So for those of you who don’t know, I grew up in Colorado, the Centennial State, so every now and then, I fly to Denver to visit my family.
While I grew up there, my coffee tastes were, well, sad. I drank mostly Folgers coffee in the morning and Triple Grande Nonfat Raspberry Lattes from Starbucks when I had a few extra bucks in my pocket. Thankfully, my tastes have improved since then and so has the coffee in town.
My adventures into this cool new coffee scene started last year.
Before I even made it to my sister’s house, she was adamant that I visit a place called Two Rivers Coffee in the suburb of Arvada and that I had to try the lavender latte. She’s not usually so demanding, but when you find good coffee…
Anyway, my sister was right. It was a great place! It had a very clean decor, open seating area, and interesting coffee menu. The barista was super nice and seemed like he really enjoyed working there. The latte was the perfect balance of espresso, milk, and lavender syrup. When I researched the place later on, I found out that all of the syrups are made in house. Double brownie points there.
I was unable to visit them this year, but word is they moved into a bigger location with space for a roastery. Good news for all.
The second place I visited was Purple Door Coffee.
It was kind of an accident that I even made it there. I was alone, in a part of Denver with which I was unfamiliar, and I had about two other coffee shops that I intended to visit first. After unknowingly driving past the other two places, I decided that I had to find Purple Door no matter what (I was hungry and in dire need of coffee).
And I was not disappointed.
The shop is located in Denver’s Five Points district right next to the Light Rail (literally right next to it). It has a fun decor, modern but with antique accents of the early 1900s. Classic yet cozy with a small patio and bar seating overlooking the RTD. The menu has grown since my first visit, but I have never been disappointed with my espresso drinks. My sister grabbed an Espresso Cherry soda, and it was delicious, refreshing, and not overly sweet. Plus, they sell homemade pop tarts (hello, childhood).
That’s not even the best part about Purple Door Coffee. After my first visit, I found out that the shop is actually a nonprofit that is dedicated to helping teens and young adults leave homelessness. The organization hires these teenagers for a year long program that teaches jobs skills and provides other support as they learn how to be self-sufficient and find purpose. My heart melts every time I think of this place. Such a great mission.
The two other coffee shops that I was able to visit during this year’s trip were the Bluegrass Coffee and Bourbon Lounge and Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters.
The Bluegrass Coffee and Bourbon Lounge is the perfect addition to Olde Town Arvada. My cappuccino was great and my egg sandwich delicious. I can’t comment on the bourbon as I was there at ten in the morning, but the vibe was on point. The exposed light bulbs and wood features created a very western yet modern atmosphere. If we weren’t headed for consignment shopping, I would have loved to hang out there all day. It is located right on the Light Rail as well, so if you drink too much, you don’t have to drive home. 😉
And what about Sweet Bloom?
Guys, that is some damn good coffee. No food, but damn good coffee. And just in case you missed it: Damn good coffee. (Excuse me while I inhale the wonderful scent of my freshly roasted Kenyan beans from Sweet Bloom like an addict with a bag of blue meth.)
Unfortunately, I didn’t visit even half of the places I intended to visit while I was in town, but I already have my next trip planned. I just hope that Denver (and maybe Ft. Collins?) can continue to impress.
The one and the only Pookachino