2022 in Review: Coffee In Community – Kaldi's Coffee

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2022 in Review: Coffee In Community

Here at Kaldi's Coffee, we know and love how a coffee in solitude can be a contemplative refuge, but we prize community even more highly, and find that the best moments in coffee are those we share with others. As we near the end of 2022, we invite you to look back with us and remember just some of the the good moments we shared.

January: People of Kaldi's, Phil Moll

Phil Moll at the Euclid espresso bar

Our closest community is made up of vibrantly unique team members, and Phil Moll's emotionally charged interview made us reflect on our team's passion, humility, and humor. Phil looked back across the years that he's been with Kaldi's, offering wisdom about how to make every day a new adventure, and reminded us of the power we all have to connect with the people around us daily. 

 

February: 3thiopia

A bag of 3thiopia sits amidst a melon, cranberries, and black tea

A celebration of coffee’s original source and the diversity of Ethiopian coffees, our blend of three different Ethiopian coffees was a must buy for coffee aficionados in 2022. Featuring some of the best coffees we’d tasted in years, 3thiopia also highlighted a relationship coffee, with Tigist Waqo’s naturally processed coffee returning in her excellent crop, which we also featured as a single origin.

 

March: Jalen’s Cocktail Recipes


Jalen Kelly prepares a cocktail

Each morning, we revel in connecting with you over coffee, but in March, lead barista Jalen Kelly gave us recipes to extend the revelry through each evening.  His Irish Coffee recipe arrived in time for St. Patrick’s Day festivities and his Thyme and Rosemary Manhattan kept us in good spirits through the end of a dark, cold winter.

April: Too Artisanal - April Fools!

A roaster examines a single coffee bean

Humility is one of our core principles, which keeps us from bristling when the latest fad or buzz word comes in for criticism in popular culture (looking at you, avocado toast). We know self-serious baristas, coffee snobs, and coffee dissertations can fray the most patient guest’s nerves when all you want is a good cup of coffee in the morning. We decided to mock ourselves a bit by examining and hand-counting 700 beans of our 700 blend, one at a time, and offering it for sale for $700, as the ultimate “artisanal experience” in coffee. Laughing at yourself is a great way to stay grounded, and we love that you got the joke too. See the most ridiculously artisanal coffee here.

May: 5 Things about Cold Brew

Maude drinks cold brew in Forest Park

As the mercury climbed toward summer temps, our thoughts turned to cold brew.  We love welcoming guests into our cafes, wherever they’re coming from, and try to make our blogs the same way. This one started with 5 questions our baristas often hear, then tried to answer them with general knowledge for beginners, while supplying hard science for those of you years into your coffee journeys. It also marked our first, focused effort to relaunch our Youtube channel with a companion video that began with our trainer, Maud Hasler, in a boat and wound up in our cold brew laboratory. Read the blog and see the video here.

 

June: Ameri-kona 

A bag of Ameri-kona sits on the beach
Last year, we created the name Ameri-Kona to play on the phrase, “a slice of Americana”. A celebration of coffee from all of the Americas – Central, South, and the only-USA grown coffee, Kona –, Ameri-Kona arrived on our shores in June with hype videos and beach scenes. For the second year in a row, this coffee provided a rare chance to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the Americas’ coffee producers. This year we tried to supercharge your excitement for Ameri-kona’s return with hype videos and a huge giveaway worth over $1000.  Once again, you responded with love and enthusiasm, and we can’t wait to see what next summer holds for this unique blend.

July - Just Press Play

Kaldi's Youtube homepage

After analyzing the creative process and the results generated by our first real foray back into YouTube, we were really ready to dive back into video production for the first time in years. July saw 2 full videos and 2 shorts posted to our Youtube channel, signaling our intent to reach out to our online community with greater regularity and great content.

 

August: Drive Thru in Ellisville Opens

Opening celebration with ribbon cutting at our Drive Thru Cafe in Ellisville

With the thrill of going back to school in the air, we prepared to learn new lessons as we opened our newest concept, the drive thru cafe in Ellisville. Designed to meet the needs of the Ellisville community that had grown more clear during the pandemic, our drive thru location has walk-in counter service, patio-only seating, and online ordering available via Toast. Since its opening, we’ve applied some early lessons, expanding the hours from 6am to 6pm, as well as expanding the menu to offer full meals. We can’t wait to continue learning and improving the experience in 2024 as we look to open more cafes. Read about the creation of our first drive thru here.

September: Mural and Pujols' 700th

Mural celebrating coffee on the side of our Roastery in Saint Louis

In September, we reflected on the wide world of coffee, commemorating some of our coffee communities' farthest flung members, while also honoring our founding roots in Saint Louis. First, we looked at coffee’s remarkable journey to your cup, beginning the moment it’s planted. To celebrate all of the workers who make a single cup of coffee possible, we commissioned and unveiled a mural on the side of our Roastery

700 blend in front of Busch Stadium to honor Albert Pujols' career 700 plus home runs

We also celebrated a hometown hero who inspired Saint Louisans throughout most of the decades we've been in business. As Albert Pujols' career neared its final chapter in the 2022 playoffs and his home run total approached 700, we put a plan into action to say thank you to him, while also thanking all of his and our supporters. We created 700 numbered, special-edition bags of our 700 blend, then gave them away across all of our Saint Louis area cafes as the playoffs began. Read about the giveaway here.

 

October: ‘Tis the Spooky Season

Nosferatu brews a pour over using 'Tis the Spooky blend


Coffee lovers cherish the changing of seasons, as we grip our mugs a little tighter to fight off the first chills of fall. Another annual tradition, our ‘Tis the Spooky blend signals the turn toward winter as darkness creeps its long cape across the lawn. This year, we were inspired by the classic vampire film, Nosferatu, and our coffee blend was as spine-tingling as any scary movie, filled with the candy inspired tasting notes of tootsie-rolls, caramel apple pops, and red vines. This blends unique profile also laid the foundation for our Phantasm Old Fashioned Recipe.

 

November: Seasonal DrinksBrown Sugar Rosemary Latte

Fall brought a flurry of new flavors to our cafes.  Made from scratch, the Baked Maple Pumpkin Latte has always been a favorite. This year, the Pistachio and Honey Latte was a breakout star, as you came back over and over again for this elegantly balanced drink. As Thanksgiving rolled by, we said goodbye to the BMPL and hello to Gingerbread, Peppermint, and Brown Sugar Rosemary Lattes. We love knowing that you love the continually refreshed, house made flavors that our team pours so much time into each year.

December: ‘Tis the Season

A bag of 'Tis the Season sits on a mantle

The year could only end one way, as we came together as a company for our holiday blend, celebrating coffee and a 10 year partnership with The Firecracker Press by creating a whimsically unique package for our ‘Tis the Season Blend. We created a documentary film about the history of the partnership and the creation of this year’s bag design, added 24 bags of ‘Tis as prizes in our 3-6-12 Giveaway, and encouraged the sharing of coffee by creating a free drink card designed to let you share a smile by gifting it on, or enjoy a moment for yourself by redeeming it alone. Whatever the holidays hold for you, we hope they’re happy and filled with great coffee and a great community, whether it's large or small.

 

The Firecracker Press at work
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