Kaladi Brothers Coffee (credit: Young Kim)
Denver has become a hotspot for local roasters who source free trade, shade grown, young coffee beans. Techniques vary from “air-roasting” at precise temperatures to roasting by hand in small batches but have one common cause: to sell and serve excellent coffee with conscience and sustainable practices. Read on for some of the top spots for locally roasted coffee in Denver.
Boxcar Coffee Roasters
3459 Ringsby Court
Denver, CO 80216
Boxcar Coffee Company, founded by Cara and Vajra Rich along with Janos Porps, opened its first Denver location in RiNo’s TAXI district. Occupying an 1,800-square-foot location along with reFuel (the casual version of Bob Blair’s Fuel) Cafe, coffee cultists can now get Boxcar’s excellent coffee attributed to its signature “Boilermakr.”
Having the right water temperature is important for proper extraction. The ideal temperature range for brewing coffee is approximately 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be difficult at a high altitude. In the spirit of “cowboy coffee,” the Boilermakr utilizes a rounded-bottom boiling flask to contain the grounds and water heated over a fiberglass mesh. The mixture is then strained (not filtered) through tea strainers resulting in fantastic coffee.
1751 East 58th Ave. #B3
Denver, CO 80216
Tim and Tommy Thwaites, brothers from America’s coffee heartland in Seattle, are deeply educated in the specialty coffee industry. Experts in the origin characteristics of green coffees, the art of roasting and drink, the brothers partnered with Tom Sr. to develop Coda Coffee Company. With a simple mission of creating coffee excellence through education, advocacy and partnerships, Coda Coffee offers online ordering from its northern Denver roasting center.
Sales from El Salvador El Naranjo benefit a local school. The coffee bean offers a milk chocolate quality with a slight hint of lime. More than 28 varieties are offered online. With purchase of two 12-ounce bags, shipping fees are waived.
Dazbog Coffee Company
1090 Yuma St.
Denver, CO 80204
Dazbog Coffee is the realization of two brothers as well. Anatoly and Leonid Yuffa emigrated from the Soviet Union fullof the American dream and started the legacy of Dazbog Coffee. The brothers brought the richness of the Russian heritage and traditions for roasting only the finest quality Arabica beans from coffee estates around the world.
The history and character of the Yuffas’ homeland inspired the unique and intriguing names of Dazbog’s fresh and roasted blends. The White Nights Espresso® is named for the long summer days in Leningrad. The Hermitage House Blend® is a nod to the home of the czars and now a world-renowned museum. The company now has more than 25 Dazbog locations in Denver with additional “serving” locations.
Related: Top Tasting Menus in Denver
Kaladi Brothers Coffee
1730 East Evans Ave.
Denver, CO 80210
Signature coffee air roasting at Kaladi Coffee is a radical departure from traditional drum roasting. While drum roasters introduce hot air into the roasting chamber, the Kaladi’s signature system of hot air greatly increases the rate of heat transference to the beans, creating a cleaner, more aromatic roast free of bitter tasting tars.
The legendary story behind the name of Kaladi goes back hundreds of years to a goat herder and his goats discovering a dark-leaved shrub with red berries. Pair that with crossing paths with a monk from a nearby monastery, who brought the berries back to combine with water, and you have news of a “heaven sent” drink that spread throughout the Arabia Felix. Denver coffee connoisseurs can now get this heavenly brew at the storefront just west of the University of Denver on East Evans Avenue. The coffee shop serves coffee and espresso by the cup or bagged beans.
Pablo’s Coffee Company
630 East 6th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Pablo’s Coffee has served locally roasted coffee for more than two decades, long before the coffee craze reached its current roar. In 1995, founder Craig Conner quit his corporate job, sold his house, maxed out his credit cards and opened Pablo’s Coffee with his friend Kris Kluver. They spent the next two years immersed in coffee culture and roasting coffee out of a small facility at 7th and Lipan sourced sustainably from around the world.
Carefully roasted by hand in small batches, the best seller is Danger Monkey, a smooth, full-bodied classic coffee with Two Stroke Smoke a close favorite. Pablo’s has two locations in Denver. The original is at 6th and Washington with the second location at 13th and Pennsylvania. Each coffee shop embodies the signature neighborhood characteristics.
Related: Top Summertime Desserts in Denver
Ellen Marchman Larkey has a savvy knowledge of culture and events and maintains trusted partnerships around the country. She has substantial expertise with food, wine and lifestyle including Aspen Food & Wine Festival, South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Cochon, Top Chef and numerous destination
restaurants and master mixologists. She has beeen Examiner.com‘s Denver’s Fine Dining writer since 2009.