Three Kansas City coffee shops prove to be great dives

Parisi Café, The Filling Station and Black Dog Coffeehouse reviewed by a Kansas City enthusiast and a barista

Elizabeth Fleming and Kate Ocker

With journalism regionals coming up, the JagWire’s very first 32-page spread  and the JAG yearbook’s notorious ‘busy-season,’ coffee has been an essential part in the daily lives of the journalism kids. So, arm-in-arm as a Starbucks barista (Kate) and a Kansas City enthusiast (Liz), we decided to try out what we heard to be some of the best coffee shops in the downtown Kansas City area.

The rules and guidelines we gave ourselves are:

      1. No chain coffee shops will be reviewed
      2. Kate will review cappuccinos
      3. Liz will review mochas
      4. We will review our drinks based on 4 categories: atmosphere, price, foam and overall taste, and scored each category out of five, with one being poor and five being great. The coffee cup’s below the name of each shop (shout out to our wonderful JAG yearbook EIC senior Taylor Anderson for making them) will represent our overall score.

Parisi Cafe in Union Station

Eight-ounce cappucino (right) and a twelve-ounce mocha (left) from Parisi Café.

By Elizabeth Fleming
Eight-ounce cappucino (right) and a twelve-ounce mocha (left) from Parisi Café.

3-stars (1)



8-ounce cappuccino: $3.00

8-ounce mocha: $3.50

atmosphere: 3

foam: 3

price: 3

overall taste: 3

Liz: Union Station is in a way the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee, by yourself or with friends. Parisi’s simplicity was perfectly matched against the usual hustle and bustle of Union Station, and the cafe would be a great place to people watch. The price of Parisi’s coffee was OK, but I thought was a bit on the high side. The coffee didn’t impress me compared to the other two shops, and the foam was pretty underwhelming. In the end, if you made the trip all the way down to Union Station, I do think the mocha is worth the $3.50, and a couple sugar packets.

Kate: As far as atmosphere goes, Union Station is a bit overwhelming in its beauty, which contrasted and heightened Parisi Cafe’s simple and somewhat boring atmosphere. As your typical, broke teenagers, cheap is good and Parisi’s prices proved to be the most friendly brew for our wallets. I was happy with the first sip of my coffee, but, as I continued to drink, I was unhappy with the lack of smoothness in the foam and averageness of the taste.

The Filling Station

8 oz. Cappuccino and 8 oz. Mocha from The Filling Station.

By Elizabeth Fleming
Eight-ounce cappuccino and 8-ounce mocha from The Filling Station.

5-stars (1)



8-ounce cappuccino: $2.50

8-ounce mocha: $3.00

atmosphere: 4.5

foam: 5

price: 4

overall taste: 5

Liz: This adorable little shop proved to be the cutest out of the bunch. From the wooden bar tops to its small-but-mighty size, The Filling Station certainly had an “aww” factor. However, I can’t see myself coming here to chat because of its small size and lack of table space. The foam was perfect — it wasn’t too thin or thick, and had a great taste compared to many bitter or bland-tasting foams. The price was the best out of everywhere we went, which I appreciated, especially since The Filling Station has a location in Mission off Johnson Drive. The overall taste was near perfect, and, as a sipper of coffee as opposed to a drinker, I was impressed with how fast I finished the cup.

Kate: As soon as I set my eyes on this place, I knew it was love. The standalone shop has a cute hipster vibe in the middle of a supermarket parking lot. It even has a drive through, perfect for the lazy days when you can’t bare to let anyone but the barista see you. Along with the perfect atmosphere, my cappuccino was the perfect drink. The foam was delightful. I have plans to visit again soon.-

Black Dog Coffeehouse

8 oz. Cappuccino and 8 oz. Mocha from Blackdog.

By Elizabeth Fleming
Eight-ounce cappuccino and eight-ounce mocha from Blackdog.

4-stars (1)



8-ounce cappuccino: $2.90

8-ounce mocha: $3.20

atmosphere: 5

foam: 4

price: 4

overall taste: 4

Liz: As someone who frequents Black Dog anywhere from 2-5 times a week, I may be a bit biased to say it is my favorite on the list. Out of all of the locations, Blackdog is the only place where I could study or work on yearbook or web  and feel comfortable doing so. While the atmosphere and its proximity — as well as its partnership with the Ibis Bakery next door — makes Black Dog the best on the list in my opinion, the coffee, while still wonderful, isn’t as good as The Filling Station’s mocha. Additionally, in comparison, the foam is a little too thick.

Kate: Unlike the other smaller coffee shops we visited, Black Dog was filled with people. Most of the people around us were hard at work on their laptops or completing their AP Statistics assignments. I appreciated the homey feel of the bakery next door. Once I was seated with my coffee, I drank it quickly. It was so refreshing and smooth. This place is perfect for a homework session on a cold day.

Overall, you can’t go wrong with any of the shops mentioned above.

Liz’s official ranking:

            1. Black Dog Coffeehouse
            2. The Filling Station
            3. Parisi Cafe

Kate’s official ranking:

            1. The Filling Station
            2. Blackdog
            3. Parisi Cafe

All three do a wonderful job of representing how wonderful Kansas City is through its coffee, and all three make wonderful coffee at fairly reasonable prices. Even if you aren’t a fan of coffee, or didn’t find this helpful because of your own extensive knowledge and opinions about coffee, one thing you can (and should) take away is this: You should support small businesses and this wonderful city we call home.

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