Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Coffee and My Camera at the Kansas City Roasterie

I love my coffee and my camera, but not as much as I love my family. When I have the combination of all three it is a real treat.  We visited The Roasterie, in downtown Kansas City.  My children weren't exactly excited when I told them that we were taking a field trip to a coffee roaster, but once we arrived they were quickly intrigued.  The smell of brewing coffee welcomed us into the industrial cafe atmosphere.     

The girls perked up when they discovered the silly hats and goofy props available for mugshots and selfies.  Their imaginations took them to far away places while sipping pretend coffee.  Fun was definitely in the lesson plans for the day, and this dress up session was just the warm up for the tour.

Welcomed by our tour guide we were encouraged to take a seat for a mini documentary on the history of The Roasterie and the care the company takes to ensure the best coffee gets to their customers.  After the movie our girls weren't thrilled with the cloth hairnet, everyone was required to wear as we entered the rotating room, but they thought it was funny to see me in one.  We enjoyed the tour and we learned many interesting facts about the growing, harvesting, and roasting of coffee beans.  

One interesting fact that surprised me was that a coffee tree only produces one and a half pounds of coffee beans per year.  This made me appreciate my daily cup of joe a lot more.

The air roasting process is the not the most common way to roast beans, but can be argued that it is the best way to evenly roast each bean.  The Roasterie only roasts the quantity of beans to fill the daily orders to ensure the freshest coffee is delivered to their customers.

They roasts larger batches in the machine on the left, to meet the popular demand of daily orders and special blends or smaller orders in the machine on the right.  The smell of the roasting beans was amazing, like warm caramel!

The Roasterie has a huge selection of coffee beans from all over the world.

Different geographical locations and the ecological qualities of the soil and air contribute to the flavor of the coffee. Mixing different beans from different areas of the world enables roasters to create new flavors.

Each burlap bag holds approximately one hundred fifty pounds of coffee beans.  The girls and I were amazed to think that took one hundred trees to fill on of these sacks.

There was so much information shared with our family during the tour.  They covered subjects like agriculture,  social studies, economics, chemistry, and math all wrapped up in the art of coffee.  I felt like we could return multiple times to learn something new each time.

Adi loved watching "the workers" as they diligently monitoring the beans from burlap bag to sealed bags ready to be shipped to the customer.  Her favorite part was watching the bags be deoxygenated and filled with nitrogen to keep the beans fresh longer.


The tour ended with a brewing lesson and demonstration of a french press brew and a pour over.  I was amazed at the difference in the taste of the types of brews.  I preferred the french press to the pour over because it tasted less bitter.  The girls didn't get to experience the awesome coffee at the end but we did spring for a hot chocolate at the cafe.

The attention to detail from the technical measures to ensure a perfect bean roasting temperature and time to the chocolate syrup doodles on a hot cocoa in the cafe, made us feel special and want to come back again.

My kiddos reported that it happened to be the best hot chocolate they had ever had!  The Roasterie has become one our Kansas City favorite places.

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