffee ranks among the best.
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