Indy Coffee in the Greater Pikes Peak Region
A new appreciation for coffee as an experience, much like wine, drives the owners of independent coffeehouses in the Greater Pikes Peak Region. “It’s quality control. It’s about taking extra steps to know where the coffee comes from, and each step is honored,” said Thu Tran, co-owner of Wild Goose Meeting House.
Many coffee houses are roasting their own coffees in-house and dealing direct with farmers, traveling around the country or abroad to find the best coffees. “You’re polishing off something that’s already beautiful,” said Heather Nall of Building Three
Coffee Roasters. Here as elsewhere, coffee entrepreneurs compete to offer their customers highly individualized, carefully sourced and lovingly created coffee of every description—a far cry indeed from the bitter sludge that our grandparents once called coffee. Tyler Hill, roaster and co-owner of Loyal Coffee says that creating great coffee in the city he calls home is about “watering the grass at your feet.”
Brown Dog Coffee Company has been operating in Buena Vista right off Highway 24 for over twenty years, formerly known as Bongo Billy’s. Owner Jennifer Pyle bought the coffee shop in 2001, rebranded it and expanded into the historic district of Salida in 2013. Brown Dog features in-house roasted coffees sourced from Central and South America, Africa and Indonesia. They offer scrumptious breakfast pastries like scones, muffins, and a sour cream coffee cake. “Everything is homemade, locally sourced, fair trade or organic where we can,” says Pyle. They’ve served travelers for decades, creating a sanctuary for locals and visitors alike. “Brown Dog is that third place, it’s not home, it’s not work, it’s a place to meet your friends or read a book,” says Pyle.
713 US-24, Buena Vista &
105 F St., Salida.
Fifty-Fifty Coffee House is a hidden gem that sits in a mostly residential neighborhood north of downtown with a large outdoor patio and an indoor space speckled with original art and vintage furniture. Their tasting room is attached to their roastery where they experiment, creating sample batches from the coffee they buy directly from El Salvador. “We’re one big family; roasting, brewing, serving,” says Head Roaster, Evan Schubarth. “We pride ourselves on our hospitality and want you to feel welcome, warm and comfortable.”
330 N. Institute St.
Loyal Coffee just opened in September. Owner, Tyler Hill’s goal is to create the best experience possible while keeping it simple and unpretentious. Having created a clean, open space that features specialty tile, craft woodwork, and original art, Hill hopes to “match the music to the weather and the beat of the city. We want to do what we can to make you happy, and we love Colorado Springs to death. We want to contribute to where we are.”
408 S. Nevada Ave.
The Wild Goose Meeting House partnered with Switchback Coffee to produce an artisanal coffee experience. They feature a guest roaster from Denver, an extensive local craft beer and wine selection and a diverse menu with nachos, sandwiches, salads, charcuterie, and locally sourced Brats. A breakfast menu features specialty quesadillas, or you can opt for the classic cinnamon rolls displayed at the counter. Live music every Friday and Saturday night turn the coffee house into a lively bar. Wild Goose offers outdoor seating, a long community table and a wall of books. It’s a calm place to meet friends, unwind with a pour over
or enjoy a local craft brew in the early evening.
401 N. Tejon St.
Building Three Coffee
Roasters opened in late July in Lincoln Center. The revamped elementary school turned community space that has brought a plethora of different businesses under its roof. Owners Sean and Jenna Buckles brought roaster and coffee consultant, Heather Nall aboard to manage their new spot. Coffee can create “connections across the world and with your neighbor,” says Nall. “I love getting to know the customers and then make them the perfect cup.” Building Three offers a variety of espresso drinks, nitro cold brew, Cosbucha (a Colorado based kombucha on tap), plus breakfast pastries baked in-house, quiche and sandwiches. Try Nall’s original “Spro’ Da: a double shot of espresso with 6 ounces of cream soda.
