The Grind: Crema Coffee House is in a League of its Own

What: Crema Coffee House

Where: 2862 Larimer Street in Denver

Pros: Don’t call it a diner – but Crema serves delicious food, making it a coffee house on steroids. The Sweet Potato Waffle is a must order.

Cons: Located in the RiNo area, it’s a quick bike trip for the residents in the area, but those living in other parts of the city may have to make a trip out of their visit to Crema.

Crema is the coffee world’s term for the layer of foam at the top of a freshly brewed cup of espresso. So a shop called Crema Coffee House must know its stuff about espresso, right? In one word: yes. Not only does Crema serve smooth coffee drinks made with local and nationally based roasters, but they have added a food element to their menu. This puts Crema in a league of its own.

Sweet Potato Waffle. Photo by Camille Breslin.

While most coffee shops stick with sourcing from one or two roasters, Crema sources roasters from all over the country. Dogwood Coffee Co. is based out of Minnesota, while Stumpton Coffee Roasters have their headquarters in Portland. They also have roasters in the Carolinas and California. This makes for a diverse lineup of quality ingredients. If you are looking for a local flavor, Huckleberry Roasters and Novo Coffee often make an appearance on Crema’s menu. Having 12 roasters to choose from keeps the Crema menu fresh and never stale.

Every drink that I ordered at Crema came out looking beautiful. The precision behind the bar made their latte art look great. The Crema Macchiato was tasty and had the perfect amount of milk. It’s a great choice for someone who is looking for something a little easier on the taste buds than an espresso, especially if you aren’t accustomed to strong coffee. The Crema Latte was also made very well and I’d highly recommend it. Crema also offers team and fresh juices made to order. They have a variety of drinks that pair well with their food menu.

What really sets Crema apart from other shops is their full food menu. Everything is made in house, except for the greens – but I wouldn’t be surprised if they started growing those too. Owner Noah Price explained that the food aspect of Crema started when he brought business partner Jonathan Power on board. Now Crema can hold its own against other restaurants in the area as a delicious option for breakfast or lunch. They have a great blend of savory and sweet options. The Sweet Potato Waffle is amazing. This gluten free concoction is a large sweet potato waffle topped with candied walnuts, hazelnut whip cream, and maple syrup. No synthetic syrup here. The waffle may be gluten free, but the flavor is heavier than ever from the sweet potato mixture. It’s a great sweet option.

Veggie Quiche. Photo by Camille Breslin.

For the savory flavor lovers out there, Crema’s daily quiche selection will hit the spot. I ordered the Veggie Quiche of the Day, which contained spinach and leeks and was served with a small greens salad. It’s a healthy, light version and packed a ton of savory tastes. They also have a meat option if you are looking for a carnivorous spin on quiche. I will definitely be back to try out their lunch options, which include a Korean Rueben and Pork Belly Banh Mi.

With an expanded food menu and a variety of coffee options, Crema is home to regulars and newcomers alike. They are also open longer than most shops in the area. Crema Coffee House has become a pioneer for a new breed of coffee houses and is putting the community on the map, bringing more traffic to the area on a daily basis. They truly are a force to be reckoned with.

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