Vincent Rodriguez worked for Starbucks for 18 years before leaving to open Velo +, a bicycle shop in downtown Lenexa. Combining his passions, he started roasting coffee in the back of his bike shop for customers to enjoy while shopping, but they wanted more. They couldn’t get enough and wanted to enjoy the strong, smooth brew at home, so Vincent started bagging up the beans and selling them, and Maps Coffee Roasters was officially born.
The process starts with green organic, fair and direct trade Arabica coffee beans, which are roasted to a medium or full roast profile on a Loring S15 Falcon air roaster.
“Coffee is bought in green bean form in 132- or 150-pound sacks,” Vincent says. “We roast in various batch sizes, from 5 pounds to 28-pound batches. The Loring removes the smoke from the roasting chamber, creating a very clean and consistent cup of coffee. The roast takes about 13 minutes to complete; then it’s ready to bag. Coffee is sold in retail coffee bags in 12-ounce sizes in our shop as well as various retailers, like Made in KC and Hen House.”
Best-sellers include Milk Blend, Rift Valley and #black. Milk Blend is a rich, nutty coffee created for Shatto Milk, and, as the name suggests, it goes excellently with milk. Rift Valley blend is made up of Maps’ Ethiopia and Kenya coffees featuring a crisp, clean body, berry aroma and citrus notes that works great in the morning as a pour over or in the afternoon as a cold brew. #black is Maps’ darkest roast that has a bold, smoky flavor that pairs well with a sweet dessert or rich heavy cream.
People keep coming back because the coffee shines alone without anything added to it.
“My customers say they can drink our coffee without cream or sugar,” Vincent says. “It’s all about the quality, roast profile, and our engaging and coaching manner to share our knowledge.”
Get a behind-the-scenes look at Maps Coffee by signing up for a class. Learn all about roasting and sourcing coffee from the plant to your cup, and create your own coffee blend in the hands-on Guest Roaster session. The Guest Chocolatier session follows a similar agenda with the focus on making chocolate.
“Both classes are designed to educate on where coffee and cacao is grown, harvested, processed, shipped, prepared and package,” Vincent says. “I’ve gotten great feedback on the class as a learning experience for everyone that did not understand the process of how to create great coffee and chocolate. Overall, we focus on connecting the dots to the things we love. We share with our audience how we do these things while celebrating both coffee and chocolate.”
Visit Maps Coffee Roasters at 13440 Santa Fe Trail Drive, then see where it all started just down the street at Velo + at 13624 W. 87th St. Parkway in Lenexa. To purchase Maps coffee beans and chocolate or to sign up for a class, visit MapsCoffee.com.
“My customers say they can drink our coffee without cream or sugar. It’s all about the quality, roast profile, and our engaging and coaching manner to share our knowledge.”