2727 N. Cascade Ave.
The Coffee Exchange features a list of white espresso drinks (which boasts four times the caffeine of regular espresso) with creative nomenclature referred to as “Zombie Lattes.” Fun options include a “Redheaded Step Zombie” with white chocolate sauce and raspberry syrup or a “Fruit Looped Zombie” with lavender and strawberry simple syrups. They also offer a sweet, strong Cuban espresso, one with rich chocolate notes produced as shots are pulled and mixed into sugar. A full bar is available with hard cider, beer on tap and a variety of wine and liquor. The space showcases local artists the first Friday of every month and has live music Fridays 7-10 p.m.
526 S. Tejon St.
Urban Steam Coffee Bar & Cafe serves up coffee from around the globe including Turkish coffee, a Red Sea blend made with Moroccan spices, Greek, and Cuban coffees.
Urban’s worldly menu makes for an alternative, unapologetic coffee experience that differentiates them from the rest of the coffee scene. Lengthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus also set them apart, as does a full bar offering craft cocktails, spirits, and local brews. Urban transitions from coffee house to bar in the evenings, often featuring live music and occasionally screening independent films. Their slogan: “Espresso, Waffles, Whiskey, Good Times.”
1025 S. Sierra Madre St.
Humble Coffee is a drive-through/walk-up coffee house owned by husband and wife team, Mike and Miranda Hendrick. They have a signature menu which offers unique options like the “Debonair” a peanut butter mocha, the “Woodstock” a rose latte with white espresso and the “Chakra” Chai tea with white espresso. Many of their lattes feature white espresso which is a lighter, nuttier alternative with more caffeine. They also offer numerous milk options including almond, coconut, soy and hemp milk.
2103 Templeton Gap Rd.
Serrano’s Coffee Company is owned by Carl Nolt who has been in the coffee business for more than twenty years. Nolt opened Serrano’s in 1995, built a separate roasting facility in 1999, and moved to his current location in 2011. Serrano’s offers pour overs, French press, a drip bar and espresso drinks. The name “Serrano’s” means the people or the place of the high country, describing both the store’s location and the source of its select coffee beans.
625 Hwy 105,
Jives Coffee Lounge is just that; a lounge and a coffee bar in one with the motto: “coffee, music, life.” The spacious venue includes a stage with amplifiers, instruments, and a mic stand ready to host musicians, some of whom serve as baristas. Jives roasts coffee on-site and offers a line of white espresso drinks such as the “Pink Panther,” an espresso drink with white chocolate and raspberry. Located across from Bancroft Park in Old Colorado City, Jives also offers smoothies, traditional coffee drinks and light pastries.
16 Colbrunn Ct.
Solar Roast Coffee is the only solar powered roastery in the Greater Pikes Peak Region. Founders David and Michael Hartkop relocated from the Pacific Northwest to Pueblo for a simple reason; a solar-powered roaster needs a lot of sun. The brothers hand-built the solar panels and use no fossil fuels in the roasting process. Because it roasts at a lower temperature, the Hartkops and their customers believe that their coffee is exceptionally smooth and flavorful. Need a jolt? Solar offers a Colorado strong brew, said to be the triple IPA of Colorado coffees. “We want to use less power, make more coffee, and save the world one cup at a time,” says Michael Hartkop.
226 N. Main St.
Good Karma Coffee Lounge & Deli opened in November 2012, in downtown Manitou Springs. According to manager Hannah Peltier, “People say that in Manitou, it’s the best coffee and breakfast.” Good Karma sources their coffee from Barista Espresso in Old Colorado City, but make breakfasts in-house with options that include homemade quiches, pastries, and smothered burritos, as well as seven grain, sourdough, and marble rye breads from Denver’s Bluepoint Bakery. Although Good Karma enjoys the summer wave of tourists, “we cater to the locals and we really care about the people,” says Peltier. If you stop in between 7:00-8:00 a.m., try a breakfast burrito and coffee special. “We’re just a cozy, mom & pop place,” says Peltier focusing on “affordable, fresh, primarily organic offerings.”
110 Canon Ave. Manitou Springs