Boulder Coffee Fest Recap

By July 24, 2012 culture 6 Comments

When Mike and I first started dreaming of an extended trip to Boulder this summer, two words came to mind: Caribou Coffee.

I love Caribou’s Campfire Mocha and figured Caribou must have shops in Boulder. It’s very name is reminiscent of animals and mountains and nature and all. I figured I would sip Caribou to my heart’s content while Mike ran about the mountains.

A quick search proved me wrong. Caribou has locations in Denver, but not Boulder. Sighs ensued.

My sighs were quickly silenced, however, when I discovered Boulder has a large number of independent coffee shops promising to fill my Campfire-Mocha-sized void.

That’s when Boulder Coffee Fest was born. I decided to try as many of these cafes as possible during our visit. And by “as many,” I mean one a day . . . because I’m a coffee lightweight.

Here’s a recap of my coffee tour around Boulder. It wasn’t Caribou, but it was way more memorable. Each drink is rated for its deliciousness, from 1 Cup (pedestrian) to 5 Cups (dazzling). Each cafe is rated for its atmosphere, from 1 Smiley (meh) to 5 Smileys (fab). Click on the photos to check out the Web sites.

{1} almond latte
@ The Laughing Goat
5 Cups / 5 Smileys

{2} skinny mocha
@ Amante Coffee
3 Cups / 2 Smileys

{3} amaretto latte
@ Folsom St. Coffee
5 Cups / 5 Smileys

{4} Poor Man’s Mocha
@ Tee & Cakes
2 Cups / 3 Smileys

{5} Caramel Crunch Latte
@ Flatiron Coffee
3 Cups / 4 Smileys

{6} almond latte
@ Vic’s Espresso
4 Cups / 5 Smileys

{7} macadamia nut latte
@ Tod’s Espresso Cafe
3 Cups / 4 Smileys

{8} Freddo Mocha
@ Peet’s Coffee
1 Cup / 2 Smileys

{9} almond latte
@ The Cup
5 Cups / 5 Smileys

{10} Almond Joy Mocha
@ Buchanan’s Coffee Pub
5 Cups / 5 Smileys

{11} amaretto latte
@ Folsom Street Coffee
5 Cups / 5 Smileys

{12} Comfort Coffee
@ Atlas Purveyors
5 Cups / 5 Smileys

{13} Almond Joy Mocha
Ozo Coffee
4 Cups / 3 Smileys

{14} Horchata Latte
@ The Brewing Market
5 Cups / 4 Smileys

{15} iced latte + scone
@ Spruce Confections
3 Cups / 4 Smileys


Five samples received the highest ratings in coffee and atmosphere: The Laughing Goat, Folsom Street Coffee, The Cup, Buchanan’s Coffee Pub, and Atlas Purveyors. These cafes and drinks will be greatly missed! The next time we’re in Boulder, I will likely rotate between these 5 locales to take in all the goodness they offer.

But if I had to choose just one as the overall winner, taking into account the coffee, the cafe, the work atmosphere, and the experience, I choose Atlas Purveyors with its Comfort Coffee.

After all this sampling, I’ve settled on one thing I’d like to mirror to enhance my coffee experience at home: a set of glass mugs (see Drink 3). Something about seeing the brew straight on and holding a smooth glass vessel made me really enjoy the coffee experience. I have already started the search for a dozen or so!

That does it for my 2012 Boulder Coffee Fest! It was a huge treat. I loved every sip.


Photo Credits
Personal photographs by Erin Straza. Boulder, Colorado. July 2012.

  • http://theartphotographic.com Laura Meador

    Erin! While you inaugurated Boulder Coffee Fest 2012, Tim and I began Portland Coffee Roaster Tour ’12! Here’s the write up on my personal blog:

    “We tried four different coffee roasters and they all offered something different. Most of their cafes are dedicated to the purest/purist forms of their coffees, so getting a sweet starbucksy summer drink was out of the question. Also, it was chilly enough that I could actually enjoy a warm beverage, so I got a vanilla latte (the only flavored drink offered at most places) at each roaster to compare them equally. It was my control group 😉

    Heart – nicest baristas. In fact, we came here twice because of the friendly service.
    Ristretto – best ambiance/space of a reclaimed warehouse that has been awesomely decorated.
    Extracto – best latte art and drink – my personal favorite beverage.
    Albina – most snooty barista (you could tell this was really serious stuff for him)
    Peet’s – we didn’t go to the actual roaster, but Peet’s is practically the Starbucks of Oregon and it was really tasty.”

    • http://fillingmypatchofsky.com erinstraza

      So fun! I love your control group. I thought about that by about drink 7. oops. No way for me to compare across the board.

  • catffeinated

    Dude, there is a reason Ozo was voted Best of Boulder in all relevant categories. Try again. And drink coffee, not candy bars.

    • http://fillingmypatchofsky.com erinstraza

      Dude, I did like Ozo. That’s why I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. As with all food and drinks, personal preference always plays a part. So glad you have found your favorite at Ozo!

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