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Kaldi's Coffee Menu Changes You Need to Know About

Kaldi's is making some changes to our coffee menu and we want you to know about it. Read about the changes & why we're making them.

There are few things more integral and routine to daily lives as a morning cup of coffee. Coffee is more than just that, though. It's a meeting. It's relaxation or that extra push to get through your day. Coffee allows for people to reconnect or maybe meet for the first time.

Kaldi's has the opportunity to play a role in our guest's lives that most companies don't have. Coffee has changed and evolved a lot since our start in 1994 and so have we.

Last summer we made some changes with our first cafe in the historic DeMun neighborhood in Clayton. We renovated the inside for a better flow and modern look. We also updated our menu to better reflect our mission of creating memorable coffee experiences. That new menu introduced an added emphasis on traditional drinks such as espresso, single macchiato, 6 oz cappuccino and 8 oz latte. Our focus for the menu are drinks that allow our coffees to best be enjoyed for what they are - among the best coffees from around the world. We also kept many customer (and our) favorites on the menu. 

Over the next month, all of our cafes will be making that transition. Our Kayak's cafe was the second cafe to make the change last year. Some changes will be immediately noticeable. Our Kirkwood location will be the next to make the transition on Feb. 4th. The rest will follow shortly. 

To start, we'll have new cup sizes for our hot and cold drinks. We'll be adding a new 8 oz size for our hot drinks and serving our cold drinks in just a 16 oz size. The 20 oz hot cup will no longer be an option. 

This accomplishes a few things: 
- The larger 20 oz drinks only increased the milk on the coffee:milk ratio. Smaller sizes will result in better tasting drinks and not diluted with more milk. We want to feature our world class coffee.
- As coffee and milk prices continue to increase and fluctuate, this allows us to better control our prices which allow us to offer our drinks at the best value we can. 

Another easily apparent change will be the elimination of a bottomless cup option and our dollar refill price. This is something we have known is not a sustainable practice but have put off eliminating for as long as possible. This also applies to our promotion of filling your Kaldi's logo travel mug for $1. We're happy to offer a 'green' discount of $.20 off any drink when you bring in your own refillable container and if you bring your cup back up to the counter to buy another coffee or latte. 

We'll also be moving our drip bars behind the counter to better focus on keeping our batch brew pots filled and fresh. We realize how frustrating it is to buy your cup of coffee to only find that there is nothing left in the pot. Moving the pots to behind the counter will help to eliminate this. 

We're also adding exciting options to our menu. Each day you'll have the option of choosing from our expanded hand-brew program. Enjoy coffee brewed by hand by our speciality trained baristas to enhance our coffee's many flavor profiles. 
We feel strongly that every guest should connect to their cup of coffee or espresso drink in new & exciting ways, and yet in the way they feel most comfortable. We are continuing to offer our guest favorites: chocolate, caramel, vanilla, hazelnut, & Aztec (Mayan mocha & Aztec hot chocolate). These will be the only syrups and flavors we will continue to offer after each cafe menu transition.

(If you haven't already noticed we just debuted our new frozen menu featuring new smoothies and frozen toddys.)

The word 'sustainability' gets used so much sometimes that it often sounds like a buzzword. Coffee is traded on a commodities market just like oil, corn, and soybeans. Unlike those products, coffee can be very different in terms of quality not only just country to country but also farm to farm. Coffee is a very tedious and hands on product. Most coffee in the world is hand picked by smallholder farmers from all over the world. For coffee to meet specialty coffee standards it takes enormous effort and attention to detail. Our producer partners see their cost rising every year so we must continue to invest in them so in turn we can serve you the best coffee we possibly can everyday. We price our coffee so our producers can be sustainable today and tomorrow.  And you get to enjoy the fruit of their labor for years to come.

For us, coffee is an unending passion. We've called St. Louis home since our start in 1994. We bag and label all 500,000+ pounds of coffee we roast downtown at our Roastery near Highway 40 and Vandeventer Ave. Rather than racing to the bottom, we're racing to the top offering coffees you won't find anywhere else. These changes allow us to continue to do that.

