Denver and the nearby cities of Aurora, Lakewood, Boulder, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins are home to hundreds of breweries, world-class restaurants and tons of artisan producers. The duality of Colorado’s beauty and abundance of urban life here makes it an attractive place for makers both native and from all around. The beloved caffeinated beverage — coffee — is also one of the major industries here on the Front Range and the cities surrounding. If you are a coffee lover, whether you live here or are on a trip — you would be remiss to not try a few of the area’s deliciously crafted coffee roasters. Whether you want a nice pour-over or a place to buy your coffee to drink at home — we’ve rounded up some of the best coffee roasters divided by region.
Middle State Coffee
Where: 212 Santa Fe Dr., Denver
The Lowdown: Located just south of the Santa Fe Arts District — Middle State Coffee‘s roastery and cafe is located in the suite of an updated old brick building. Though it’s in an industrial area, it’s totally worth the visit. The vibes here are minimalist with skateboards used as accents for design. The coffee here has sophisticated flavor profiles, take for example the complex San Augustin with lemon custard, green apple and pomegranate notes. The current varieties are sourced from Ethiopia, Kenya, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica. You can also buy online with free shipping on orders over $50. Unique offerings include decaf, instant coffee and a sample four-pack.
Where: 630 E. 6th Ave.; 1300 Pennsylvania St. #102; and 7701 E. Colfax Ave., Denver
The Lowdown: Pablo’s Coffee first opened in 1995 inside the Denver Performing Arts Complex and has since relocated with three different locations — two spots in Capitol Hill and one on East Colfax. So needless to say, it’s one of the city’s coffee powerhouses. Its most popular blends are Danger Monkey which is a smooth dark roast and the Leisurist which has notes of fruit, honey and caramel. The other 13 blends on tap are delicious as well being sourced from some lesser-known coffee regions like Malawi and Papua New Guinea. If you buy in stores, you will receive a punch card which grants a free bag of coffee after your sixth purchased bag. Buying online is always convenient, too.
Where: 1201 E. 13th Ave. and 601 N. Broadway, Denver
The Lowdown: Originating in Bend, Oregon with its roastery and three locations there, Thump Coffee opened up a spot in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood in 2013. The cafe on 13th and Downing is a favorite among residents trying to get some work done in a beautiful space. It has several communal tables, bar-style window seating, a patio and really good food. We recommend spending some time there with some thick avocado toast and snagging a bag of coffee to take home. Currently, there are 14 varieties sourced from Colombia, Kenya, Guatemala, Ethiopia and Burundi. A popular blend is the North Fork which has notes of citrus, vanilla and milk chocolate. Buy online or purchase at one of their two locations in which you will receive a free coffee, cold brew or fresh-baked cookie.
Where: Roastery, 3008 Larimer St., Denver; Several locations, see here.
The Lowdown: A father and sons operation, Novo Coffee was founded in 2002 and has been serving the city quality coffee ever since. Novo has three locations across the city — in addition, its roastery in the RiNo district hosts a public tasting and tour every Friday from noon to 1 p.m. which includes a free bag of coffee. Right now, there are 10 different blends sourced from Panama, El Salvador, Sumatra, Mexico, Ethiopia and more. Other than the blends, there are three espresso types and two decafs. Purchase is available online, at all retail locations and the roastery during public hours.
Kaladi Coffee Roasters
Where: 1713 E. Evans Ave., Denver; 2823 S. Broadway, Englewood
The Lowdown: Kaladi Coffee Roasters owners Mark Overly and Andrew Melnick opened up shop in Denver in 2000 with a focus on creating quality specialty coffee in an independent non-chain setting. The name Kaladi comes from the legend that a goat herder named Kaladi first discovered coffee when he saw his goats were giddy from eating red berries from a dark-leaved shrub. The coffee at Kaladi is very methodic, taking account of every aspect — body, taste, aroma and their special technique of air roasting. With over 20 blends sourced from Rwanda, Guatemala, Sumatra, Honduras, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Peru, El Salvador, Nicaragua — it’s easy to see that Kaladi has both passion and variety. Any style of coffee you’re looking for, you can find here. Buy online or from one of its two locations.
