Coffee Field Guide – Denver

One weekend, two plane tickets, a rental car and a mission to drink all the coffee in Denver, Colorado.  Inspired by the Denver Coffee Field Guide by Coffee People Zine, we carefully studied the Denver scene of specialty coffee and asked for suggestions from you, the readers, via our INSTAGRAM. We made it to almost every single one of them, thanks to you! 

Due to special circumstances surrounding COVID-19, most places we visited had made modifications to their usual service or hours. We regret that this may not give you a full picture of what a typical experience is like, but maybe this just means you can try it out for yourselves and share your experiences with us! We’d love to hear them. 

STOP 1: Corvus Coffee Roasters 

4925 S. Newport Street
Open since: 2010

This is their new location in the tech park; a new modern life style center. This cafe has several large tables and a few places for solo sipping. Check out their flagship location at 1740 S. Broadway.
As anywhere else right now, masks are required. This was one of the few coffee shops that allows indoor seating, and we were impressed by the measures the employees took to keep the cafe clean and socially distanced.
Ginger Peach Latte – There’s real ginger in here, folks! Real ginger fliggins! A ginger lover’s dream! The espresso was strong, the ginger was strong, the peach was strong! A unique but well-crafted pick-me-up for your morning. 
Vegan Breakfast Bar – This generous breakfast bar was packed full of oats, almonds, coconut and a lightly sweetened chocolate layer. It was crumbly (pro tip: don’t eat this in the car) but extremely tasty! While it wasn’t perfectly easy to eat, it was perfectly delicious. 
Great offering of coffees and merch.

 STOP 2: Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters

1619 Reed St. (Lakewood)
Open since: 2018

Located in a quiet neighborhood near Sloans Lake in Lakewood, Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters
Right now, Sweet Bloom’s service is takeout only. A few small outdoor tables are available and cleaned between each guest.
A peek inside Sweet Bloom to the roastery and tasting room.
Cortado with Honey – Very fruity! Like a punch-you-in-the-face surprise. The honey made it sweet but didn’t cover up the tasting notes of the espresso one bit.
Pistachio Cardamom Bundt Cake – This was a petite little cake that was a lovely alternative to your standard donut. This was a perfect (moist!) pairing of pistachio and cardamom. This one was a Norwegian’s dream pastry, and it disappeared way too quickly.
Sweet Bloom was ranked #1 in the Denver Coffee Field Guide, and rightfully so. When we get back to Denver, this will be a must-stop.

STOP 3: Amethyst Coffee Company (Lakeside)

4999 W. 44th Ave
Open since: 2015

Amethyst has multiple locations, and this one is their Lakeside location. Situated in an old, revitalized neighborhood, it mixes a little old world Spanish exterior with a deconstructed boho feel. A great corner spot means A LOT of windows. The natural light is ridiculous!
The lighting, exposed brick and concrete, and dried flowers throughout accents the wall murals and artwork beautifully…
And speaking of artwork! This beauty is on the back wall of the Lakeside cafe.
Black Iced Tea – The anise tasting notes were strong in this one, and it was very herbal tasting and refreshing. One thing to note is that all the prices include a gratuity to avoid handling paper money for tips. We weren’t a huge fan of this, since tipping felt a little forced instead of getting to choose how much you give as a thank you to your barista. For reference, this tea cost $5.75.
Latte with Honey & Cinnamon – We wished that the honey and cinnamon were more detectable in this drink. The price of this (gratuity included) was $7.50. The latte wasn’t anything to write home about, but we totally get the allure of sipping it while hanging out in this atmosphere and catching up with an old friend.
At this cafe you can also purchase natural products from Compost Colorado. Around the cafe you’ll also find signage indicating their stance on many social justice and political issues. Their website states that they don’t shy away from difficult conversations, and they are consistent with that mantra throughout their cafes.


STOP 4: Little Owl Coffee Roasters

1555 Blake Street #150
Open since: 2013

This micro cafe is located in the heart of Downtown Denver, and typically you’d find a small amount of outdoor seating here.
The interior is indeed small, but just big enough to accommodate a few customers at a time. We were digging the vibe: clean and modern with accents of woodgrains, marble and splashes of light pink. Especially for a small cafe, this design was smart.
The staff was friendly and quick to deliver drinks.
Vanilla Latte – Perfect balance of sweetness and smooth!
Vanilla Custard Donut – This petite pastry was moist and tasty, but a little messy to eat. Sometimes a good pastry is worth getting a little messy for!

