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Kaldi's Coffee Cafe Hours for Christmas and New Years 2014

Posted on December 16, 2014 by Chris Reimer

 

Our cafes will have adjusted hours for Christmas and New Years. Here's a rundown:

 

St. Louis 

Demun
Xmas Eve: 6:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Xmas Day: closed
New Year's Eve: 6:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
New Year's Day: closed

Crescent
Xmas Eve: 6:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Xmas Day: closed
New Year's Eve: 6:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
New Year's Day: closed

Kayak's
Xmas Eve: 6:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Xmas Day: closed
New Year's Eve: 6:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
New Year's Day: closed

Kirkwood
Xmas Eve: 6:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Xmas Day: closed
New Year's Eve: 6:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
New Year's Day: closed

Chesterfield
Xmas Eve: 6:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Xmas Day: closed
New Year's Eve: 6:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
New Year's Day: closed

Farrell
Xmas Eve: 6:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Xmas Day: closed
New Year's Eve: 6:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
New Year's Day: closed

 

Columbia
Xmas Eve: 6:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Xmas Day: closed
New Year's Eve: 6:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
New Year's Day: closed

 

Kansas City

Country Club Plaza - Jefferson St
Xmas Eve: 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Xmas Day: closed
New Year's Eve: 6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
New Year's Day: 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Country Club Plaza - 47th St
Xmas Eve: 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Xmas Day: closed
New Year's Eve: 6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
New Year's Day: 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

State Line
Xmas Eve: 6:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Xmas Day: closed
New Year's Eve: 6:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
New Year's Day: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Briarcliff
Xmas Eve: 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Xmas Day: closed
New Year's Eve: 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
New Year's Day: 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Main St.
Xmas Eve: 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Xmas Day: closed
New Year's Eve: 6:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
New Year's Day: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Zona Rosa 
Xmas Eve: 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Xmas Day: closed
New Year's Eve: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
New Year's Day: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

 

Have a wonderful Holiday, everyone!

Posted in Christmas, Christmas 2014, Holiday hours, New Years, New Years Day, New Years Eve, special hours

How to Brew Iced Coffee with the Clever Dripper

Posted on November 26, 2014 by Chris Reimer

 

The Clever Dripper is one of the easiest pour over methods to learn and use everyday. Combining the best features of French press and pour over brewing, the Clever Coffee Dripper produces a sediment-free cup, allows the barista to control steeping time, and prevents heat loss.

Nick Stewart, GM at our Farrell cafe, loves making iced coffee with the Clever, and agreed to show us how it's done. Watch the video above, and follow along with the instructions below.

 

Supplies you'll need (click item to purchase from our online store):

28g coffee, medium grind

Coffee grinder

Clever dripper

Melitta #4 coffee filter

Gooseneck pouring kettle

Filtered water at optimal brewing temp of 195 - 205° F

Decanter large enough to brew into

Scale

Timer

 

Instructions:

1. Weigh out 28 grams of Kaldi's Coffee (substitute only in a pinch!). Don't be intimidated by the use of a scale - it actually helps you be more precise when making pour overs. No guesswork!

2. Fold the Melitta #4 filter along its bottom and side seams and place the filter in the Clever. 

3. Rinse the filter with hot water. This allows us to eliminate paper taste when brewing our coffee. (If you don't believe us, take a drink of the water that first passes through the filter.)

4. Discard hot water from the Clever.

5. Put at least 16 ounces of filtered water, heated to the optimal brewing temperature of 195 - 205° F, in your pouring kettle. You can get water to this temperature by bringing it to a boil, and then letting it sit for 30 seconds to a minute.

6. Grind your coffee using a medium grind setting. It's best to grind recently roasted whole bean coffee, and to do this right before you brew, as you'll be using the freshest coffee possible.

7. Note that you do not have to place the Clever on top of a decanter before or during brewing. Coffee will not release from the Clever until you place it on top of a decanter, and you do that after brewing.

8. Pour the coffee grounds into the Clever's filter, and tap the Clever, or gently shake back and forth to flatten out the grounds. This helps to remove air pockets and create a flat surface to work with.

9. Place the Clever on the scale, and tare it out (zero out the scale). This will allow you to measure how much water you use during the brewing process.

10. If you're ready to begin, start your timer and begin pouring water over the coffee grounds. Wet all coffee grounds evenly with 50g of water, and then stop pouring.

11. Watch the coffee bloom (degas - look for bubbles) and after about 15 seconds, give it a stir with a spoon. This is a great chance to take a sniff - it will smell wonderful.

