By Amber Mabe
It is the source of memes, quotes, and t-shirt slogans. It is ingrained into pop culture and daily life around the globe. It has been called “brain fuel” and the “elixir of life.” But for Kyle Burge, coffee is more than a favorite drink or a morning routine – it is a passion. And the customers that walk through the doors of Kyle’s Coffee in downtown Kernersville taste the product of that passion every day.
Kyle’s love for coffee started early, when he was working as a barista for a small drive-thru store here in Kernersville in the late 2000’s. He enjoyed the experience so much that in 2008 he purchased his own coffee bean roaster and began experimenting with roasting coffee beans. What started as a small operation in his parents basement soon grew into a thriving coffee shop in Greensboro. From 2011 to 2016, Beans Boro was successful in serving Kyle’s freshly roasted blends to customers in the Greensboro area, but Kyle and his wife soon decided they wanted to bring their business to Kernersville. “We have kids, and it is a good place to raise a family,” Kyle said of his hometown. “We are not going anywhere. We wanted to plant our roots even further and start a business here.” So in 2017, Beans Boro became The Traveling Bean, moved to Kernersville, and made its home in the cozy corner shop you will find it in today.
Recently renamed Kyle’s Coffee, the current shop sits on the corner of one of downtown Kernersville’s main streets and opens to an inviting alley strung with lights and plenty of outdoor seating. It is convenient to public parking and other shops and restaurants. The shop’s atmosphere is inviting to customers of all ages, with the aroma of freshly roasted beans teasing the senses. Kyle says he wants his shop to be a place where families feel welcome: an extension of his customers’ homes or workspaces. He says what makes his shop different from others is not only the freshness of the coffee itself, but the personal touch of a hometown business. “I am going to know your name when you walk in the door,” he says, “we treat every person as if they are family. I want to bring people in to enjoy a cup of coffee, and it is the freshest coffee you are going to find.”
Kyle’s Coffee is indeed fresh. The beans you find at most grocery stores or even in specialty coffee shops can be weeks if not months old, and might have been flash-frozen in an attempt to preserve freshness during transport. Kyle roasts his coffee every week, so you know you are getting the freshest cup of joe in town. One of the biggest indications of coffee freshness is the degassing or “bloom” that happens during the brewing process – particularly noticeable when using the pour-over method. More bloom means fresher beans, as the coffee slowly releases the carbon dioxide stored within the beans from the roasting process as time goes by. Kyle carefully selects beans that have been freshly harvested, following the agricultural seasons around the world as he sources his unroasted bean shipments. The fact that the roasts available in the shop vary by season is a testimony to the freshness of Kyle’s roasting process.
With more people working from home over the last year, Kyle has been shipping out more freshly roasted beans than ever before. Customers can enjoy his signature brews from anywhere, with the convenience of online ordering through the Kyle’s Coffee website: www.KylesCoffee.net. In addition to being able to order freshly roasted blends and store merchandise, Kyle’s Coffee offers special services like personalized photo bags or birthday coffees. These special blends make perfect gifts for any coffee-loving friends or family.
Recently, Kyle roasted a special “Houle” blend in honor of Police Officer Sean Houle and the Kernersville Police Department, with the proceeds from sales going directly to the family of Officer Houle. Kyle says he hopes to continue the practice of making special blends honoring hometown heroes and local emergency services and law enforcement, with a portion of the proceeds going back to the local organizations. “We are really focused on community here,” says Kyle, “giving back is important to me.”
The future for Kyle’s Coffee is a bright one and brings with it the opportunity to serve even more of the Kernersville area. Plans are in the works for a second shop that will serve the south side of Kernersville. This shop will have a smaller footprint, but still sell all the same treats that customers are accustomed to enjoying at the original location. The downtown shop will remain as the headquarters for roasting and will continue to serve customers as usual. In addition to the second location is another exciting development: a mobile coffee truck that is set to roll out in the near future. Kyle still plans to be the face customers are used to seeing in the main shop but will be personally involved in the new ventures as well. No matter what the location, Kyle says his mission remains the same. “Coffee is a science and an art,” Kyle shares. “People who come into my shop want a good product, and they know what they are going to get. I take pride and passion in what I do.”
Experience the freshness of this local roaster for yourself by visiting the downtown location at 126A South Main Street in Kernersville or by ordering a bag for yourself from their website, www.KylesCoffee.net. Be on the lookout for exciting changes coming soon!