Colorado Springs boasts a seemingly disproportionate number of coffee shops, and Starbucks hardly has a monopoly.
The following local locales, representing just a sampling of what's out there, sport impressively hip atmospheres. A few do their own roasting, but all of them serve proficient if not all-out nerdy drinks: Think pourovers aplenty and some espresso machines worth more than your car.
If it's not an Americano you're craving, try one of these drinks, which come recommended by the outfits themselves.
2902 W. Colorado Ave., 632-3322, agiasophiacoffeeshop.com
Mood: Cozy and as laid-back as orthodoxy gets (the site has ties to Holy Theophany Christian Church).
Get the: Candy Bar Frappé, an iced drink blend of chocolate, caramel and peanut butter with two shots of espresso.
2360 Montebello Square Drive, Suite H-1, 445-1050, peakplacecoffeehouse.com
Mood: A cool community place for the north side; urban chic.
Get the: 3-2-1 Go! a 16-ounce coffee with two shots of espresso added.
Urban Steam Coffee Bar and Café
1025 S. Sierra Madre St., 473-7832, urbansteamcoffee.com
Mood: Industrial, off-the-beaten-path coffee lab.
Get the: Cuban Cortado, a 5-ounce Cuban-style cortado, with 2 ounces espresso, 3 ounces steamed milk, a half teaspoon of raw sugar and butter, topped with sea salt.
2330 N. Wahsatch Ave., 418-6188, stircoffeeshop.com
Mood: Artful as an Etsy page; a bean-house meets a greenhouse.
Get the: Café Miel ("honey" in French and Spanish), a latte with steamed honey and cinnamon.
Wild Goose Meeting House
401 N. Tejon St., 445-0170, wildgoosemeetinghouse.com
Mood: The long community table says it all.
Get the: Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee pourover in the Hario V60 ceramic coffee dripper; it features strong citrus notes, dried cherry, cranberry and lemonade-like acidity, and finishes sweet, clean and creamy.
R&R Coffee Café
11424 Black Forest Road, Black Forest, 494-8300, rnrcoffeecafe.com
Mood: Small-town social hub, with an indescribable warmth.
Get the: Caramel Happiness, a real "frou-frou" drink with caramel sauce, vanilla syrup, caramel syrup and the local Red Stallion espresso blend.
The Principal's Office
1604 S. Cascade Ave., 368-6112, poativywild.com
Mood: As smart and sophisticated as a schoolhouse haunt should be.
Get the: Novo Anyetsu coffee, for espresso shots, cappuccinos and pourovers with a distinct blueberry nuance.
11550 Ridgeline Drive, #102, 719/772-6101, cafevelobikes.com
Mood: So very Portland, a coffee shop in a bike store.
Get the: Affogato (Italian for "drowned"), 2 ounces of Boulder's Ozo Coffee Organic Isabelle espresso (a Honduran and Sumatran dark blend) and a small scoop of all-natural vanilla bean ice cream.
The Perk Downtown
14 S. Tejon St., 635-1600
Mood: Every city center has a spot (or five) like this, but ours is better.
Get the: Toasted Marshmallow Mocha, a combination of handcrafted espresso, steamed milk, Ghirardelli chocolate and Da Vinci-toasted marshmallow syrup.
Jives Coffee Lounge
16 Colbrunn Court, 210-7650, jivescoffeelounge.com
Mood: Belongs in either a Wes Anderson movie or Costa Rica ... maybe both.
Get the: White Christmas, an extra-caffeinated white-roast espresso with peppermint, white chocolate and a nutty flavor.
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