12. After 30 seconds, start pouring your brewing water, slowly and continuously, in small circles until you reach 150 grams on your scale (so you're adding another 100g of water at this stage).

13. Set aside the Clever, and use your scale to measure out 100g of ice. (Don't forget to put an empty cup on the scale and tare it out before measuring out your ice).

14. Extraction should be complete after 2:30. If it took longer than 2:30, your grind was likely too fine. If extraction took much less time than this, your grind was too coarse. Adjust your settings and try again. (Don't be afraid to keep trying new and different variables).

15. At 2:30, place the Clever on top of the cup containing the ice. The coffee should release down into the cup.

16. After about 30 seconds, remove the Clever from the top of the cup, and top off the cup with additional ice.

17. Drink and enjoy!

18. Discard or compost your used coffee grounds.

 

Want to try this at home? Order a Clever Dripper and filters from us and start hand brewing your coffee! 

Posted in Clever, Clever Coffee Dripper, Clever Dripper, Clever tutorial, hand brew, handbrew, How to make a Clever, How to make an Iced Clever, How to make an Iced Coffee, iced Clever, iced coffee, Nick Stewart, pour over, pourover

Kaldi's Coffee Cafe Hours for Thanksgiving 2014

Posted on November 24, 2014 by Chris Reimer

 

Our cafes will have adjusted hours for Thanksgiving week. Here's a rundown:

 

St. Louis 

Demun
Wednesday: 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: 7:00 a.m. - Noon
Friday: 6:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.

Crescent
Wednesday: 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: closed
Friday: 6:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Kayak's
Wednesday: 6:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: closed
Friday: 6:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Kirkwood
Wednesday: 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Friday: 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Chesterfield
Wednesday: 6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: closed
Friday: 6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Farrell
Wednesday: 6:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: closed
Friday: closed 

 

Columbia
Wednesday: 6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: closed
Friday: 6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

 

Kansas City

Country Club Plaza - Jefferson St
Wednesday: 6:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: 8:00 a.m. - Noon, and 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Friday: 7:00 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Country Club Plaza - 47th St
Wednesday: 6:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: 8:00 a.m. - Noon, and 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Friday: 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.

State Line
Wednesday: 6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: 7:00 a.m. - Noon
Friday: 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Briarcliff
Wednesday: 6:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: 7:00 a.m. - Noon
Friday: 6:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Main St.
Wednesday: 6:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: closed
Friday: 6:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Zona Rosa (extended hours each day)
Wednesday: 7:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: closed
Friday: 6:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Saturday: 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!

Posted in holiday, Kaldi's Coffee hours, store hours, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Day hours

Jacque Talks Baked Maple Pumpkin Latte on KSDK Newschannel 5

Posted on November 20, 2014 by Chris Reimer

 

Thanks Jacque for agreeing to be a TV star. And huge thanks to Friend of Kaldi's, Amy Pennington, for referring us to Nichole

Here's a link, in case the above video doesn't play for you.

Holiday Merchandise 2014 - Merry Merry!

Posted on November 18, 2014 by Chris Reimer

Holiday Merchandise from Kaldi's Coffee

With the holidays right around the corner, it's time to think about shopping. A few weeks ago, it seemed a little too early to be seeing holiday decorations about. And Christmas music? Too soon! But with a chill in the air, and with Thanksgiving almost here, we are fast approaching Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Hanukah, and Christmas! 

And whether you're a punctilious planner or a procrastinator who frantically handles holiday chores on December 24, we've got you covered. This holiday season, we've debuted some items that are sure to make the coffee lover in your life smile.

First, no matter where your coffee-drinking friend or loved one lives, you can give them the gift of Kaldi's. We offer two types of gift cards, and both are "on sale!"

Our Retail Gift Card can be used at our 13 Missouri cafes and our Schnuck's retail partner cafes. We'll mail you or your gift recipient a physical card, and can include a gift message. For every retail gift card purchase, we'll add 20% to the value of the card for free! A $25 expenditure gets you a $30 gift card, a $50 buy gets you a $60 gift card, and so on. If you or a loved one are regulars at one of our cafes, this is a can't-miss gift! (Note that this gift card is not redeemable on our website.)

And we're offering the same deal on our Virtual Gift Card. This gift card is perfect for those who want to shop online (note: this one works only on our website, and not in-cafe). We'll deliver your Virtual Gift Card via email, and we can include a gift message for you. We have the same holiday special running here: a $25 expenditure gets you a $30 gift card, a $50 buy gets you a $60 gift card, and so on. 

