Knoxville's newest coffee shop does things a little differently. Sitting at the corner of Broadway and Glenwood Avenue, K Brew offers all the classics with a few twists.
When a coffee drinker enters a coffee shop, they already have an idea of what they will order. With K Brew's multitude of brewing contraptions and a rotating coffee roaster schedule, they may have to reconsider. Aside from the classic semi-gigantic espresso machine, there is a shelf lined with modestly-sized glass contraptions. Looking like they belong in a science lab, the machines each produce coffee in a distinct way.
"We've got a lot of brewing methods that aren't featured at other coffee shops," Josh Beard, K Brew's head barista, said. "You can get really fancy with the cona. Since there is no direct heat on the grounds, it is the smoothest cup of coffee you can possibly get."
Some will stick with their preferred French press, but there are still decisions to be made. K Brew offers two types of caffeinated coffee on a daily basis, one of which is "Costa Rica San Rafael." When January concludes, K Brew will exchange the coffees for a new roast.
"We try to get people to try new brew methods as well as new coffees," Beard said.
There is also a specific espresso roast, and they keep a decaffeinated coffee on hand, just in case. Maintaining a multiple roaster model can be difficult. There were only 24 reported multiple roaster cafes in America in 2012.
After Pierce LaMacchia, owner and founder of K Brew, took a coffee tour of the West Coast with his little brother in 2008, he realized how much effort goes into a great cup of coffee.
"We got a taste of third wave coffee, which consists of a dedication the origin of the bean, an intense focus on the flavor profile of the coffee and a scientific approach to the brewing methods," LaMacchia said.
That inspirational trip combined with 12 years in food service and a love for coffee and hospitality was the formula LaMacchia used to create the petite corner cafe.
K Brew's space isn't extensive. With enough room to house the coffee bar and six bar stools stationed by the two large paned windows, the cafe is quaint and cozy, creating a warm atmosphere.
"It kinda forces people to be close to one another – a little uncomfortable, but in a good way," Beard said. "Even from across the room, you hear people's conversations, and you can't help but join in."
It's the delicious coffee and the intimate atmosphere that keeps Hunter Wright, and others, coming back.
"I like to meet people," Wright said. "That's why I'm here, in public, rather than locked up in an office."
With the cafe situated at a busy intersection, there are plenty of people coming through the shop. Thousands of cars drive down Broadway, and people walk by every day.
Two and a half months after opening, K Brew's attempts at serving the community a great cup of coffee is still its No. 1 goal.
"Coffee is like a stereotypical high-schooler: fickle and full of potential," LaMacchia said. "Acing the right ingredient proportions, grind, drip rate and water profile is a great feelings.
"It's what we strive for every day."