Hailey Paulson

99.99% of the time my location shows me at a coffee shop, but where should I go if I need something other than caffeinated beverages?

Coffee and coffee shops in general have grown to become a huge industry for students as coffee shops offer not only drinks but also at times a quiet place to study.

Ultimately, coffee shops provide new experiences with an assortment of drinks to try. I first went to coffee shops to get something basic like a latte. My knowledge has grown over the years as I have sought to find more drinks that are new and different.

I have been even able to extend my selection from coffee to tea and even further beyond. If you are looking for a new beverage in your life or if you are concerned about your caffeine intake it may be beneficial to look into the shops that follow.

First on the list is tea. Tea can be caffeinated but ultimately it won’t be as caffeinated as coffee and it will open up a whole new batch of flavors and kinds of teas. There are all types of teas: oolongs, chais, black teas, green teas, white teas and there are always fusions of different teas.  

The difference between these teas lies in the caffeine content as well as the way the leaves are processed for steeping and flavor. For example, oolong teas originate from China and the leaves experience a long process of oxidation and time in the sun before the leaves are twisted.

Your tea can be cold or hot which you probably know by now. As for a location, if you want the full tea experience I would recommend visiting the Dim Sum Tea House located in the Crown Center. This shop is an extension of a tea grower located in China. Their product is exclusively sold in Kansas City.

Not only is the tea exquisite, but they offer a variety of teas for you to try. You can sit sipping different teas in house while watching  an attendant go through the whole process of brewing tea in the intended way. We often botch the tea making process by steeping the leaves too long or not including enough leaves to release the antioxidants and tea.  

The next drink I would recommend is a soda. But, before you head to Walmart, you have to check out the KC Soda Shop located on the River Market. In this shop, there are hundreds of different sodas and then a significant amount of root beers. This little shop is quaint and cute and offers not only fruit sodas but the really weird ones too like butter soda or pickle soda.

The Brewkery in Kansas City provides new kombucha flavours to try on tap. Flavors in the bottles include Ginger Lime, Hoppy Peach, Hoppy Citrus and more. Photo by Hailey Paulson

Soda granted is not as healthy but it does offer a nice break from the usual corner in the coffee shop. My next experience that I have on my bucket list to try is The Brewkery. The Brewkery is a brewery for kombucha, a fermented tea. This fermented tea comes in all different flavours like ginger lime, hoppy peach and hoppy citrus.

While I haven’t experienced the Brewkery in person, I have tried the kombucha that I listed and I can say that each flavor is so good. The brand of the kombucha is called Lucky Elixir and it can be found on tap or in bottles at the local coffee shop Post.

A little tip. Kombucha is a little of an adjustment to drink because of its strong flavour. If you are truly interested in trying this drink you can not be discouraged by the smell or the first few sips. Most people deny the drink because of their first impression.

Much like impressions with people, this drink needs to warm up to whoever tries it . My first impression was not so great but now I have learned to appreciate the odd yet satisfying flavor of kombucha.

And so, to those who want a new adventure, I have given three different types of drinks that can try to replace the dark brown caffeinated angel we all know as coffee.