Though the nickname was originally given at a time when popular underground gambling and alcohol were equated with the fast and loose Parisian culture, today Kansas City is still affectionately referred to as “The Paris of the Plains,” and proud of it!
Every year, coffee pros from all over the country gather to compete in an annual series of coffee competitions. This year, the US Coffee Championships are being held in Kansas City! We’re planning to celebrate this often overlooked hub of food and drink culture by highlighting some of the best coffees “The Paris of the Plains” has to offer. Come by and try some of the best of the Midwest all month long!
Kansas City, MO | Founded in 2015 by Ian Davis and Conrad Amirof
Coffee/Origin: Guatemala Atitlan
Variety: Typica, Bourbon
Notes: Apple, caramel, vanilla
“Located on the slopes of the volcanoes around Atitlán Lake, the Atitlán region has the richest soil in Guatemala. Full of nutrients, generously bathed in sunlight, and at altitudes of more than 1,500 meters, this land is responsible for more than 90% of coffee production in the area. Here, local coffee producers have preserved traditional techniques in both cultivation methods and processing.”
MESSENGER COFFEE CO.
Kansas City, MO | Founded in 2013 by Matt Matsch
Coffee/Origin: Guatemala Finca Palestina
Variety: Caturra, Bourbon
Notes: Milk chocolate, brown butter, peach jam
“Coffee from Finca Palestina is produced using biodynamic practices working from nature, using only organic fertilizers and biological control methods for pest and disease management. Since Joel began using these methods we’ve noticed a marked improvement in cup quality. We attribute this to several things; improved soil nutrient and mineral composition, as well as a preservation of healthy, natural microbe populations throughout the farm that influences organic acid development during post-harvest fermentation.”
Kansas City, MO | Founded in 2008 by Tyler and Jaime Rovenstine
Coffee/Origin: El Salvador Finca La Florida
Notes: Blood orange, pomegranate, brown sugar
“This coffee is the result of a partnership between Arturo Meza Hill, Aida Batlle, and J. Hill & Company. Aida is one of the most decorated and respected coffee producers in the world, and she has teamed up with J. Hill & Co to offer assistance to farms in El Salvador, Mexico, and Brazil. This program, called “Aida Batlle Selection” aims to “incentivize and educate producers, millers, and exporters to upgrade operations and enter the high-end specialty market.” The ABS team works with everyone involved with coffee production at origin: pickers, producers, and managers at the farm level, and all personnel and management at the processing facilities.
Finca La Florida is located on the slopes of the Santa Ana Volcano. Arturo’s coffee bloodlines run deep, as Finca La Florida and other adjacent farms have been his family for three generations. The farms share a clinic and school that provide for their employees and the surrounding community.
Typical processing in El Salvador is a 12-hour dry fermentation before the coffee is washed and dried. This coffee is not typical, as the ABS program has implemented processing practices that are more common in Kenya. After pulping, the coffee undergoes a 48-hour dry fermentation. Every 12 hours during this fermentation, a small amount of water is added and the coffee is turned using a wooden paddle. After the initial fermentation, the coffee is washed in channels before returning to the fermentation tank to soak in fresh water for another 24 hours. After the second fermentation, the coffee is allowed to dry on raised drying beds.”
Kansas City, MO | Founded in 2008 by Gregory Kolsto
Coffee/Origin: Ethiopia Haro Wachu
Variety: Bourbon, Typica
Notes: Blackberry, caramel, honeysuckle
“Haro Wachu is a small town in the Guji region in the southern part of Ethiopia, and this lot from the central mill “Wolichu Wachu” represents the work of about 4,500 small holding farmers in the area. The average farmer has just over an acre of land and delivers coffee cherries to the mill where it is sorted by hand, then dried anywhere from 8 – 20 days depending on the weather. Kansas City seems to be a bit cuckoo for natural processed coffees, so we did some searching to find one we knew our town (and others) would really love. The coffee from Haro Wachu stood out as a classic example of the clean, sweet and syrupy qualities we love in great natural Ethiopian coffees.”
Kansas City, MO | Founded in 2012 by Bo Nelson and Bill Holtzhueter
Coffee/Origin: “Cold Start” (Sumatra)
Variety: Andung Sari, Tim-Tim, Bor-Bor, Sigararutang, P88
Notes: Rustic, apple cider, baking spices
“The Kerinci Valley is a doughnut hole surrounded by Seblat National Park. More than 300,000 people live in this fertile highland valley. Almost the entire population of the valley relies on agriculture for their family income. Our partners at Santiang Exports are working to provide conservation solutions. The producers they work with are trained in sustainable practices, provided quality seedlings, and commit to not grow their coffee within the National Park, verified by on-site visits.”
The Fellow team is headed to Kansas City this week to cheer on our friends competing at US Coffee Champs. Follow the action on our Instagram!