Sick of Chain Stores – Flying Monkey Coffee, Topeka

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One of the best things about traveling is getting the feel of each new area thru their individual businesses. But, that has been disappearing as the chain stores/franchises spread throughout the country/the world. That is one thing that attracts me to Austin, Texas, the diversity of eateries and small privately owned businesses. It is very unusual for a town the size of Austin to stay so simple in this new world of ours.

A new coffee shop opened last Friday in Topeka. It is called The Flying Monkey. I think that name is for one of the coffees that their owner’s, PT’s Coffee, roasts, but don’t quote me on that. Topeka as a city is hurting for a lot of things, but it really needed a good coffee shop, more centrally located, near our local university, Washburn. And that is the what the Flying Money is. A very good coffee shop owned and run by guys that are super passionate about coffee.

PT’s coffee is pretty famous in the coffee world. They won the National roaster of the year award for 2008. Pretty strange for a small start up coffee company in the midwest. The owner’s Jeff Taylor and Fred Polzin have been doing this for nearly 20 years and travel all over the world buying the best coffee they can find. I appreciate their passion.

I’ve went to the Flying Monkey everyday since they opened last Friday and love the ambiance. Welded metal, natural woods, concrete and glass. It is a comfortable place to hang. Anyway, if you want to get some of the best coffee on the planet from some guys that are crazy knowledgeable and passionate about coffee, click here to go to their website to shop online. Their are quite a few different choices from throughout the world. Their website is very good, with lots of depth. If you happen to come through Topeka sometime and want a great cup of joe, then make sure you go by the Flying Monkey.

Handcrafted Brews, I like that.

They make each cup individual. Or press pot or about any other way you can imagine coffee to be served.

Front of the Topeka magazine a while back.

The owners actually work at the shop.

I love the industrial look of the furniture.

Here’s a little video of the guys that run the place and their passion.

6 thoughts on “Sick of Chain Stores – Flying Monkey Coffee, Topeka

  1. channel_zero

    It doesn’t get any worse than Starbucks for a couple of shots of espresso. I don’t even need an espresso machine to make a better two shots. And yet, the popularity of the chain remains.

    I just watched Idiocracy again. Fast-forward through the slow parts and it’s a much better movie. Brilliant. Prescient. Better enjoy it while it’s there. Carl’s Jr. will crush the Flying Monkey any day now.

  2. Mark

    Starbucks has become a status symbol for those that can afford to pay $5 for a coffee vs $.50 to make it themselves, and/or “..don’t have the time to make it themselves” (although they have the time to stop off at buy it). Buy descent whole beans, use a cheap grinder, and a Bialetti stove-top expresso maker and you’re all set up. Forget all the foofy mocha/carmel crap.

  3. patrick

    steve, the next time you’re in st louis, go for coffee at meshuggah(if you haven’t already). it’s maybe the best cup i’ve ever had. i don’t live in the lou, but it’s one of the reasons i love to visit. the shop is right down the street from big shark. if you don’t like the coffee i’ll refund your money.

  4. Steve Wathke

    I don’t like coffee. Now where can I find a classic diet coke?
    Who cares if its a chain as long as they aren’t like Walmart. Now theres a place I can hate.
    Now if this flying monkey place takes off and becomes the next starbucks with a store on every corner will people hate them too. I don’t care if it’s a chain or a small business as long as the service and the product is good.
    My wife does like coffe though so I’ll take here by there now. Thanks!

  5. Jimbo

    Steve Wathke’s comments are spot-on. One of the primary reasons that we, as consumers, have access to decent coffee is that places like Starbucks and Peets exist, both of which are credited for generating interest in quality coffee. If it weren’t for them, we’d still be drinking Folgers or something similar from a tin.

  6. Andrew Coe

    Great recommendation on the Flying Monkey – I stopped by after the CX races and had an excellent espresso. Very cool incorporation of technology there too with the electronic hot water control and the iPad POS.


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