Where to go for joe in Kansas City

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The Kansas City area has grown into quite the coffee shop scene and provides extensive options of places to go. From quaint and cozy coffee shops to modern, European-style cafes, there are plenty of establishments from which to choose. Whether you need a long study session or simply to get off campus, the Kansas City area has plenty of spots.

Messenger Coffee and Ibis Bakery

Messenger Coffee Company is three floors of bread, coffee and study space. Messenger Coffee and Ibis Bakery opened in October 2017, and Kansas City responded very positively, and for good reason. Messenger offers genuinely good coffee and Ibis Bakery offers exceptional bread, pastries, breakfast and lunch. What more could one ask for?

Well, more hours. The downside to this charming establishment is that they are only open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. For those of us who have classes to attend on the weekdays, that only leaves the weekend, and Messenger is fearfully busy on the weekends. On a Saturday morning it seems as though half of Kansas City is packed inside. Messenger deals with the long lines very efficiently.

My favorite thing is their house coffee. It is a very decent cup, flavorful and strong without being overwhelming without adding cream and sugar. Ibis Bakery’s pastry and bread selection is easily the best part of the establishment. When I last visited, I bought a baguette, ate it all by myself and would happily do so again. Though Messenger can be intimidatingly busy, there is a reason for it.

PT’s Coffee

PT’s Coffee is a charming little place in the Crossroads open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday. If you want a solid cup of coffee, exceptional tea and a peaceful place to study, it would be in your best interest to check it out.

The atmosphere is decidedly mellow. It is focused, calm and usually not busy. There are plenty of chairs and tables large enough to spread out, and it is a place where you can stay as long as needed.

Their standard cup of coffee is not exceptional but pretty good. For the tea drinkers, PT’s offers a quality selection. Their “Spirit” tea is a fruity lemon grass tea with a subtlety delicious flavor.

Their menu has plenty of caffeinated and non-caffeinated options as well as bakery items, breakfast items, wraps, sandwiches and salads.

There are plenty of food options to fuel your long study sessions. With a mellow atmosphere and charming ambiance, PT’s Coffee is an excellent option.

Mud Pie Vegan Bakery and Coffeehouse

Located in a cheery yellow house, Mud Pie is an excellent place to either study or talk with friends. The atmosphere is very warm and cheerful. The coffee and non-coffee options are excellent, and their pastry selection is lovely. To those deterred by the word “vegan,” don’t be. All of their pastries are delicious and if you aren’t vegan you can just pretend you are somehow being healthy while eating a pumpkin donut. That’s what I did, and I highly recommend. Located in a two-story house, Mud Pie has a very pleasant and comfortable atmosphere and there are plenty of cozy spots.

Monarch Coffee

Monarch Coffee is located in the historic Valentine neighborhood of Kansas City and is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. everyday. If nothing else, Monarch will certainly make a lasting visual impression. The modern black and white tiles and lighting give this coffee shop a memorable effect. However, the small tables and somewhat distracting atmosphere seem to inhibit studying and promote talking.

The menu is generally good if a little on the pricey side. Monarch does have more non-traditional items. The Tumeric Latte with oat milk, turmeric, ginger, honey and vanilla sounds more exciting than it is. However, their chai latte with oat milk is spicy, flavorful and one of the better chai lattes that I’ve had.

Oddly Correct

Oddly Correct is a quaint coffee shop located on Main Street with a simple but effective menu. The coffee is well-brewed, flavorful, dark and not too bitter. If you are someone who likes coffee on the sweeter side, perhaps don’t opt for their coffee options. Oddly Correct doesn’t offer any sugar or flavor to add, as they believe their coffee flavors should speak for themselves.

If daunted by their coffee, one can order tea or the non-caffeinated options on the menu because they are all excellent. Oddly Correct’s atmosphere is relaxed and could potentially be a good study spot. However, the tables are small, and seating is limited.

Photos by Hannah Koehler.

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