For 2014 coffee continued to evolve to be more than just your morning rocket fuel. This year coffee meant community  and coffee meant craft. From roasters perfecting their beans to the cold brew revolution and the first ever Grand Coffee Bazaar, Denver’s craft coffee scene continues to be one of the most vibrant and exciting movements in our city.

Note: this is a chronological list of past reviews. To see the most recent reviews, scroll to the bottom. All photography was created for 303 Magazine. 

Love Makes 2914 Coffee Go ‘Round

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Photo by Camille Breslin

Words by Kelly Miller

What: 2914 Coffee

Where: 2914 W. 25th Ave., Denver, CO

Pros: The Akumal spicy latte is 2914’s twist on a traditional mocha and it’s insanely good.

Cons: 2914 Coffee is definitely one of the few businesses in this area, so it may be out of the way for some. 

“When I walked into 2914 Coffee in Jefferson Park, it’s easy to see why the place is usually packed. With multiple seating areas, a window bar that looks upon 25th Avenue, and an extensive drink menu, the store makes for a great hangout. But it’s the story behind the shop that made me fall in love with 2914 Coffee.”  Read the full review here.

 

Colfax Has a Community Gathering Place in Cafe Max

Photo by Jackie Collins

Photo by Jackie Collins

Words by Kelly Miller

What: Cafe Max

Where: 2412 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Pros: If you are looking for a place to go before you hit the bars in Cap Hill, the plum wine and edamame pairing is perfect.

Cons: Meeting a friend for happy hour? Plan to arrive at Café Max at least 15 minutes early so you can find a place to park.

“As you may know by now, Denver has plenty of coffee shops. Like other urban cities, each neighborhood in Denver has a spot that the locals go to for their coffee staples. Residents near Colfax and Josephine are lucky: they have Cafe Max. It’s way more than just a coffee shop or a cafe, it’s a gathering place… read the full review here

Crema Coffee House is in a League of its Own

Photo by Camille Breslin

Photo by Camille Breslin

Words by Kelly Miller

What: Crema Coffee House

Where: 2862 Larimer St., Denver, CO

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: Crema doesn’t provide any outlets for its customers. So come with a fully charged battery if you’re planning on staying awhile.

“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 Crema has added a food element to the menu. This puts Crema in a league of its own.” Read the full review here

Black Eye Coffee Offers Intimate Hangout Spot

Photo by Camille Breslin

Photo by Camille Breslin

Words by Kelly Miller

What: Black Eye Coffee

Where: 3408 Navajo St., Denver, CO

Pros: The shop has an intimate bar that is perfect for catching up with friends.

Cons: The food menu is limited so if you are craving a full blown meal, you should head elsewhere.

“With a distressed wood bar and plenty of seating, Black Eye Coffee is a great place to meet with friends over a brewed cup of coffee. The interior has vintage pieces that gives it a warm welcoming aroma. But while decor and mood lighting is important, it’s the coffee that will get you to keep coming back… read the full review here.”

 

Thump Coffee Offers Authentic Ingredients and a Vibrate Space

Photo by Jackie Collins

Photo by Jackie Collins

Words by Kelly Miller

What: Thump Coffee

Where: 1201 E. 13th Ave., Denver, CO 

Pros: Thump Coffee provides the perfect spot to relax with Scrabble boards, happy hour menus and an awesome playlist. 

Cons: It’s true what you’ve heard – Thump is on the pricier side, but since all the ingredients are made in house– it makes perfect sense.

“A typical coffee shop has all of the basics: a barista bar, bistro tables, and a simple menu. Thump Coffee in Capitol Hill has taken love for coffee a step further by creating not only a city roastery, but a perfect spot to relax — down to the very last detail. With large shared tables, scrabble boards, and happy hour menu that has local and regional drafts on tap, Thump Coffee has broken the mold of a “typical” coffee shop. The staff created an environment that combines a study spot, happy hour zone, and productive work space all into one.” Read the full review here.