Take a look at our new menu. Ask us questions in person in the cafes or comment below. We want to hear your thoughts. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Matthew Ritter February 07, 2013 at 02:43 AM
For more than a decade, I have said that Kaldi's roasts my favorite coffee and is my favorite coffee shop. I like that it started here. I like its commitment to quality. I like that it does not take itself too seriously, turning coffee into a realm for the snooty. Their shops have been what coffee shops should be: places for people to gather, to discuss, to study, to stay a while, to connect face-to-face for hours on neutral turf, not get drunk, and not be out $20 each. Imagine my surprise when I walked to the DeMun location with a couple friends. The interior was redecorated. Much of the old charm, the clean but worn shabbiness, was replaced with brighter lighting and pre-fab signage. Gone was the inviting atmosphere. Gone, too, was the bottomless cup of coffee and the cheap refill. I was somewhere between disappointed and heartbroken. Woefully many entrepreneurs succumb to an insatiable desire to grow. I get it. The business needs to make more money, so it can expand, so it can make more money, so it can expand, so it can make more money, so it can go public, so it can expand. For some people, business is only about profit. I shop locally so that I can buy from people who care about more than maxing the bottom line and finding new revenue streams. Let's not pretend these changes are for the customer or in pursuit of "memorable experiences." That's PR speak. Kaldi's has decided to become like Starbucks, so I have decided to take my business elsewhere.
Mike Ziegler February 07, 2013 at 05:03 PM
Hi, Matthew, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We understand the attachment to the old DeMun. It's something that's shared by a lot of our guests and still has a place in our hearts, but we felt it needed a facelift. When we made the renovations we had our menu evolvement in mind. The new layout makes for a much better flow and not the mass of people waiting for their drink and ordering that resulted with the old layout. The changes to our menu at DeMun and now elsewhere allowed for the coffee to be the focus. In regards to the refill and commitment to quality, offering a cheap refill and keeping our focus on quality cannot go hand-in-hand. For Kaldi's to be good customers and partners with our coffee producers, we have to pay them a price that allows them to stay in business and allows their business to prosper and grow. Coffee prices in the last five years have hit 30 year highs across the board from specialty to commodity grade coffee. Discontinuing the bottomless mug and dollar refills allows us to pay them a fair and sustainable wage that keeps the amazing coffees coming from their farm for years to come. That's a huge focus of ours. If we ever fall short of a great & memorable coffee experience, please let us know. We'll make it right. Again, I really do appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I want to try and understand the reference to Starbucks more, if you wouldn't mind elaborating.
Matthew Ritter February 07, 2013 at 11:53 PM
How is Kaldi's becoming more like Starbucks? I'd offer that aesthetic homogenization is one small, but significant part, of the change. Corporations feign familiarity through uniform color schemes and fonts and shoe-horning interior design into molds. Next contrast: customer-relations and purpose. Starbucks' favorite customers are the ones that don't take up space: the drive-thru and To Go crowd. Neighborhood institutions' favorite customers are the ones who participate with the proprietor in the wider cause of neighborliness. Increasing prices, increasing the wattage of bulbs, giving people paltry discounts on refills, etc. are all subtle, Corporate messages to leave. Some will say, "That's business." If the customer wants to continue to take up space and resources, he needs to keep paying. This is why most restaurants, for instance, discourage the staff from refilling drinks once the bill has been paid. They want you to leave. You're no use to them because their mission isn't about community. The contrariness of coffee shops is what makes them so special. They have a legacy of being venues for civic involvement and cultural creation. The people who own and operate coffee shops have a unique opportunity to provide more than a beverage and receive more than a profit. I'm not being hyperbolic when I say they can be sanctuaries and safe-havens. They're an endangered space where all people from all strata can interact, can learn, and create for a modest expense.
Mike Ziegler February 08, 2013 at 02:33 AM
We frequently have many regulars in Kirkwood (and everywhere) that spend hours at the cafe. Those customers are what make the job most enjoyable for me. The continuing conversation with a familiar face that allows for discussion over the day's newspaper front pages or whatever happened recently is something I look forward to. I can understand your reasoning, but that hasn't been my experience. I completely agree with your last point. It's not hyperbolic. That is what I love about the cafe environment.
Matthew Ritter February 08, 2013 at 05:22 AM
I should clarify I don't expect the coffee or the service to suffer from these changes. I'm certain plenty of people will continue to patronize Kaldi's. They'll be able to enter new markets with the additional capital they'll be raising here at home. Largely what irks me is what I see as a change in Kaldi's mission. It saddens me that more entrepreneurs aren't brave enough to say, "This is good. Let's maintain this. We don't need to increase our margins." I appreciate the invitation for feedback. I appreciate your considered responses.

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