As part of my recent outing and abouting, I met Laura for coffee Sunday morning. I was glad she suggested a place downtown, near the City Market. I don't get down there often enough. In fact I get down there never. That whole pocket north of I-35 and east of Broadway is a big mystery to me. Calls for some exploring.
We went to K City Coffee House, and it was a pleasant balance of urban and cozy. We sat in the window and a little bird peeked in at us. It's funny, when I'm that far downtown I have this weird sensation that I'm WAY HIGH above the rest of the metro, as if we were up on a concrete mountainside overlooking a suburban valley.
It's so good for me to get away from Johnson County, where I now live and work, I can't even tell you. Little coffeeshops with character are scarce out there. It's all franchises with their slick, market-researched logos.
I finally found a cool little coffeeshop not far from my work, but it took a long time for me to stumble across it. For over a year after the college moved from its funky environs near Troost and Brookside, to the surburban blandness of Greater Caucasia and its gleaming office parks, I despaired of finding any independent, hole-in-the-wall coffeeshops. I took short, exploratory drives through the surrounding strip malls and found nothing.
Then one day, after another round of desperate Googling, I found a listing for Revocup, across from Johnson County Community College. I checked it out, and found a dark, cool oasis of coffeeshop nirvana. The place is dimly lit, which I like, with local artwork on the wall. No forced cheeriness here. The owners, who are often behind the counter, are from Ethiopia. They are polite and gracious, in a genuine way. Revo stands for revolution, and they want to be revolutionary in using single-origin coffee beans, and giving back to the coffee farmers in their homeland.
From their website:
"We give back 10 cents for every cup of coffee and $1.00 for every pound of coffee sold in our retail store. This is a very exciting time for us, and we are determined to serve customers a range of coffee that has never been offered by the industry and in the meantime help our native country by giving back a portion of the revenue to tackle poverty."
I went to Revocup recently on a very hot day. It was like stepping into a cave. Despite the heat outside, my appetite for a hot chai was instantly revived. Since they pride themselves on their coffee beans, I feel I should try their coffee once in a while. But their chai lattes are consistently spicy and somehow they have figured out how to steam soy milk so that it's creamy. Now that's revolutionary.