Ride Over to Denver Bicycle Cafe

Photo by Camille Breslin

Photo by Camille Breslin

 Words by Kelly Miller

What: Denver Bicycle Cafe- A Bike and Coffee Shop Combo

Where: 1308 E. 17th Ave., Denver, CO

Pros: Pairing the offered espresso with the big bad baptist imperial stout from Epic Brewing was unique and delicious.

Cons: The shop offers a limited food menu and is better for drinks and treats with friends than a meal.

“If there are three things that Denverites are in love with, it’s beer, biking and coffee. Whether it’s biking down the Cherry Creek Bike Path or taking weekend trips to bike through the mountains, Denver residents love taking advantage of all of the beautiful bike paths through Colorado. And nothing completes a rigorous biking adventure like a cup of coffee or a tall glass of beer. The owners of Denver Bicycle Cafe have catered to this idea by offering a combination bike and coffee shop in one awesome location. It’s the perfect place to come and get a tune-up and a tasty treat.” Read the full review here.

Family Matters at Spur Coffee

Spur Coffee

Photo by Caitlin Savage

Words by Kelly Miller

What: Spur Coffee

Where: 5624 S. Prince St., Littleton, CO

Pros: Fresh baked treats and delicious coffee in an adorable shop setting 

Cons: This will be a trek for those of you living in Denver. I promise you, it’s worth it.

“In case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of coffee shops in Denver. Between franchise stores like Starbucks or Caribou Coffee and independent ventures around town, it can be hard to create a shop that is unique and appealing. Owners can have trouble with this, especially when there are so many places for patrons to choose from. But what about taking the competition out of Denver entirely?” Read the full review here.

 Corvus Coffee and the Cold Brew Revolution

Corvus Coffee, Corvus Coffee Review, Cold Brew Coffee Denver, Nitro coffee Denver, Hopped Coffee Denver

Photo by Lindsey Bartlett

Words by Brittany Werges

What: Corvus Coffee, featuring a new, innovative tap system

Where: 1740 S. Broadway, Denver, CO 

Pro: Corvus’ new tap system provides a more versatile array of options with nitro infused cold brew coffees to ginger beer and kombucha.

Con: The cold brew coffee can be intense, especially when you add in the hops.

Less than a year ago, Corvus Coffee opened its doors to a new, larger location on South Broadway. Now, with the dust settled, the Corvus team kicked it up a notch this summer. The self proclaimed “small roasting company” debuted a tap system that collides the world of craft beer with that of craft coffee.” Read the full review here.

 

Novo Coffee, The Versatile Coffee Shop

Photo by Danny Odum

Photo by Danny Odum

Words by Nathaniel Oldham

What: Novo Coffee

Where: 1600 Glenarm Place & 1700 E. 6th Ave., Denver, CO

Pros: Novo Coffee offers premium espresso, coffee, and spirits and collaborates with several local businesses. Pro tip: Don’t leave the Glenarm location without trying a Butterbang croissant. 

Cons:  The noise level in the morning can be a little high, but after the morning commute settles down, so does the volume.

“There’s more than just coffee brewing at Novo Coffee in Downtown Denver. With a well known roasting facility on Larimer Street and two cafes in Denver, Novo at first glance seems to be your standard coffee shop, serving espresso and roasted coffee to commuters and business people. But after closer examination of the menu, it’s clear that Novo is much more than what meets the eye.” Read the full review here.

Marley Coffee Stirs it Up in the City

Photo by Roman Tafoya

Photo by Roman Tafoya

Words by Nathaniel Oldham

What: Marley Coffee

Where: 1536 Wynkoop St., Denver, CO (Inside the Alliance Center) & 16th and Larimer on the 16th Street Mall

Pros: Marley Coffee is a great way to get fresh, organic coffee on the go, with a full espresso menu, organic teas and smoothies.

Cons: The K-cups are not yet recyclable, but Marley intends to be using only Eco-cups by Spring of 2015.

