Kin-Kin Coffee Stand at Festival Foods

A bag of Kin-Kin's Guatemala Huehuetenango single-origin coffee which I bought at the Kin-Kin coffee stand at Festival Foods in Madison.Kin-Kin Coffee is the roasting arm of Johnson Public House. As well as roasting for the coffee shop and outlets such as Ritual Barbers, Kin-Kin has a coffee stand in Festival Foods supermarket, serving single-origin coffee to shoppers and passers-by alike. There’s not a lot to it, although there’s a decent amount of seating for what it is. Impressively, Kin-Kin has a range of proper cups for those who are hanging around to enjoy their coffee. Retail shelves stock a selection of Kin-Kin’s output for sale, each bag coming with a free cup of coffee.

Unsurprisingly, there’s a limited coffee menu compared to Johnson Public House, with just a single-origin plus decaf on espresso, and another single-origin on batch-brew. Although not on the menu, you can have a pour-over if you ask nicely, which is particularly useful if you want to try a coffee which isn’t currently on the batch-brewer.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • On East Washington Avenue in Madison, you'll find a supermarkete called Festival Foods.
  • That was the western end. This  is the other end, looking west, towards the city centre...
  • ... where, off in the distance, you'll see Madison's magnificent Capitol Building.
  • It's worth a second look: East Washington Avenue runs right up to it in a straight line.
  • However, that's not why we're here. At the western end of Festival Foods, on the right...
  • ... you'll find Kin-Kin Coffee, with its colourful, geometric sign.
  • It's much more apparent if you approach from the western end, where there's this...
  • ... walk-up serving hatch, so you can get your coffee without ever going inside.
  • The menu is clearly, and helpfully, displayed to the right of the hatch.
  • You can also go inside. Kin-Kin is at the front of the store, at the end of this long aisle.
  • Here, in fact...
  • ... although if you enter at the western end, this is more likely to be your first view.
  • It's more than just a coffee stand though. There's seating, such as these two tables...
  • ... while you can also sit at the counter itself, which is my favourite spot.
  • Grab one of the three stools and watch the barista at work.
  • Kin-Kin is a roaster, coffee shop and retailer, with shelves to the right of the counter...
  • ... lined with bags of Kin-Kin's coffee, plus the occasional bit of merchandising.
  • I like Kin-Kin's packaging: a simple two-tone colour scheme, with different combinations...
  • ... of colours for each of the seasonal single-origin coffees on sale.
  • If you've come to drink coffee, the menu (white on black this time) is again to the right.
  • Meanwhile, even the espresso machine is getting in on the two-tone act!
  • I started with a flat white, made with the Guatemalan Huehuetenango.
  • I followed that with a V60 of the Honduras Las Flores in my SoL Cup.
  • I was so impressed that I bought a bag of each to take back to the UK with me!
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Festival Foods is on East Washington Avenue, a mere three blocks south of Johnson Pubic House. In a neat display of symmetry, Washington Avenue runs in a straight line to the Capitol Building, where on the other side (West Washington Avenue) you’ll find Porter, the Capitol equidistant between the two. Kin-Kin Coffee is located on the ground floor at the western end of Festival Foods, at the front, just before the beer, wine and spirits. If you’re in a hurry, and don’t want to go inside, there’s even a walk-up serving hatch on the outside on the corner of Washington Avenue and Livingston Street.

Kin-Kin has a simple layout, consisting of a counter and a limited amount of seating, with the counter’s long side facing down the length of the store. To the right of the counter, there’s a set of retail shelves, while to the left, two narrow tables occupy the windows, providing seating on four low stools. Alternatively, you can sit at the counter itself, one on of three high stools lining a projecting shelf. This is where I ended up, watching the barista at work and finding it surprisingly comfortable.

The counter’s layout is also simple. The twin-group La Marzocco espresso machine takes centre-stage, with its two grinders (single-origin, plus decaf). There’s a pour-over station tucked away to the left, while the till, where you order, is to the right.

There are plenty of windows, which makes Kin-Kin a very bright spot. Facing southeast, it really catches the morning sun, when it’s at its brightest. There’s an immense sense of space, helped by the soaring ceilings of Festival Foods. I also found it a surprisingly quiet spot, with nothing but the barista and grocery aisles for company. Note that there’s no food to be had here, but then again, you are in a supermarket and Kin-Kin doesn’t mind if you bring something over from the bakery counter for example.

Kin-Kin offers a seasonal selection of single-origin coffees. During my visit, these were a Mexican Triunfo Verde, Guatemalan Huehuetenango, Honduras Las Flores and Ethiopian Sidama. One is available on espresso, the barista changing it when it runs out, usually every other day, while the various single-origins are cycled through on batch-brew throughout the day. Depending on how much coffee is drunk you can get three or four different options during a single day.

I began with a flat white, made using the Guatemalan Huehuetenango, which the barista described as a solid coffee. It went well in milk, resulting in a lovely, smooth flat white, the perfect start to my day. The batch-brew was the Ethiopian Sidama, but instead the barista suggested that I try the Honduras Las Flores as a pour-over. Made using the V60, this was another lovely, subtle coffee which matured as it cooled, really growing on me in the process.

810 EAST WASHINGTON AVENUE • MADISON • WI 53703 • USA +1 608 572 4832
Monday 07:00 – 19:00 Roaster Kin-Kin (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 07:00 – 19:00 Seating Counter, Window-bar
Wednesday 07:00 – 19:00 Food No
Thursday 07:00 – 19:00 Service Counter
Friday 07:00 – 19:00 Cards Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 07:00 – 19:00 Wifi Free
Sunday 07:00 – 19:00 Power No
Chain Local Visits 19th September 2017

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4 thoughts on “Kin-Kin Coffee Stand at Festival Foods

  1. Pingback: Johnson Public House | Brian's Coffee Spot

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