There are towns across the United States that have not been deemed “worthy” of a Starbucks, but there are still coffee shops located in these towns providing the caffeine addict their fix through lattes, cappuccinos, espressos and mochas. In southwest Kansas, there are independently owned coffee shops that are a testament to the capital spirit and the need for coffee other than what is poured out of a stained coffee pot.
Whereas Starbuck’s, the “McDonalds” of coffee is uniform and precise making the experience sadly mechanical; each one of these coffee shops imparts the unique personality and vision that the owner had long before the first espresso was steamed. These coffee shops bring vitality and culture to these towns which are better known for their roots in agriculture and working the land.
Cup of Jones (Dodge City, KS)
With a smile on my face I can say that “controlled chaos” reigns supreme at Cup of Jones. It really is not that chaotic, but the over the top energy of the owner creates a frenetic pace as one of the employees prepares your order. In addition to serving a why array of coffee options, Cup of Jones also provides a nice selection of pastries, salads, sandwiches, wraps, soups and desserts for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their Southwest Chicken Salad is really good and is large enough for a meal. In addition to the food and coffee, there is some nice art available for sale by local artists. Mocha made with Espresso and steamed Chocolate Milk.
Smokehoss: Jerky – Coffee – Bistro (Meade, KS)
Not only do they make your coffee the way that you like it, but they also smoke their own meats and produce their own beef jerky in addition to making some awesome sandwiches (Reuben Sandwich Review). If I can ever convince myself to eat something other than the Reuben Sandwich, I am sure that i am going to be just impressed with their smoked barbeque sandwiches.Smokehoss really impressed me. Not so much because of the coffee, but the owners attempt to be a little bit of everything (catering and on-line beef jerky to name a few) in Meade, KS. Mocha made with Espresso, Italian Chocolate Syrup, Chocolate Flavoring and Steamed Milk.
Spencer Browne’s Coffee House (Liberal, KS)
Located on the corner of a strip mall (same strip mall as Billy’s Blue Duck BBQ), this place escaped my attention for many months until one day I stopped for a Mocha. They offer a wide array of pastries, sandwiches (Reuben Sandwich is on the menu) and salads. The service is fast and friendly. My only regret is that I did not try this location sooner considering how much time I have spent in Liberal, KS. I do know that Spencer Brown’s uses the same coffee roaster as Cup of Jones. Whether you order a coffee to go or to be enjoyed inside the coffee shop, you will be pleased with your choice. Mocha made with Chocolate Powder and Steamed Milk.
I have visited each of these locations, some of them more times than I can remember and each one of them is different. There are times when even in the same day, when I order my Mocha the overall result is different. Honestly, I am not sure how this is actually possible, but there is no denying that no two cups are the same. I am okay with this and would rather have a variety in the final outcome of the order than stand in line like lemmings feeding the corporate capital beast from Seattle.
WiFi Availability: Free WiFi is offered in all three locations.
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