mini-review: Kaladi Coffee (University)

See my Denver field report

I really wanted to love this cafe near the University of Denver.  Beautiful space, busy, friendly staff – I appreciated that the barista checked first on how I wanted my macchiato made – and great decor, including dolls of Pee Wee Herman and his pal Pterri hanging off the menu board.  They seem to take the coffee seriously but not too seriously, roast their own beans, and offer classes.

Kaladi have been in Denver since 2000 and are an area institution, tracing back to a coffee company from Anchorage, Alaska circa 1986.

Just one problem, though.  I didn’t like the coffee.

I got a quad shot macchiato to go and it suffered from Starbucks-level overroasting, which for me ruined the taste. Chalky, mouth-puckering finish didn’t help.  I ended up tossing it out without finishing.  Baristas at other cafes in the area confirmed that Kaladi’s has a reputation for an overly strong roast.

If you’re in Denver and enjoy Starbucks, then by all means try these guys out.  As much as I wish it weren’t the case, it’s a hard pass for me.

Forgive me, Pee Wee and Pterri.

Kaladi Coffee Company
1730 E. Evans, Denver
also on S. Broadway in Englewood


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