I started drinking coffee when I was about eight years old. 

Before you start picturing a pint-sized Megan knocking back a venti triple shot latte, understand that what my mom was giving me was about 95% milk and 5% coffee. Nonetheless, I thought it was super cool to sit at the kitchen table with Mom and her friends while they drank their afternoon cup of joe. In fact, it was so infectiously hip that even my little brother wanted “coffee milk” in his sippy cup. (Seriously, people. Just a splash of coffee…) Point being, I’ve been educating myself on the wonders of java for nearly two decades and I’ve got that coffee culture engraved deeply into my soul.

Now when I’m jonesing for a hot mug of bean juice, I think back to that table full of ladies, sipping on their coffee with chicory and just shootin’ the shit. Naturally, I equate a latte with those comforting memories. I don’t really think of myself as a fiend — I just love to taste nostalgia.

Corporate America has essentially ruined coffee. That whole mass-produced, watered-down burnt flavored sludge just doesn’t curl my toes. Luckily, every suburb and big city in this country has a neighborhood joint where the barista knows you want a no-foam, no-fat latte before you even open the door.  Hell — when I found out that the couple that owned my local favorite shop back home was retiring, I cried my eyelashes off. Cutesy coffee shops are an incredibly valuable part of our local community, so let’s keep them around — shall we?

Denver

Pajama Baking CompanyCoda Coffee (based out of Denver), breakfast items (try the burrito smothered in green chile), baked goods. The garage doors open in the summer for an even more inviting vibe.

1595 South Pearl Street, Denver 80210

Stella’s Coffeehaus Pablo’s Coffee (based out of Denver), baked goods. Stella’s boasts a large patio with fire pits, as well as a cozy library in back which is perfect for studying or snuggling up with a book.

1476 South Pearl Street, Denver 80210

Boulder

Buchanan’s Coffee Pub – Silver Canyon coffee (based out of Boulder), snacks, Moe’s Bagels, baked goods. This is a prime study spot for CU students and a perfect stop for a cup of brew on the way to class.

1301 Pennsylvania Ave, Boulder 80302

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