Coffee is more than your average beverage; it is the lifeblood of the productive. It fuels our never ending projects, the late night deadlines and of course the dreaded early morning meetings. It helps us through our days and nights, giving us that last little push we need to make it across the finish line. For this reason, many of us have become quite fond of coffee. Its delicious and productivity-producing qualities are something to be admired. However more often than not we find ourselves drinking something that is called ‘coffee’ but is rather an imposture dressed in Styrofoam and non-dairy creamer. Well this weekend I learned how to avoid this dilemma at all cost. I spent last Saturday touring the majority of greater Denver via bike to visit all the new and upcoming Coffee shops in town; and we aren’t talking about Starbucks either.
Denver’s first Coffee Crawl, a 21 mile bike ride through Denver, highlights only the best. Founder, Josh McNeilly, picked each location because every place “approaches coffee like a science, with great care and great knowledge”. Luckily there is an abundance of such shops in Denver, making for a full tour. In total there were 6 stops ranging from the Highlands to Five Points and all the way down South Pearl. This made for a fun trip as well as a decently difficult bike ride. However with all the amazing coffee fuelin through your veins, the trek is well worth it…So if you want to know more about the booming craft coffee culture in Denver or you just want to find a place to get a fantastic cup of coffee check out the highlights from the tour. Also if you are considering joining the next Coffee Crawl, make sure to follow the Denver Coffee Review online.
First stop, Purple Door
Where: Five Points- 2962 Welton St. Denver
Try: Their Chai or Cortado
Purple Door might seem like your typical high-end coffee shop, with its well-dressed barista’s and vintage décor, but behind the appearance there is a great cause. Working with Dry Bones Denver, Purple Door Coffee aims to train and employ local at-risk youth. This is a far cry from the practices of most expensive retailers that move into growing communities. Rather Purple Door seeks to engage in the local neighborhood instead of trying to bring in an out-of-area clientele. Definitely check them out the next time you’re in Five Points and help out an amazing cause while getting some wonderful coffee.
Second Stop: BoxCar Coffee
Where: NorthWest Denver
3459 Ringsby Ct
Denver, CO 80216
Try: Brewed Coffee made via the Boiling Method
Boxcar coffee has become a favorite roaster among many Coloradans. Known mainly in Boulder, Boxcar just opened its first Denver location in a secluded area of Northwest Denver. The space is big and open with great industrial modern décor. Its location might be off the beaten track but it gives the place a natural and calm atmosphere. Come for the coffee made with the boiling method but stay for the space. It would be a fantastic place to get some work done without distraction.
Third stop: Black Black Coffee
Where: North Highlands.
3640 W 38th Ave
Denver, CO 80211
Try: Whatever they are currently featuring. I loved the Guatemala El Inteligente
Black Black Coffee, ran by Denver Coffee Crawl founder, Josh McNeilly, is a place known for it’s specialty brew. Located off 38th, Black Black is more of a ‘pop-up’ and is situated within a garage-like boutique furniture store. But don’t be fooled, they serve up only the best beans, usually picking rare types that are hard to find. And because of this, they only serve black coffee-hence the name. No cream or sugar allowed. This makes for an excellent but expensive cup of coffee. However it is totally worth it if you have a passion for coffee and don’t mind spending a little extra dough. Check them out the next time you need something on the go in the Highlands. They won’t disappoint.
Fourth Stop: Steam Espresso Bar
Where: South Pearl
1801 S Pearl St Denver, CO 80210
Try: Any Espresso creation
Situated on a quite corner of pearl, Steam offers great espresso and a nice atmosphere. They have wonderful patio that is definitely the best out of all the coffee shops we visited. Unlike Black Black, Steam is less of a to-go place and more of your go-to. Meaning you will probably find yourself spending a lot of time here either getting to know your favorite book or your favorite friends. Check them out on any given Sunday or on your next coffee date.
Fifth Stop: Little Owl
1555 Blake St Denver CO
Try: Iced coffee made with homemade almond milk
Located in LoDo, Little Owl is by far the swankiest coffee shop I’ve been to in Denver. Its small but beautiful space is expertly decorated and perfectly fits the high-end apartment building it’s attached to. It was relatively quite so could spend a nice Saturday people watching on the patio. They too have wonderful espresso’s and coffee’s but they go above and beyond and make their own almond milk. I really enjoyed their ice coffee with the almond milk and it is definitely something worth trying!
Last Stop: Novo
Where: Off 16th street Mall in Downtown Denver
1600 Glenarm Street
Try: Any espresso creation as well as their variety of locally roasted and expertly brewed Coffee.
Novo might have been our last stop but it was not last in my heart. Novo is becoming increasingly known for their coffee in Denver because they expertly roast every bean they sell just down the street on Larimer. It’s hard to get any better than that. And even if you’ve had Novo before make sure to check them out in store for the best experience. They make sure they hire expert baristas who will brew their beans in the way it was intended. They also have a great space where many friendly people gather, including their sweet and eccentric owner who will probably strike up a conversation with you. Definitely check them out if you are new to Denver and see what the craft culture is all about!
Overall, Denver’s Coffee Crawl was a major success. I, including all the friendly faces I met along the way, seemed to really enjoy the experience. Denver has more to offer in terms of craft coffee than you’d even imagine and the 21-mile bike ride is a wonderful view into this budding culture. Make sure to follow the Denver Coffee review as this craft develops. Because as we’ve learned with beer and marijuana, sub culture grow quicker in Colorado than you’d think…
To see all the photos from the Denver Coffee Crawl check out our gallery HERE