Corvus Coffee Roasters
Where: 1740 S. Broadway and 4925 S. Newport St., Denver
The Lowdown: You may have tried their popular nitro cold brew coffee which is served in cafes, restaurants and markets around the city, and if you haven’t it’s time to try. Corvus Coffee Roasters is a Denver java mogul with two locations — one that’s really hard to miss on South Broadway due to its big sign and nice patio with people enjoying their coffee in the sunshine. Corvus works directly with farmers in Latin America and Africa creating lasting relationships. The coffee is then artisanally roasted in Denver. Right now, they have 11 varieties, and you can find the story behind each blend here. If you’re the type of person that likes to know the exact process and where your coffee is coming from — you may want to try out Corvus Coffee. Buy and or subscribe online or purchase from one of its two locations.
Where: 4301 N. Pecos St. and 1800 Wazee St., Denver
The Lowdown: One of the city’s most beloved coffee purveyors — Huckleberry Roasters — has been producing its lovely beans since 2011. It started from a backyard operation and grew to its current roastery and cafe in Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood, as well as an outpost inside the Denver Milk Market. The Pecos Street location is cozy and bright with views of the roasting operation in the back. Right now they have 11 different types of coffee sourced from Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Kenya, Guatemala, Brazil, Peru and Nicaragua. They made headlines when their very own Shelby Williamson was the first US woman to compete at the World Roasting Championships earlier this year. The most popular blend is the house espresso blend, Blue Orchid which has notes of dark chocolate, caramel and roasted walnuts. When you purchase a bag of coffee at either location, it comes with a free coffee, cold brew or shot of espresso.
Commonwealth Coffee Roasters
Where: 5225 E. 38th Ave., Denver
The Lowdown: Located in Denver’s North Park Hill, Commonwealth Coffee Roasters is both a roastery and cafe. You may have tried them at the popular Denver coffee shop Amethyst Coffee which serves Commonwealth as their house roast. Open since 2013, they have been developing and serving coffee, of which right now they have just four blends, but they are all highly delicious. Not to mention, it won a Good Food Award for its coffee both this year and in 2016. The current coffees are sourced from Colombia, Guatemala and Panama. Visiting their brick and mortar is an experience for its modern, bright interior and interesting offerings like the cereal milk latte. The coffee can be bought in the shop or online with free shipping on orders over $50.
Copper Door Coffee Roasters
Where: 900 W. 1st Ave. #180 and 7581 E. Academy Blvd., Denver
The Lowdown: If you’re a feminist, you may be interested in knowing that Copper Door Coffee Roasters is the only 100 percent female-owned coffee roaster in Denver. Established in 2006, it serves coffee roasted in small batches at its roastery in the Santa Fe district. Currently, it is serving 12 blends sourced from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Sumatra, Guatemala and India. Owner Hannah Ulbrich is also dedicated to being environmentally friendly by roasting coffee with 100 percent wind power as well as using compostable paper products in her cafes. Purchase at one of its locations or online.
Rivers and Roads Coffee
Where: 2539 Bruce Randolph Ave., Denver
The Lowdown: The fairly new cafe in the Clayton neighborhood — Rivers and Roads Coffee roasts its own coffee and currently only sells bags in-store. This place is incredibly cute with a quaint neighborhood vibe, a nice patio with a high ceiling interior and garage windows opening to the outside. It has a large food menu of fresh-baked pastries, hearty toasts, potato dishes and sandwiches — making it an exceptional place to have breakfast or lunch while getting some work done. The coffee here is made from quality green beans from around the world, roasted in small batches. The roast here sways toward a light roast and highlights the flavors of the regions where the beans are coming from.
Little Owl Coffee Roasters
Where: 1555 Blake St., Denver
The Lowdown: Little Owl Coffee, open since 2013, is a small specialty coffee bar located in downtown Denver in the LoDo district. Just a block from Larimer Square, this pretty tiny little spot is worth the stop for a quality latte while exploring downtown — and perhaps also a bag of single-origin coffee. A lot of coffee roasters do blends from different regions, while all of Little Owl’s offerings are not blends, but rather single origins. For example, the Thiururi is sourced just from Kenya and the Yukro from Ethiopia. When buying online, orders over $50 include free shipping.
