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Jessie Levine

The Coffee Roasters That Elevate Denver's Coffee Scene

Denver's special blend deserves a spot on the map and here is why.

The best places in the country to enjoy a cup of coffee evoke wafts of high quality beans, images of cozy cafes, and baristas performing their craft with skill and ardor. Cities like Portland and Seattle are constantly awarded with the golden beans of the coffee world, but up-and-comers are quickly establishing themselves worthy of joining the ranks. Denver in particular is carving out a niche that is unique and deserves recognition. The combination of exceptional roasters, nationally acclaimed baristas, and coffee shops per capita is birthing an important coffee culture in the Mile High City that makes it one of the very best places in the country to enjoy a cup of coffee right now.

What changes a decent coffee town into a great coffee town is the quality of its roasters. In the last five years, the game has been stepped up by several new generation roasters and the world is taking notice. Here is who they are.

  • Boxcar Coffee Roasters first started roasting in Boulder in 2010 and has since established a cutting-edge Denver outpost in the Source. The small batch coffee is done in a German classic Ideal Rapid coffee roaster from 1929. The industrious company has even developed its own method of brewing the perfect cup at high altitude  known as the Boilermakr. The Boilermakr is a spinoff of the "cowboy coffee" technique, involving coffee grounds immersed in boiling water to ensure optimal extraction.
  • Huckleberry is Boxcar's neighbor in the RiNo district with an original location in Sunnyside. The coffee roasting company comes from humble backgrounds, beginning as a side project in a garage between two friends. As Huckleberry continues to grow, its masterful technique and dedication to good coffee is becoming crystal clear. Sourcing from the world's finest producers and roasting the beans to their utmost potential and complexity will continue to put Huckleberry Roasters on the map.
  • Corvus Coffee Roasters has a location in a hip neighborhood where single origin coffee is expertly roasted and served by skilled baristas. The mission at Corvus is to look past labels like "fair trade" and "certified organic" directly to the crux of the issue: Establishing relationships with coffee farmers to ensure the highest quality product and best livelihood for its producers. In this manner, Corvus is able to seek out highly specific flavor profiles in the beans and roast them in small batches at the location here in Denver. Beans are always roasted within two days of arrival in a cast-iron Geisen roaster in the highly advanced Norwegian method.
  • Method Coffee Roasters began as many of the small business in the entrepreneurial landscape of the Front Range area do: through a group of friends at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Quality coffee for the sake of community is the underlying mission at Method, which gained traction in this community through local farmer's markets and unique partnerships. The roasters at Method seek a balanced cup of coffee through the bean's natural flavors and finely tuned roasting practices.
  • Sweet Bloom is the brain child of coffee connoisseur, Andy Sprenger, who brings an extensive background in the coffee industry to his Lakewood project. Sprenger has won numerous awards and is a certified Q-grader (a coffee sommelier, essentially). The team at Sweet Bloom takes the highest quality, ethically sourced coffee beans and from there applies skilled roasting methods to let the natural flavors shine. Sweet Bloom tends to specialize in lighter, more vibrant roasts and serves them up in what is quite possibly the most charming shop in town. From beginning to end, the holistic and adept process at Sweet Bloom is apparent in every last sip.
  • Commonwealth's particular roasting method is to find sweetness and fully attenuated flavors in each and every small batch. The people behind Commonwealth believe that a good cup of coffee goes beyond the actual cup itself- customer service and care are equally as important here. This local business already has its eyes on markets outside of Denver and is available at specialty coffee shops across the country.
Some of these roasters have their own coffee shops; some do not. Several cafes, however, have made sure to elevate the culture around coffee in Denver. Here are some of the most popular ones:

· Where to Drink Coffee in Denver Right Now [EDen]

As the final step in the lengthy process between you and the coffee beverage of your dreams, the barista's role is acutely important. Barista competitions have come into favor as coffee culture is cultivated on a nationwide basis. Denver-based baristas are not only helping to propel a coffee culture locally but also attracting national attention to Denver's coffee scene. The NYC Coffee Masters Tournament, held later this month in Manhattan, will feature multiple Denver-based baristas alongside international competitors. In fact, outside of New York, Denver will send more competitors to the competition than any other city. Elle Taylor of Amethyst Coffee, Josh Taves of Novo Coffee, and Ryan Fisher of Commonwealth Coffee Roasters will represent the Mile High City well throughout the competition, held September 25-27.

Huckleberry Roasters

4301 North Pecos Street, , CO 80211 (866) 558-2201 Visit Website

Novo Coffee

3617 West 32nd Avenue, , CO 80211 (303) 749-0100 Visit Website

Corvus Coffee

1947 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210 303 913 8906

Boxcar Denver

3459 Ringsby Court, Denver, CO 80216 303) 527-1300 Visit Website

Commonwealth Coffee Roasters

5225 East 38th Avenue, , CO 80207 Visit Website

Coda Coffee

1751 E 58th Ave, Denver, CO 80216 (303) 292-2040

Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters

1619 Reed Street, , CO 80214 (303) 261-5954 Visit Website
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