Long a St. Louis institution, Kaldi's is hardly a dark (roast?) horse for the title of Best Coffee. There's something to be said, though, for a roaster that doesn't rest on its laurels. The classic French Roast, Natural High and Café Kaldi are available year round, but it's the seasonal varietals that set this roaster apart. Kaldi's establishes relationships with growers, then hand-roasts its specialty coffees in small batches by sight, sound and rigorous timekeeping to achieve a perfect balance between the beans' natural flavors and the roasting process. Selling a more nuanced cup of coffee demands a more sophisticated drinker. Kaldi's unique customer-education program allows anyone to come in off the street for a tasting of the month's specialty coffees. Spend an hour cupping coffee with the knowledgeable staff and it becomes obvious why coffee has more flavor profiles than wine. From the classics to the nationally ranked Espresso 700 blend, and Burundi Kinyovu Lot #5 — scored a 95 by CoffeeReview.com — Kaldi's serves a serious cup of coffee.
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