Where to find the best coffee in Kansas City area, according to Food & Wine magazine

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Dr. Steven Nissen talks about the safety of coffee, caffeinated soft drinks and energy drinks. Video produced by Cleveland Clinic.
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Dr. Steven Nissen talks about the safety of coffee, caffeinated soft drinks and energy drinks. Video produced by Cleveland Clinic.

Food & Wine magazine said it has spent the last year — and drank countless cups of coffee — for its second annual survey of “The Best Coffee in Every State 2019.”

It selected one coffee company per state, then offered “tasting notes” for an overview of the local coffee scene, but the inclusions “should not be considered automatic recommendations, and exclusions of certain cities or roasters shouldn’t necessarily be taken as an automatic vote against.”

Missouri: Monarch Coffee, 3550 Broadway

Food and Wine talks about the days when Danny O’Neill started roasting coffee in his Brookside basement for what became the very successful Roasterie Air-Roasted Coffee, “retaining the loyalties of a good portion of the regional population.

“Kansas City likes coffee. It knows plenty about coffee, and so much solid work has been done here, over the years. So, then — why should a youngster who opened up shop in 2017 with his artist wife and partner so quickly blow past the rest to number one?”

It said Monarch Coffee co-owner Tyler Rovenstine had already built a following working at other cafes.

For Rovenstine and his wife, Jaime, also co-owner, “coffee is about so much more than good roasting and exacting preparation, things that from the start appeared to be second nature — it’s about hospitality, it’s about community, and in challenging times, it’s about how coffee can step up and be a force for positive change.”

“We are really honored and feel affirmed that we are being recognized for the intentionality that we’ve had in developing our company to be focused on service and inclusive of the whole community,” Jaime Rovenstine said.

Tasting notes: Blip Coffee Roasters, Cuento Coffee, Messenger Coffee Co., and Sister Anne’s Records and Coffee for different experiences.

Kansas: PT’s Coffee, Topeka

Food & Wine magazine said: “Anybody who developed a passion for coffee back in the dark ages — the 1990s, or prior to — values the contributions made by pioneers from that era, notably Jeff Taylor and Fred Polzin, who founded one of the country’s most influential coffee roasters, right here in Kansas, back in 1993. Among the first group of roasters going the extra mile to trade directly with farmers, long before sustainability became a marketing buzzword.”

Taylor and his wife, Maritza, relocated to San Diego after PT’s acquired Bird Rock Coffee Roasters two years ago.

PT’s also made Food & Wine’s inaugural list in 2018. It has locations in the Crossroads, Lawrence and Topeka. A new Kansas City location is planned for the Power & Light area, 1310 Baltimore Ave., this spring.

Tasting notes: Cafe Equinox in Shawnee, and Splitlog Coffee Co. in Kansas City, Kan.

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Joyce Smith has covered restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the brand Cityscape. She appreciates news tips.