Subject: Kaladi Brothers Coffee
Location: Anchorage, AK
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]
If any coffee spot commands attention with the citizens of Anchorage, it seems Kaladi Brothers is king. With ten locations in Anchorage (as well as 4 outside the city limits), I am impressed with the amount of loyalty they have accrued to keep that many coffee locations working.
Suffice it to say that my trip to Anchorage would remain incomplete without a stop at by one of their shops. While I had a coffee in passing at the New Sagaya coffee stand and a fair espresso at Cafe Ristretto (a cafe that utilizes Kaladi Bros beans), I made for the downtown location for a full evaluative experience. The outside happens to be bit stark (it's a round brick office building), but the inside was quite well decorated and laid out, with an assortment of colors, crystal chandeliers and all kinds of seating amidst the unique interior layout.
From the research I had done, Kaladi as a coffee roaster seems to stick to the older ways ("2nd wave"), aiming for darker roasts, not to mention has a curious method of storing their whole bean coffee in a fridge (at least downtown they do). For my beverages, I ordered an espresso (I did not catch the blend's name) and a drip of their Rwandan. The espresso, pulled medium with brown crema, displayed notes of tobacco, bitter cocoa, cabbage, oak, a little sugar and a wee bit of rhubarb; alas, it was a noticeably burnt and bitter with a heavy potency, but still fairly good. The Rwandan, labeled as a lighter roast, tasted more like a medium-dark roast with flavors of sweet oats, blackberry jam, vanilla, pear and slight almond in a medium-to-heavy body. As for a medium/dark roast, it was also fairly tasty.
Given the roast level of both the espresso and the coffee, Kaladi did deliver a decent coffee experience (i.e. neither tasted that poorly despite the darkness). If you're into darker roasts or you just want to see what all the Anchorage-ians are drinking, give Kaladi Brothers a visit.