Last year we started a new tradition with our Holiday coffee, combining two very different and complex coffees from Sumatra and Ethiopia. With this year's Tis The Season Roast, we again carefully selected two of the finest coffees Sumatra and Ethiopia have to offer. These coffees were chosen to highlight both body and acidity, to warm the heart, stir the soul, and accompany the spirit of the season! And for the second year in a row, we have Firecracker Press to thank for the beautiful packaging. Bring some of this limited edition roast into your home before it's gone.

 

This year, we created two Kaldi's Holiday gift box options. The one on the left is our "Tis The Season" gift box, and includes a 12 oz bag of our Tis The Season roast, and two 2014-edition Holiday mugs. On the right is our Coffee Sampler gift box, with an 8 oz bag of a single origin coffee, a 5 oz bag of Cafe Kaldi, and a 5 oz bag of Decaf Cafe Kaldi. Both options come in a decorative Kaldi's box, ready to gift. And if you're shipping directly to a loved one, we can insert a personalized note for you.

Designed by one of our baristas at Kayak's Cafe, this year's Holiday Mug features a cranberry red and gold print on a classic 9oz C-handled diner mug.

 

Our new Kaldi's Kids line includes a turquoise pull-over hoodie, a gray onesie, a 4 oz Keep Cup good for both kids' drinks and espressos, and a durable Bubi water bottle.

Finally, our adult zip hoodie is a distressed Alternative Apparel hoodie, and has the Kaldi's name on the front and our goat on the back. This thing is soft, comfortable, and is flying off the shelves. We apologize for stock outs on this - it's been quite popular!

 

These items are available on our website, and in our 13 Kaldi's cafe locations. We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

Interview with Ben Weiner of Gold Mountain Coffee Growers

Posted on November 14, 2014 by Chris Reimer

Ben Weiner has a business to run. Sometimes, as he put it, working in coffee is about "pushing pennies." But his operation, Gold Mountain Coffee Growers, is more than a business. He's on a mission.

After graduating from Washington University in our hometown of St. Louis, he started a coffee farm in Nicaragua. Having already spent time there as a student, he had learned quite a bit about the coffee business, and was keenly aware of the country's economic situation. He decided to simultaneously focus on coffee quality and quality of life for ordinary Nicaraguans. It turns out, the two missions are inextricably intertwined.

Gold Mountain Coffee Growers is a social enterprise that reinvests profits back into Nicaraguan coffee producers' crops, standards of living, and communities. They provide access to credit (with an emphasis on female farmers), help other farmers improve their coffee quality (thereby increasing that farmer's revenue), conduct computing classes for kids, and work to provide books and running water to schools. 

I sat down with Ben to talk about their coffee farm, the social programs the company is involved in, and what coffee quality can mean to the coffee farmers of Latin America.

 

Chris: Welcome to St. Louis!

Ben: Thank you. Very glad to be here.

Chris: You flew in to meet with us, and deliver two presentations. Tell me about your visit here, and what you’ll be presenting on.

Ben: We’ve been selling to Kaldi’s for many years, and it’s a wonderful partnership. We have our own coffee farm, Finca Idealista, and we also connect other coffee producers directly with roasters like Kaldi’s. At the same time, we do a large amount of work on quality control with other farmers. And we do social projects in their communities, including free computing classes for youth, running water in schools, books in school libraries, access to credit in Nicaragua where access to credit is almost nonexistent or at exorbitant interest rates for coffee farmers, and other projects.

Chris: This is credit they can use to improve their facilities? Increase their acreage?

Ben: We see producers using both the low interest or zero interest rate loans we’ve given them to put solar panels on their homes, improve their coffee processing equipment, put new roofs on their houses, expand their farms, take better care of their coffee, pay their workers better, build better facilities for cooking for the harvest workers, buy vehicles to better transport their coffee (because some of them are located near the ends of the earth), and more.

Chris: So you have your own farm, where you’re working to make great things happen. Why do you step away from your farm to help others?

Ben: As a social enterprise, our main goal is to empower others. To empower coffee producers and many others in the coffee supply chain, while delivering an absolutely stellar quality product. We unfortunately can’t export every coffee producer’s coffee because we’re strict on quality. We cup every single lot, and we only export the best cupping lots.

Chris: As an exporter, it’s in your best interest to help them improve their quality, I suppose.