Where: 95 Lincoln St., Denver
The Lowdown: Originally a location in Littleton, Spur Coffee‘s cafe recently re-located to the Baker neighborhood a block from Broadway. Its roastery is located in the Clayton neighborhood, only open by appointment. But its cafe is something close to perfect with big windows, white walls, plants and a disco ball above the counter area to name some elements. The food is awesome too with items like breakfast tacos, sandwiches, salads and bowls with plenty of vegan options. And of course — the coffee. Right now, they have four varieties sourced from Ethiopia and Colombia. The Mormora Sawana has an interesting flavor profile of strawberry, grape soda, sugarcane, peaches + cream and violet. Purchase is available online, and if you buy at the cafe, you will receive a star to go towards a reward once you hit 10 stars.
Where: 1441 S. Holly St., Denver
The Lowdown: Roastery and cafe, Unravel Coffee, opened earlier this year in the Virginia Village neighborhood. Owner Steve Holt used to work for coffee grower and producer, Ninety Plus Coffee and decided to start an independent coffee roasting operation here in Denver. Right now, take-home bags of coffee can only be purchased at the cafe. The coffee is roasted using a Bellwether high-tech ventless system that puts out zero emissions and Unravel is one of the first businesses to use it. The coffee is sourced from countries like Ethiopia and Ecuador. Like the roasting system, everything here is eco-friendly using reusable glass jars for take-away coffee and salads, instead of paper cups and plastic bowls. In addition to the coffee, it offers several quality teas and delicious foods like tartines and small plates.
Queen City Collective Coffee
Where: 305 W. 1st Ave. and 2962 Welton St., Denver
The Lowdown: In the Baker and Five Points neighborhoods, the fairly new Queen City Collective Coffee is both a roastery and cafe concept. The owners used inspiration from spending a decade in Africa working on humanitarian programs and learning about ‘community.’ The ‘collective’ in Queen City Collective is really about the community of the employees, roasters and farmers working together to create great coffee and in-shop experiences. Right now, there are offering eight varieties that are all single origins from Ethiopia, Colombia, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Although, a non-single-origin exception is the Belafonte – Double Origin of Ethiopian and Colombian. Buy in-store or online with free shipping on orders over $40.
Method Coffee Roasters
Where: 2011 W. 32nd Ave., Denver
The Lowdown: Method Coffee Roasters started in 2013 in a garage and has since expanded to supplying coffee for over 40 businesses in the Rocky Mountain region. Its cafe, Method Collective, located in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood is a very community-driven, networking space offering free coffee refills. The blends here literally come from all over with nine varieties currently. A unique offering is the Protect Our Winters blend of which 10 percent goes to the POW organization to help combat climate change. You can buy at the collective or online (it even gives you the option to have it delivered to you ground rather than just whole beans).
LAKEWOOD AND AURORA
Jubilee Roasting Co.
Where: 1452 Kenton St., Aurora
The Lowdown: Jubilee Roasting Co. is a one of a kind roastery and cafe, especially for Denver’s neighboring city of Aurora. It is a creative space for artists and the name Jubilee is about being emancipating, restoring and celebrating which is written on the wall. The coffee is just a small part of this operation. Right now, it’s offering eight blends, two of which you have to have a Jubilee coffee subscription to buy. The origins of the coffees come from Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica, Rwanda and El Salvador. You can buy online, but we recommend visiting this unique space, especially if you’re a creative type.
Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters
Where: 1619 Reed St., Lakewood
The Lowdown: Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters in Lakewood is one of the most acclaimed coffee roasters in the Denver metropolitan area. Owner Andy Sprenger started Sweet Bloom in 2013 after working in the specialty coffee industry for 10 years and winning several awards. The model here is working directly with producers by visiting them — and taking it a step further in inviting them here to see how their coffee is roasted. Right now, it’s offering nine varieties hailing from Ethiopia, Colombia, Guatemala, Kenya and other regions. If you’re interested in learning the science of how they do things attend one of their educational cuppings or lectures. Buy in person or online with free shipping on orders over $50.
Logan House Coffee
Where: Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St. #112, Aurora; Broadway Market, 950 N. Broadway, Denver
The Lowdown: Starting out as a coffee home delivery business — Logan House Coffee has since evolved to have a flagship store in Aurora at the Stanley Marketplace, a new warehouse for roasting and most recently a spot in the new Broadway Market. If you’ve been to the first location it’s a relaxing, pretty space to stop while shopping in the Stanley which has several retail shops and eateries. In addition to Logan roasting its own coffee, it also uniquely packages it in recycled wine bottles. Now it’s available in the heart of the city at its new location in Broadway Market (and will soon have a third space in RiNo).
