A new café is opening in downtown Kansas City, KS, and its owner is hoping to serve pure and fresh tasting specialty coffee while providing an integral and inclusive space for the community.

Kinship Café, opening early to mid-September at 719 N. 6th St. in KCK’s Strawberry Hill neighborhood, will serve breakfast and lunch items as well as their special take on cold brew coffee.

It will be a comfortable, cozy place with lounging space, indoor plants and colorful murals.

TJ Roberts, owner of the upcoming Kinship Café said their cold brew recipe is what will set them apart from other coffee shops in the Kansas City metro.

“The way we process and make cold brew is probably what’s most important and our focus with what we want to provide to our clients,” Roberts said. “When you go to a pretty well-known coffee shop in Kansas City, you’re getting cold brew from a can or keg and there are many preservatives in them to continue the shelf life or transportation.”

At Kinship Café, Roberts and his team will make each batch themselves using a special process called flash brewing  that creates cold coffee by pouring hot coffee through a filter and immediately onto ice, stopping the brewing process.

“When you throw it on ice, it flashes the process and it does something unique. You still get this very high amount of caffeine, but you don’t get the bitterness because it has gone through the filter,” Roberts said. “This coffee is very pure and smooth.”

Roberts said they will have an assortment of coffee flavors, from lavender infused to cold brews with a strawberry flavored finish. Kinship Café will also use coffee from Black Drip Coffee, a local coffee brand, where he works as operations manager.

“When I think of coffee, it’s always been about, how can I get this in its most pure state,” Roberts said. “There’s an art and craftsmanship to it.”

A Community Asset

While coffee will be a huge part of Kinship Café, Roberts said the space will also be used as a community resource. The shop will be open for regular business from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, but from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. each day, the café will focus on hosting community programs and activities.

Roberts envisions a place where local organizations can host free educational classes for the community on topics like financial literacy, how to set up an LLC, healthy eating and computer coding. He also hopes to have open mic nights and indoor yoga classes.

He’s also excited to create an educational series about coffee where people can sample different kinds of beans and learn about their origins and how it’s processed.

Activities that empower community members and give them information to become homeowners, businessowners or improve their lifestyle, are the kinds of programs Roberts hopes to see the café used for.   

Roberts is also planning to work with local community gardens and start a compost program to be more environmentally friendly, which is another important value Roberts said the café will have. When Roberts started remodeling the building, he worked with a sustainability officer to direct him on how to make the building as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible. Eventually, Roberts wants to install solar panels on the building.

Overall, when Kinship Café opens, Roberts wants the space to feel comfortable for everyone.

“Coffee creates community. We sit down, we talk, we catch up with friends, we do business deals, homework, whatever that is, we’re probably having a cup of coffee in our hand,” Roberts said. “We want this place to feel super inviting for everyone.”

Jazzlyn "Jazzie” is the former senior reporter for our team, who joined the company in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, through the Report for America service program. For the past two years, she covered...

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