Ben: Yes, and we're not only an exporter. We're also an importer and coffee farmers. Cutting the entire supply chain all the way to roasters helps us get producers better prices for their coffee. In a country as poor as Nicaragua, this can mean the difference between starvation and improving their standard of living.

Chris: The list of social activities you’re engaged in is amazing. Tell me more about your work in the schools.

Ben: We’ve been installing small libraries and donating textbooks to schools. We work in coffee communities where teachers have so few resources, there will sometimes be one or zero textbooks for an entire class in a given subject. The teachers resort to using carbon paper to make lesson plans—several pieces of paper at a time—for their students, because that’s the only resource and technology they have. We’ve been giving students access to technology through our free computing classes, and also bringing them the basics they need for education: books, textbooks, the first chapter books most of these students have ever seen in their lives, and other things they need for education.

Chris: Tell me a little bit about Gold Mountain Coffee’s farm.

Ben: Our farm is called “Finca Idealista.” We have roughly the equivalent of five U.S. football fields of land. We produce both washed and natural processed coffees. We’ve built new infrastructure for our washed and natural processed coffees, in an effort to continuously improve. We have a living coffee museum on our farm. The purpose is to be cupping various varieties of coffee, and also see how each variety grows at our altitude. In addition, we’ll be giving free seeds to our partner producers, so they can be improving their varieties and see how the coffee in the coffee museum is behaving in terms of cup quality, in terms of resistance to disease like Coffee Leaf Rust, its yield, and in other ways.

Chris: Is your farm considered a large farm?

Ben: It’s considered a small farm when compared to some large estates. However, we’re trying to make a big difference. Our social enterprise and our farm have been reinvesting profits back into producers by giving them access to credit, paying them more, and all of our other social projects. The impact we’re making is that, when our partner producers get a better price from us because they’re selling to a roaster like Kaldi’s and others, it means their standard of living immediately improves. And they can turn around and reinvest in their farms and their coffee. The impact is larger because we’re dealing with farms with fewer economic resources.

Chris: Tell me about being a “social enterprise.”

Ben: Our main goal is to improve the plight of coffee producers through coffee quality in an economically sustainable way. Along the way we do social projects to benefit producers. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America, after Haiti. For that reason, it’s very important to be giving producers prices that allow them to have a dignified standard of living. We are empowering producers so that when they improve their quality, they receive substantially higher prices. We’re very strict with coffee farmers about improving their quality because it’s the only way they can get ahead. Kaldi's understands this because it won't pay high prices for lower-quality coffee.

Chris: What do you mean by “strict?”

Ben: Strict on quality. They have to take great care of their coffee trees over the course of the year and then pick the reddest cherries during harvest. They can’t over-ferment their coffee. They have to wash it perfectly. They have to get it to us quickly so it doesn’t get damaged on their farms, and so we can get it into a different microclimate where it’s sun-dried. They have to do everything required to produce excellent quality coffee.

Chris: Thanks for talking with me.

Ben: My pleasure. Thanks for welcoming me back to St. Louis!


You can find Gold Mountain Coffee Growers on the web, on Twitter, and on Instagram. Thanks for coming to St. Louis, Ben!

 

Posted in Ben Weiner, Benjamin Weiner, coffee exports, coffee prices, Gold Mountain Coffee Growers, Matagalpa, Nicaragua, social enterprise, social impact

Tony Auger Wins Big Central Brewers Cup, South Central Region

Posted on November 11, 2014 by Chris Reimer

 

This year's Big Central regional coffee competition took place at Uppercut Gym in Minneapolis, MN. The three-day competition included 46 baristas and 32 Brewers Cup competitors.

Kaldi's sent a contingent of competitors, employees acting as judges, and support staff to help and root on our team. David Fasman, barista at Kayak's by Kaldi's Coffee, placed 5th in the Barista competition, and Tony Auger, roaster and quality assurance technician, competed in the Brewers Cup and took 1st place for the South Central region. 

I had the opportunity to talk with Tony about the competition and his big win. Here's what he had to say: 

Chris: Tell us about your competition this past weekend.

Tony: It was the Big Central Brewers Cup - two coffee-brewing competition regions combined into one location (this year it was in Minneapolis). They combine the north and the south region of the Big Central. So south central is Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Chris: So the north and the south compete separately, but in the same location?

Tony: Yes. They used to have them separated, but now we compete in the same place. Those who place high enough then go on to Nationals. This year, first place through sixth place will go on to Nationals, which could be a pretty big competition - many competitors.