BOULDER AND LONGMONT
Where: Roasters & Lab, 1898 S. Flatiron Ct., Boulder; Several locations, see here.
The Lowdown: In 2007, owner Justin Hartman started OZO Coffee with a commitment to quality, community and sustainability. Now with five locations — four in Boulder and one in Longmont — it’s safe to say OZO is pretty successful. It also has a lab and training center which hosts several levels of barista training. Its coffee is organic, fair trade and Rainforest Alliance certified. Current offerings include 13 varieties with beans from Ethiopia, Honduras, Sumatra, Mexico, Rwanda and Guatemala. Buy online or at one of its many locations.
Dragonfly Coffee Roasters
Where: 1501 Lee Hill Dr. #22, Boulder
The Lowdown: Recently named the 2019’s Micro Roaster of the Year by Roast Magazine — Dragonfly Coffee proves to be worth a try. It also received a number one spot on Coffee Reviews top 30 coffees in 2017. Although it’s been around since 2011, it only recently opened a tasting room in 2018. Its current offerings include three espresso blends, three Geishas and several other classic coffees — many of which are award-winning. Purchase is available online with free shipping over $50 as well as by appointment at its tasting room.
Boxcar Coffee Roasters
Where: 1825 Pearl St., Suite B, Boulder
The Lowdown: Boxcar Coffee Roasters, though based in Boulder is very popular in Denver as well. Located on Pearl Street, there used to also be a location inside of the Source Market in Denver. Boxcar is currently served at Steam Espresso Bar, Stowaway Kitchen and several other businesses. Its brick and mortar location is a cafe and bakery serving high-quality coffee and pastries. The roastery is just a few blocks away on Pearl Street as well. Right now, its offering 10 varieties: an espresso, a house blend, summer blend and several single origins from Ethiopia, Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Buy online or at its cafe.
Where: Roaster, 1800 Pike Rd., Longmont; Cafe, 3450 Larimer St., Denver
The Lowdown: Hotbox Roasters started in 2015 by the founder of Oskar Blues Brewery — roasting up beans in Longmont. Its coffee has interesting flavor profiles and is packaged in Crowler cans covered in cool designs. Current varieties include a single-origin Kenya, single-origin Sumatra, a decaf, an espresso, a barrel-aged blend and two blends named Whole Lotta Love and French Press of Bel-Air. In addition to the roastery, it has a cafe in Denver’s RiNo district serving donuts, coffee, brunch, lunch, cocktails and CBD. When you purchase its coffee online, you’ll receive a free Hotbox Roasters trucker hat while supplies last.
Where: 505 S. Mason St. and 3581 E. Harmony Rd. #160, Fort Collins
The Lowdown: In 2012, Harbinger Coffee started as a coffee cart, then expanded to its first brick and mortar on Fort Collins’ Mason Street in 2015. Its second location recently opened in 2017 which is also when it started roasting its own quality coffees. Its coffees are single-origin with six current varieties from Ethiopia, Colombia, Guatemala, Kenya and Mexico. In addition, it has a Simply Sweet Espresso two-origin Ethiopian and Guatemalan blend. Purchase is available online and at both of its locations.
Where: 1933 Jessup Dr., Fort Collins
The Lowdown: If you’re looking for a different kind of coffee experience, Bindle Coffee at Jessup Farm Artisan Village allows you to enjoy a cup of joe at a nice outdoor centric collective. All of its coffee is purchased through direct trade relationships and its pastries are made in-house. Currently, it is serving six varieties: a decaf, its in-house espresso, a sweet blend and three single origins from Mexico, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Buy online or at its cafe.
Switchback Coffee Roasters
Where: 330 N. Institute St., Colorado Springs
The Lowdown: Colorado Springs has several coffee roasters, but Switchback Coffee Roasters is perhaps the most highly rated. Starting out as a garage operation in 2010, it has since evolved to a cafe and roastery in the city’s downtown. Its coffee has a farm-to-cup approach working with producers around the world to find quality green coffee beans. Currently, it’s offering nine varieties, several of them single-origins. Purchase is available online and at its cafe.