Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Fall is upon us. And fall marks the arrival of the heralded, beloved pumpkin spice latte.


The pumpkin spice latte was born in 2003, when it made its first public debut in a Starbucks in D.C. It sure has grown up a lot since then. The Real PSL now has it’s own Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, where you can actually chat with it. 

A quest to find the pumpkin in pumpkin spice lattes, then KCUR's Food Critics search out the best hot beverages in and around KC.


Danny O'Neill
Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Danny O’Neill has come a long way from his basement—where he first began filling orders for freshly roasted coffee in the early 1990s.

“The walls were covered with corrugated tin, because I have this old house—built in 1920 or ’22, limestone foundation—so to pass agricultural regulations, everything had to be cleanable, washable,” O’Neill says.

Jen Chen/KCUR

From coffee to cocktails, Kansas City’s drink options exploded in 2015.

“I just think this year had been really incredible in terms of the number of distilleries, wineries, breweries and roasteries that have popped up on the scene,” Food Critic Jenny Vergara told host Gina Kaufmann on KCUR's Central Standard on Friday.

“2015 feels like the Year of the Drink,” Vergara added.

With a Twist

Dec 11, 2015
Jen Chen/KCUR

According to KCUR's Food Critics, 2015 will go down as the Year of the Drink.

Andy Rieger talks about bringing back his family's distillery, a local bartender makes us a seasonal holiday drink, we visit the Imperial Brewery building, and our Food Critics search out the best drinks of 2015 in and around KC.


The Roast

Oct 16, 2015
Esther Honig/KCUR

The coffee scene in Kansas City has really grown over the past few years, especially with more shops roasting their own beans. We visit the in-house coffee roaster at Thou Mayest, then the author of a local coffee blog talks about what's new.


Steve Agocs, KC Coffee Geek blog

Daniel Boothe / KCUR

The first thing you notice when you walk into Thou Mayest in the east Crossroads district of Kansas City, Mo., is the eclectic décor. It’s got cozy corners with funky furniture. Exposed brick and recycled wooden tables. Fishing poles and Boy Scout badges from the 1950s. You feel like you are in a high-end flea market, inside a cabin in the woods, located in a bustling downtown neighborhood.

The whole place is one gigantic conversation starter. With coffee.

Humble beginnings and a chance meeting

Gina Kaufmann / KCUR

Knowing the story behind your digestibles is a popular trend in the food world, and coffee is no exception.

The roasters, shop owners and baristas who subscribe to the idea that coffee is a delicacy to be handled with precision, ritual and care are participating in a wave of coffee culture known as the "third wave."

The first wave in coffee is the vacuum-sealed tin-can variety from a large factory, for anyone to brew in any old coffee machine. The second wave is characterized by Starbucks, which many credit with introducing the idea of coffee as a specialty item. --Creative Commons

Every morning, as coffee pots begin brewing, kettles begin to boil and soda cans are cracked open, people all over the world are trying to get their caffeine fix. Caffeine is the world's most popular psychoactive drug, or simply put, the most popular product that changes how your mind works.

Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

Updated May 28 10:45 a.m. Licata Takes Home Gold

Pete Licata, Kansas City local and Quality Assurance Manager of Parisi Artisan Coffee, who had won the US Barista Championship in April, went on to snag first place at the World Barista Championship this weekend in Melbourne, Australia. He topped more than 50 competitors, using coffee roasted at Parisi. 

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Java Jive: KC's Local Roasting Scene

Aug 9, 2012
Doug88888 / Flickr

On this Thursday's Central Standard, java jive! Let's take a look at the emerging coffee scene here in town. Representatives from The Roasterie, Oddly Correct and Benetti’s stop in to tell us about their beans, blends and brews. Plus, answers to your questions about home brewing.