Chris: How many Brewers Cup competitors were at Big Central?

Tony: From the South Central region, there were 13.  There are two separate rounds in the competition. The first round is called “Compulsory.” They give you a random coffee you know nothing about, and you don’t get the coffee until just a few hours beforehand. So you have to dial it in, make sure it tastes good. Only the top six from that first round get to advance and give their presentation using their own coffees. I got third in Compulsory, so I moved on to the final rounds. That first round is blind. The judges are behind a curtain, so they don’t know whose coffee they’re tasting.

Chris: So what coffee were you handed for this?

Tony: I’m still not sure. I think it was a Colombia or a Guatemala.

Chris: Oh, so it was blind for you, too!

Tony: Yes. We’re not told what kind of coffee it is. They don’t tell us anything.

Chris: So you moved on past the compulsory round. Tell me about your presentation.

Tony: They give you 10 minutes to make three cups of coffee. And then afterwards, they check the TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) reading to make sure it’s in a certain range. They then evaluate the aroma, the taste, and they evaluate my performance.

Chris: How do they test the TDS?

Tony: They use a refractometer. It’s a light that reflects and measures the little particles in the water. They’re checking to see how much of the coffee dissolved into the water. It can’t be above 2%.

Chris: How many years have you been competing in this?

Tony: This was my second year. Last year I got 2nd in regionals and 3rd in nationals.

Chris: And this year you took first. Were you less nervous? Or was it a matter of having the experience of last year?

Tony: I was definitely less nervous for a couple reasons. I think last year’s experience helped. My whole presentation this year was based around the idea of not being obsessed over things. It came from a very personal place - creating order out of chaos. It was about finding balance in randomness and chaos, and not obsessing over precision. So being in that mentality, I felt like I could relax a little bit more. Everything doesn’t have to be so precise and technical all the time!

Chris: That’s not how everybody thinks.

Tony: No, not at all. I still care about precision and exacting standards. But letting myself take a step back, and realizing I could still make great coffee without being so obsessed over it was huge.

Chris: What inspired you to go in this direction for your presentation?

Tony: It just clicked with me. I had a lot of stuff going on in my personal life, and I was trying so hard to control so much of it. We all try to control everything so much, but realistically, we can’t. So at that point, I related it to coffee. We try so hard to control coffee at every step. But when I started doing tests using really controlled, precise … like, even dialing in precise particle sizes to exacting parameters … I would brew coffee next to it when I was just going off my own sensory analysis, and the pot that was based off my senses always tasted better to me. So I said, “Let’s keep running with that, then.” It was a really good correlation between what was going on in my personal life and my preparation for the competition. So I started pushing it further - not observing extraction times while I was brewing, but just using my sense of smell to catch when the extraction was just right. Then I even roasted my coffee without using computers at all, just by my sense of smell. Or how I picked my coffees - the ones I picked … so much randomness that went into the production of the coffee … over 2,800 different smallholder coffee farmers produced the blend.

Chris: How many?

Tony: Two thousand eight hundred. And I had no idea what exact farms or even what varieties were in the blend.

Chris: If you had said “100 farmers,” I would have said “That’s a lot!”

Tony: I know! It’s an insane amount. Most people want to go up and give a story like, “This is the exact person who farmed my coffee. He did this exact thing, there’s only this one coffee variety.” That's a great story, but I said, “You know what? I can make a good cup of coffee and not know what the heck is in the coffee itself.”

Chris: What resonated with the judges there? Was it a message that was falling outside the norm for them?

Tony: Maybe. I think it was the honesty behind it, and how good the coffee actually did taste. And the best thing about it was that I used a coffee that we’ve had in our cafes for months now - the Kenya Kiamariga - and I blended it with a natural Ethiopia that we are using in our "Tis' the Season" blend. So I didn’t even use a Gesha or something like that. They were just good, solid coffees. I think message and presentation went well, too. And showing how, as competitors, we can pull things in from our personal lives and how that affects our work, and that makes it a story, and not just “This is the exact, precise thing I’m doing. You should congratulate me for that.” If that were so, we could just have machines make our coffee. It’s important to keep that individuality in coffee brewing.

Chris: What’s next?

Tony: The national competition in February, and then the worlds.

Chris: Congratulations!

Tony: Thanks!

Posted in Anthony Auger, Big Central, Big Central Brewers Cup, Brewers Cup, competition, first place, Tony Auger

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