“It may come as no surprise, but Marley Coffee is as smooth and soulful as the Marley name itself. The company is the heart and soul of Rohan Marley, the son of visionary Reggae musician, Bob Marley, and lucky for us, he’s decided to make Denver Marley Coffee’s new home. Coming from Kingston, Jamaica, Marley Coffee services the downtown area with custom designed Bike Caffes, which are self sufficient, low emission coffee shops on wheels, pedaled by the barista themselves.” Read the full review here.

 Steam Espresso Bar is a South Pearl Gem

Photo by Roman Tafoya

Photo by Roman Tafoya

Words by Nathaniel Oldham

What: Steam Espresso Bar

Where: 1801 S. Pearl St., Denver, CO

Pro: Steam Espresso Bar’s expertly brewed coffee and espresso are as enticing as the interior design and local bar vibe.

Con: The menu is limited, but the options are superior and well made.

Steam Espresso Bar is more than just a corner coffee shop. Located right in the heart of the Old South Pearl neighborhood, Steam isn’t a place where you’ll find the average vanilla lattes and pumpkin everything. The place is more like a boutique cafe rather than an everyday coffee shop, serving a small menu of fine roasted Boxcar coffees and espresso drinks, completely free of flavor reducing syrups that founder, Hani Yaafouri, is determined to change in his world of coffee.” Read the full review here.

Care and Craft at Huckleberry Roasters

Photo by Brittany Werges

Photo by Brittany Werges

Words by Brittany Werges

What: Huckleberry Roasters

Where: Roasting Room and Cafe – 4301 Pecos St., Denver, CO

Larimer Cafe: 2500 Larimer St., Denver, CO 

Pro: Huckleberry provides expertly roasted coffee that is meticulously tracked from harvest to cup.

Con: Huckleberry roasts on the lighter side, which is not necessarily a con to many. However don’t come here expecting a dark, european roast. 

“At approximately 7 a.m. on any given Monday or Tuesday, you’ll find Koan Goedman opening the doors to Huckleberry’s flagship store. Goedman, a tall, pensive looking man with stylish oval shaped glasses and a beard to match, is co-founder and lead roaster at Huckleberry. He comes to the Sunnyside location on this set schedule to begin roasting his weekly 400-pound batch of coffee. His practice involves only a couple of simple steps, much of which is waiting, but depends largely on expert sensory testing in order for it to be successful. That is why Goedman explained that much of his work relies on tactical and olfactory cues throughout the roasting in order to ensure the perfect caramelization of single every bean. He’ll even scan each portion at the end to pick out “quakers,” pale, un-roasted beans that can unbalance an entire batch.” Read the full review here.

Copper Door Coffee, Denver’s First Female-Owned Roasting Co.

 

Photo by Roman Tafoya

Photo by Roman Tafoya

Words by Brittany Werges

What: Copper Door Coffee Roasters

Where: 932 Jersey St., Denver, CO

Pro: Copper Door Coffee offers a wide range of roasts either in-store or via delivery from its website. Try the dark roasts for a break from the typical craft coffee offerings.

Con: The shop’s location is in an odd spot. It is embedded in a strip mall off Colorado Blvd. It might be hard to find for some. 

“With new shops popping up every day, it seems that locally roasted coffee could become the new norm in Denver. For every handful of Starbucks locations, there’s probably a neighborhood shop close by where you can get a cup of coffee made from natively cooked beans. There’s even a whole subculture too embodied in the barista community – young, dapper looking males will usually greet you at most coffee shop counters. Walk into any coffee shop within urban Denver and you’re likely to see what we mean. But beyond the recent openings and a cultish culture, how do we know that this movement is here to stay? Is it just a fad or will others adopt it too? Because mustaches and button-ups won’t always be cool. Enter Hannah Ulbrich of Copper Door Coffee, one sign that the craft coffee scene might stick around longer than we think.” Read the full review here.

Want to know more about how your coffee is made? Let local roasters explain it to you by reading our guide to craft coffee. 

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