With gourmet coffee shops bubbling up all over town, it can be hard for a newcomer to create a distinct niche among legions of latte peddlers.
At first, Zaid Consuegra of Pirate’s Bone Coffee in Brookside tried to forge an image with a frying pan, roasting beans in a cast-iron skillet.
The skillet technique was “pirated” from another roaster, giving rise to the name of the business.
When Consuegra was unable to keep pace with orders, he outsourced most of his roasting to Maps Coffee Roasters of Lenexa, but the skillet is back by popular demand. The long-range plan is to replace the skillet with an in-house roaster through a current Indiegogo campaign.
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Meantime, Consuegra, a native of Mexico City, has won a following for his dark, Latin brews. The best-selling Cubano is made by steaming a sugar cube in the cup with the thick, strong espresso.
“Those are the drinks I grew up with, and I want to introduce those flavors to Kansas City,” Consuegra says.