STOP 5:  Huckleberry Roasters

1800 Wazee Street
Open since: 2011

We visited their Dairy Block location, but you’ll find their flagship store at 4301 N. Pecos.
Located in the marketplace lobby of a hotel, you’ll find plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. The friendly staff is as upbeat as the music you’ll hear during your visit here!
A bright, fun vibe is only made better by tons of natural light. Light wood and live plants complete the colorful splashes throughout the cafe. And speaking of color and design, their merchandise and coffee packaging are as zestfully spunky as the paint on the walls.
Vanilla Iced Latte – Not too heavy on the vanilla, we detected caramel tasting notes with a smokey aftertaste.

STOP 6: Story Coffee Co.

120 E Bijou St, Colorado Springs
Open since: 2018

We took a short excursion down to Colorado Springs to visit the beautiful Garden of the Gods state park, so we made a quick stop to this cute tiny house coffee shop in Acacia park.
Customers can choose to order either indoors or outside at the window. Coffee beans and a small selection of (rather affordable) pastries are also available. You won’t find wifi or electrical outlets for electronics here; Story hopes this will be a place of sharing conversation rather than sitting solo.
Our barista lived up to that vision – she immediately engaged in pleasant conversation and was happy to give us recommendations for surrounding coffee shops to try.
Their espresso blend today is Walden. Coffee beans are available to purchase onsite or online.
Espresso Shake – On Saturdays, Story features a coffee shake menu. The day was hot and we were in the mood to try something cold that wasn’t in latte form. What we expected was a milkshake with a hint of espresso flavor. This was not the case. This was strong and bold and sweet and cold and perfect.
Cream Pie – This one was reminicient of something made in a Little Debbie kitchen, except bigger and more substantial. While we wished there would have been a little more cream in there, it was delicious nonetheless.

STOP 7: Generous Coffee Co.

525 Santa Fe Dr.
Open since: 2017

This is Generous’s second location, situated inside the Wayfinder Co-op in Denver. Their flagship cafe can be found at 701 12th St, Golden, CO.
Our sweet barista this morning, Haley, is a foodie herself — she is the founder of Hits of Hunger and also a special education teacher during the weekdays. Before we ordered, she talked about the mission and humanitarian focus of Generous.
The proceeds of our order went toward building a farm to feed students at schools in Haiti. We love that Generous exists to generate sustainable change!
Okay, and can we talk about this fall drink menu for a second? Not your typical PSL! For people who love trying something different and are obsessed with fall drinks, this is a dream! All of these drinks can be ordered hot or iced.
The Hay Ride – Speaking of fall drinks, this iced maple latte with caramel and nutmeg was surprisingly delicious. It wasn’t obnoxiously sweet and the maple balanced well with the caramel and nutmeg. The espresso was bright and smooth.
The Apple Donut Latte – This was a really really well done specialty drink. Again this was perfectly balanced with nostalgic fall flavors of apple and cinnamon, harmonizing with the subtle and adequate donut sweetness. 

STOP 8: Queen City Collective Coffee

2962 Welton St.
Open since: Mid 2000’s

This Queen City Collective Coffee location is one of 2 locations, aside from their roasting location. Their flagship store is located at 305 W. 1st Ave.
This location is currently takeout-only, which was kind of a bummer. Ordering takes place at the sidewalk window. Don’t back up too far or you’ll bump into the trolley tracks.
A tiny glimpse of the interior — we love the subway tiles, lighting and wall mural!
Kenyan Drip Coffee – Fruity and strong with tasting notes of Meyer Lemon and tomatoes, this drip coffee had a strong continuous finish with no bitter or sour aftertaste.
The current espresso offering is Bella Vista Mexico, and we purchased beans for our at-home espresso fix. The bag disappeared way too quickly!

This trip to Denver was a blast, thanks to our readers and the Denver Field Guide compiled by our lovely friend Kat at Coffee People. Where should we go next?

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