Barista Magazine

JUN-JUL 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 36 of 107

37 The company wholesales to nearly 100 cafés across the United States and specializes in—go fi gure—bringing out the sweet qualities in their sourced coffees. The company remains very much a family operation: Andy's parents, Lester and Eileen, former employees of the Environmental Protection Agency, can be found at the roastery lending a hand most days. Lloyd Eitzen started out volunteering with Sweet Bloom when the company fi rst opened, and now, at 85, drives the delivery van. The shop is undergoing a facility expansion, bringing retail manager/trainer Miguel Vicuña a fresh educational and training space, all set to open in the fall. Sweet Bloom also offers espresso with classic add-ons like coffee blossom honey if you like, assorted baked goods, and a line of teas from Spirit. But come for the beans, lots of them. Not far away is Corvus Coffee Roasters, which takes great base coffees on a special rift like few others can. Founder Phil Goodlaxson left his "normal" job that was "just the worst" and let his passion for coffee blow up when he bought a roaster off eBay and didn't look back. The best descriptor for Corvus may be "progressive," as coffee is no longer just coffee once you walk through the front door. Corvus has more contraptions than a steampunk science fair, and the offerings range from batch brews and sturdy espressos to the intriguing Kyoto menu. Phil calls his take on the Japanese brew his answer to the Frappuccino. A multi-hour pourover process highlights the fruity elements and draws out an amazing cocktail-esque drink without the alcohol. The Kyoto tower drips single-origin coffee one drop at a time, creating a liqueur-like beverage. Corvus is neither the fi rst nor the last to move slowly with this method, but the end result is far more satisfying than others I have tried. The Kyoto "concentrate" is then mixed with blackberry, brown sugar, and sage, adding up to something super sleek and sexy. Currently, Corvus has two shops in town, and just opened its new production and training facility this spring where the company started roasting on a Diedrich. It's important to note all the inno- vation comes with very strong roots, as Phil does the company's green buying and feels there is no substitute for working at origin and learning from the farmers themselves. With Corvus being Den- ver-based, it's good to know this roaster's proverbial apple hasn't fallen far from the craft tree with its hopped nitro brew. Perfect for those of us who can't enjoy the bevy of local beers, the nitro blend brings solid mouthfeel to a delightfully tangy coffee. Founded in 2010, Corvus has come a long way with no signs of slowing down—a good thing for craft coffee lovers everywhere. Before you walk into the light-fi lled industrial café/roastery that is Commonwealth Coffee, you can't help but notice the Scooby Doo-esque van out front. The apple-green ride tattooed with the Commonwealth logo hints at the fun coffee you'll drink inside the building. I was greeted at the bar by the cutest barista-to-be, Byron, the 3-year-old son of co-owner Jason Farrar. Jason opened Com- monwealth with Ryan Fisher in 2013, and the two revamped their industrial space in 2016 themselves. Although the Park Hill neighborhood café/roastery follows a very clean aesthetic, the shop has great details. As I sat at the beautiful live-edge spruce bar, I was mesmerized by the blue-and-white tile patterns fronting the bar. Resident barista Tom Shanks worked a delicious Rwandan pourover redolent of fresh raspberries while whipping up a coveted cereal-milk latte for another customer. While the milk fl avor used in the latte changes weekly, the curated dairy was rocking Apple Jacks that day. The true beauty of Commonwealth is the approachability of the whole operation. Service-first is definitely the café's motto: No question is too silly or irrelevant. Coffee without pretense is what's on offer here and it can be enjoyed at a giant communal table, which is the perfect place to work away from the office or watch coffee-production day. In addition to the roastery location, Commonwealth wholesales nationally and recently opened a second venture in Denver's RiNO neighborhood. Located in The Source, an über-hip culinary hall, Caffe Figurati took over the warehouse space recently vacated by Boulder-based Boxcar Roasters. Jason is revamping the spot to focus on the Italian concept of coffee life, including training space for baristas. With a new shiny shop in the Dairy Block building of LoDo, Huck- leberry Roasters has come a long way from the roasting garage they vacated in 2011. What cofounders Koan Goedman and Mark Mann insist about Huckleberry is that it started as a roasting company but is now a coffee company, and the emphasis is on the people. Huckle- berry is now solely owned by Koan, but Mark hangs out with the staff and locals on the reg. Huckleberry works with multiple importers and seeks to build the bridge between the public and coffee industry. The new location looks like a hip setting for a GQ shoot, which is in stark contrast to the company's funky outpost in the northwest Sunnyside neighbor-

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