Hi, all! Welcome to Monday. The weekend is never long enough is it? My weekend was jam-packed as usual. Instead of writing a seriously long post about it (this one will be long enough, trust me), I’m going to write two posts about the two main things I did. (Hopefully I actually follow through and write the second one…I have a bad track record with not ever writing the second one…keep me honest, people!)
The first up is telling you all about The Roasterie factory tour I went on with David and our two good friends, Joey and Nicole.
Joey and Nicole are moving to Austin at the end of the month (I can’t even begin to tell you how sad I am that they are leaving) and they had a Roasterie tour down on their Kansas City bucket list. Once I found out they were going, I immediately asked if David and I could tag along because we’ve been wanting to go on a tour for forever, too. They’re a super nice couple and agreed we could join them. See, inviting yourself does get you somewhere!
David and I both skipped our workouts on Saturday morning so we had enough time to get ready and eat before heading to The Roasterie for the 11:30 a.m. tour. Now what is The Roasterie exactly you ask. It’s a specialty-coffee roasting company based in downtown Kansas City. David and I are quickly becoming coffee snobs; we even recently purchased our own coffee bean grinder, so I can fill my K-cup with anything I want. Obviously, this tour seemed right up our alley. Plus, I must also mention that The Roasterie has the best brewed coffee in my opinion. I can even drink it black — believe me, that says a lot!
As a fan of anything branding-related, I adored how The Roasterie carried their signature airplane into their airport-themed factory. After we checked into our “terminal,” the four of us joined a group of 40 or so people for the factory tour.
We were “traveling” to Boliva. We got seat numbers and everything with our printable ticket that included our picture. A 10-minute informative movie kicked everything off. I learned a lot just in that small time frame and I could already see the passion this company had for finding the best coffee beans, roasting them, and getting them to the customer as soon as possible.
- What sets The Roasterie apart from other coffee manufacturers is that they air roast their beans instead of drum roasting them. Air roasting allows their quality to remain more consistent because the air shoots the beans up so it roasts all 360 degrees of it; whereas with drum roasting, some beans may not get roasted at all or some may get burnt if they stick to the side of the drum.
- Coffee beans are not actually beans. They are not part of the legume family. At all. Coffee beans are instead seeds that come from inside the pit of coffee cherries/berries. Only two green seeds (or in some cases one) come from one pit. One coffee tree produces one to one and half pounds of coffee per year.
- There is such a thing as a coffee belt of the world. It is located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Coffee grows here because of the humid environment and the high elevations.
After we watched the short film, we headed into the factory part.
The entire factory is in that picture above. Fairly small, isn’t it? All the beans are roasted in this facility and everything is packaged by hand.
Our tour guide, Anna, did a fantastic job of leading us around. She talked with so much enthusiasm and energy you’d think that she’d had had eight cups of coffee before she gave us the tour. She kept us laughing with her humor and thoroughly answered any questions we threw at her. One of them included: how do you make decaf coffee? (A question I’ve recently pondered myself.) There’s a process in which the caffeine can be extracted from the green coffee beans and then turned into a powder. This powder can then be sold to companies who produce energy drinks or pharmaceutical companies as natural caffeine.
Other interesting facts we heard, included:
- They can only buy their coffee beans once a year. So if they mispredict how much they need, they have to wait until the next year to reorder.
- To preserve the shelf life of their coffee, they flush the bags with nitrogen to remove the oxygen.
- Speaking of the packaging, the bag also has a negative pressure valve at the top (just looks like a little hole punched at the top) that lets CO2 out of the bag (that the coffee beans naturally produce), but does not let oxygen in (oxygen is a coffee killer).
The one little bitty downside to the tour was that we didn’t get to do a tasting of many different coffees, as you would with wine at a wine tasting. We saw a demonstration on cupping — the official way to taste and grade coffee — but we didn’t get to all participate. Instead, we had to visit the cafe afterward to pick out what we wanted to try.
I wasn’t adventurous with my coffee choice. I chose to have an iced caramel latte. It was good and strong.
My favorite brewed coffee from The Roasterie is French Caramel Cream, one of their flavored coffees. I also really enjoy Betty’s Recipe, another flavored coffee, that has hints of chocolate and cinnamon. Like I said earlier, I could drink either of these black, but some half & half with it makes it divine!
We left with some souvenirs, too. We bought an airtight container to store our coffee in and a Sporting KC mug for David. (Sporting KC is our soccer team for those of you not from Kansas.)
If you’re in the Kansas City area, I recommend you check this factory tour out! You have to reserve a spot, but we were able to do so a couple of days out.
We kept the fun rolling and the four of us went to BRGR in the Power and Light area for lunch. We found out they were still serving brunch, so I ordered the BB&G (bacon and biscuits and gravy).
I can’t seem to find fantastic biscuits and gravy in this town. I was disappointed with these. The biscuits had cheddar in them, which was good, but the biscuit itself was too dense. I could only eat one. They also didn’t come with enough gravy, so I had to ask for more to go in my to-go box. David loved his meal. He got a burger with a fried green tomato and a parmesan crisp on it and truffle fries on the side.
It was a lovely double date! Joey and Nicole are one of the couples we hang out with that expose us to new and exciting things in the KC area, so we are going to miss them greatly.
With all that we did, you’d think that’s all we did on Saturday. Well, it wasn’t. After that, I headed to the Backstreet Boys concert. But I’ll save that for the second post I was telling you about. :)
How was your weekend? Tell me something fun you did!