Field Report: Denver, CO

Concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater

A short travel report from a short, caffeine-fueled visit to the Mile High City. A beautiful city, and a great place to enjoy

locally brewed beer

legal weed


There are several quality local purveyors of joe, including well-regarded independent roasters. There’s a decent chance the place you frequent will have been around in one form or another since the early 90s.

Beyond the coffee and breweries (and the dispensaries, if that’s your thing), there are great museums, parks, awesome restaurants and food halls, and of course the Rockies – both the mountains and the baseball team. I highly recommend a visit, whether you’re a caffeine fiend or not.

Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies

Some general notes:

  • I was there for three and a half days with my son. We stayed downtown, and despite 9 coffee shop visits (thank you for your indulgence, Lucas), managed to see and do a lot.
  • Between walking, Uber and public transport, we only needed a car one day to pop out to Boulder and to Red Rocks. If we made the effort we could have relied on transit for that day as well.  The city is also bursting with those ubiquitous rideshare electric scooters, if that’s your thing.
  • My goodness, the people here are so friendly! Several times a day you’ll find someone striking up a conversation and asking what you’re up to, and they’re actually interested to hear what you have to say.
  • The famous Red Rocks amphitheater is such a stunning place. If you’re in the area and there’s a show, just go. Even if the artist is someone you’ve never heard of or don’t care for.
  • Hope you can tolerate the smell of burning cannabis, because you will encounter it often.
  • Most of the cafes serve your espresso or macchiato with a small glass of sparkling water, which is a thoughtful touch.
  •  Because I was drinking a lot more coffee than usual, I bypassed for the most part my usual order of a quad shot and just asked for a regular macchiato.

Here are the nine shops I visited with links to reviews (for some reason the software or platform wasn’t thrilled with one War and Peace length post containing 338 pictures).  A word of caution: please please please please PLEASE take these with a humongous grain of salt. Beyond my usual admonitions that your mileage may very and taste is a very subjective thing, it’s terribly unfair to judge any business based upon only one interaction.

But life itself is rarely fair, the internets in particular.  Let’s get to it. As almost all of these shops have more than one outlet, the cafe I visited is listed in parentheses.

The One I Missed
I didn’t get to Sweet Bloom in Lakewood, but heard good things about them. Well thought of as a roaster, their beans are found in some other shops.

Sorry, But No Thank You

9. Kaladi Coffee (University)  review

8. ink! Coffee (16th Street Mall) review
7. Little Owl Coffee review
6. Novo Coffee (Glenarm) review

The Very Best

Little separates these coffee shops, if I went again the order at this tier may be completely different. I’m still not sure I have it right based on just this go-round.

5. Huckleberry Roasters (Dairy Block) review
4. Ozo Coffee Company (Pearl Street, Boulder) review
3. Pablo’s Coffee (13th & Pennsylvania) review

These last two are almost inseparable for purposes of this ill-conceived and poorly executed ranking.

1a. Crema Coffee House (Larimer Street) review

Now, maestro, a drumroll please!  The top choice is…………………

1. Corvus Coffee Roasters (South Broadway) review

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