When asked about his passion for coffee, co-owner Josh Bosarge replied, “It’s something we take incredibly, incredibly seriously. We treat it like the craft it needs to be.”
Procession Coffee opened its first brick-and-mortar in December and was part of Zeppelin Station’s recent overhaul. Fundamentally, this shop is an ode to punk culture, run by two friends utterly devoted to the coffee space. But its impressive cult following is truly what makes this spot enticing.
Old friends who now act as co-owners, Stephen Ashley and Josh Bosarge, have undergone various projects together. They started a publishing company in 2009, working on indie books, zines and music releases. They’ve been in bands together and created their own music, but the coffee concept idealization really sprouted during the pandemic. The two have participated in the industry for years and complement each other in a fitting yin and yang manner when it comes to business. “I do marketing and branding, and we both know coffee really well. Steven, he grabs something, hyper focuses on it and perfects it,” Bosarge described.
In September 2021, the team gained immense traffic through the release of a cryptic, mysterious Instagram announcement. Excitement grew, and Procession’s first form manifested as a mobile coffee cart, catering to sites like RiNo’s Steadbrook and Patagonia. The two knew they wanted to grow, and with the limited scalability of a cart, an established location was on the horizon. “It was the newest, nicest, cleanest space. And it was in the best location. The space already had traction behind it, so it made the most sense for us to come into this one,” said Bosarge when asked about their stall at Zeppelin.
The coffee shop’s branding is iconic. Heavily motivated by punk culture, it’s mysterious and subtle but easily recognizable. Both Procession’s name and specialty drink, Blue Monday, are inspired by the English rock band New Order. “Punk doesn’t have to be dirty and over the top. It can be understated and minimalistic and artsy,” Bosarge said. To further intermix the coffee and music community, the two work with artists to create mixtapes—yet another way for folks to become entrenched in the brand. “The people who listen and follow the mixtapes get to be involved with something that’s kind of cool and exclusive and interesting,” Bosarge continued.
They have a unique proposal for coffee lovers, too. Get Procession’s logo tatted, as long as it’s somewhere visible, and you’ll get free drip for life. “One of our friends said, ‘Hey, I want this tattooed on me.’ I just said, ‘If you do, we’ll give you free coffee forever.’ The idea just snowballed from there,” Ashley described. There are limitations, of course, but if you decide to take the leap and brand yourself, send proof to Procession and remember to tip your barista no matter what.
The menu is simple, with straightforward options like espresso, cortado, latte or drip. Its best-seller is the Blue Monday ($6), a refreshing cold brew with housemade blueberry basil syrup, made with whole or oat milk. The two hone their craft by purposefully creating the classics with intention—the experience of every customer in mind. “Our shop is very much a reflection of the things we like and the things we enjoy. We love coffee because you can never make it perfect; there is always something to chase,” said Bosarge.
The feeling of friendship and overflowing personality is clearly present when entering Procession. “It’s like we are inviting everyone into our own little inside joke. And that’s really the truth,” Bosarge finished. Their partnership is a whirlwind of creativity, inspiration and purpose, differing from your basic coffee shop. Rather, it’s the materialization of what craft coffee culture is intended to be.
Procession Coffee is located at 3501 Wazee St., Denver. It is open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.