Coffee Tour | Denver
Last week I hopped in the car with three of my sweet girlfriends and headed North for a morning coffee tour. A few months ago I asked about which coffee shops people loved that are located in Denver or which ones they'd be interested in seeing a bit more of. I reached out to a handful and was lucky enough to partner up with these three. It's kind of perfect because they were all so extraordinarily different, each with their own strengths and certainly owning different vibes.
I actually love the drive to Denver. This time of year East and West of you are lush and green, making the sky look bluer and everything feels well contrasted. We found our first stop in a roundabout kind of way and if you've been on 13th in Denver you know that it's a busy one way that feels like it's right in the middle of its gentrification. So I see it on my righthand side and I'm thinking to myself while the girls are chatting, "oh this is cute..." and then, we walked in... ALL of the feels. Truly. It's so, so cute. And it's peaceful. This coffee shop, Hudson Hill, it's calming and people are concentrating, working away on their computers or quietly discussing projects and ideas. It's cozy in an I want to breathe in all of the fresh leather, stare at the incredible tile work and sip warm coffee out of a big mug kind of way. Its lights are dim and the way the windows are facing and the ambiance is set mid-morning almost feels like early evening. Anders is our barista. He's kind and attentive, aiming to make our visit most pleasant. We sit down at this coffee shop, to order. This feels thoughtful and different than what we're used to. I'll take it.
We vote hot drinks this round... We're all way past due for our first cup of the day as it's about 10am, we're eager to get things going. Tanya, "I'll have an almond milk chai, please." Amanda, "an espresso, please." Stephanie, "May I please have the almond milk latte." Me, "I love a plain latte." After pouring our water he continues on to make our beverages. In the meantime, we have all of the visiting happening.. Tanya having returned from Nairobi, Steph's life full with babies, Amanda growing her business rapidly.. And me, with all of the questions. So much to know.
The ambiance takes the cake here. Our drinks, creamy, smooth and just the right boldness. The service, superb. The vibe though. So well done. We're all eager to return the next chance we have. Thank you, Hudson Hill. You've set the bar high and we want you to come to COS, please.
And so we're off! A short drive later, just north of Hudson Hill and East of i25 sits Metropolis Coffee in LoHi. I park nearest I25 and caddy corner to the shop. I love this locatio. Call me crazy but I can't hate on a busy road. It is the city in me. I think it's pretty and it sounds good....speaking of a thousand stories in a short time, zooming by. Everyone off to somewhere. We pop in and it's quaint, maybe 20 seats. Empanadas in the warmer, donuts in the case on the counter. A few plants, and lots of contrasted light. I love naturally contrasted spaces, so I'm pleased. On to our orders, we're going the iced route this time. We each order the same beverages as last but with all of the ice. Except our espresso girl... Cortado this time. We tack on some pastries. I love a good donut ... like love a good donut. I'm not sad about the quality of theirs. Tanya and Amanda tuck away in one corner Steph, Pearly and I in another.
We laugh here. The conversation feels a little more lighthearted, others in the shop are talking, stepping outside to enjoy the warmth, on their phones... doing the things but with a little more volume than the last spot. This chai was a good one. Smooth and just the right amount of sweet. Our iced lattes of all varieties are good too. But the pastries. Yum. We hang outside for a few, warm up and I grab this because #imasevenandlovestories
Huckleberry Roasters.. not far. I love this name. Everything about this spot on Pecos Street draws me in. It feels vintage on the outside, in a really authentic, unforced way. It has some stucco- which we don't see often in Co. But honestly, I think if I could fit their COFFEE SHOP sign in my car, I'd take it home and mount it on the property somewhere. It's simple, totally unbranded and feels like it's from another time... one that feels less chaotic. We park around the corner and opt for the front door. A short walk shows us the up and coming neighborhood to the south, the rebuilt neighborhood to the East and the older, more original neighborhood just behind. I like it. It's all of the parallels of Denver in one little spot. Huckleberry obviously pairs well with the Finn of this blog, so I can't love that anymore either. We walk past the most wide, rectangular window and into a clean white space with pops of really bright, funky color.
We opt for all of the new beverage types here, except for me... "plain latte hot, please." A strawberry, oat milk beverage for Steph. SO creamy and just the right amount of sweet. Bold, almost chocolatey espresso for Amanda. She's teaching us how to actually appreciate stand alone espresso this whole morning and iced oat milk Chai for Tanya. It's good. Especially their oat milk. We're all favoring this alternative. This coffee is strong. Tailing the end of the tour it satisfied and surpassed all expectation. The coffee is so good but also feeling as though it may have leave us shaking our way out of the door. I order us toast. The toast. You have to. It's seriously good. The "healthy gut" toast is the winner. This place is packed, it feels full of fresh air and humility. I love that. As popular as Huckleberry Roasters is, the whole experience felt down to earth and sincere. Couldn't have asked to complete it a better way.
We really enjoyed the morning! Caffeine overdose and all. A huge shout out to these beautiful, intentional, well curated coffee shops and the people who make them feel warm and welcoming. If you happen to stop at any, I'd love to hear what you think!