Over the past decade or so, nearly every neighborhood in the Kansas City area has seen an explosion in high-quality locally-owned coffee shops. One neighborhood that's been moderately neglected is Rosedale, but that's no longer the case. Meta Coffee Roasting Co., which has operated since 2015 but has never had its own space, officially opens the doors of its new location at 1639 Southwest Boulevard – just a quick skip from the Boulevard Drive-In – on Sat., July 17.
Owner Zach Tarhini has been in the coffee business for a long time. He worked in marketing and PR for a coffee roaster once he finished college, and it wasn't long before he fell in love with a lot of the aspects of the creation of coffee. He started roasting beans in his basement, planting the seeds for what would become Meta Coffee.
"Since about 2015, I've been selling beans at farmers' markets and to a few other shops," Tarhini says. "But I've always thought about opening my own storefront. I've been friends with Jordan [Fox, owner of Foxtrot Studio] for years, and we'd talked about the possibility of partnering up to open a joint space. When he called me saying that this location was available, we both fell in love with it and knew we couldn't pass it up."
The building will house both Foxtrot Studio, which specializes in leather goods, and Meta Coffee Roasting Co. It will function as a retail space, a workspace and a location where guests can enjoy Tarhini's highly curated selection of coffee. The coffee selection at Meta is intentionally small – Tarhini is picky about his choices and would rather focus on quality over quantity.
"For one, I didn't want to overwhelm customers or our employees with a gigantic menu full of too many options," Tarhini says. "I want people to be able to enjoy anything here and order without stressing about what to pick. At the same time, I really wanted to highlight and focus on just a few types of coffee to ensure that everything is of the highest quality."
Tarhini and his team focus on organic and sustainably-grown coffee, and are extremely proud of Meta's single-origin options. The brand's coffee is generally full-bodied and flavorful with a few bright accents to make the profile dynamic. Meta Coffee aims for what Tarhini calls "smooth and drinkable, with punchy notes to help it stand out." He tends to avoid delicate coffees or those with too many notes added from the roasting process, but thinks they will have something that anyone will enjoy. He also notes that his family's Lebanese heritage factors into a few of the options offered at the shop.
Right now, most of Meta Coffee's beans can trace their origins to either Costa Rica or Peru. Tarhini has a few more things in the works, and expects a few other options to hit the shop once they get things running smoothly and figure out what's working and what isn't. Since he's already got years of experience under his belt, any growing pains shouldn't come on the taste side of things. Guests will be able to buy drinks or beans to take home, and Tarhini also plans on offering snacks from places like Hana's Donuts.
At some point, Tarhini says he hopes to get Meta Coffee back out at farmers' markets and other events, but he's focused on the new shop for now. He looks forward to bringing in more coffee options and building relationships with customers who come in. After all, Rosedale needs coffee.
Meta Coffee Roasting Co. officially opens Sat., July 17 and will be open Thursday and Friday from 7am to 2pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 2pm.
Meta Coffee Roasting Co., 1639 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, Kansas, metacoffeekc.com