The Third Wave coffee movement — quickly defined as including a focus on bean sourcing, brewing methods and culture (like latte art) — has crested our mountainous shores, and our shops will never be the same.
Which is not to say that every Colorado Springs-area outfit is replete with siphons and single-source beans, or that there's not room for continued growth. But there are enough people here inspired by what companies like Intelligentsia have done elsewhere that you can get about as nerdy as you want; think pour-overs aplenty and some espresso machines worth more than your car.
What follows are 10 of our favorite shops; as you can see here, there are more where these came from.
Fifty Fifty Coffee House
330 N. Institute St., 445-1157, facebook.com/ravensnestcoffee
Crisp, clean, and retro. Limited seating. Get the mocha, featuring locally roasted beans, single-source chocolate from Portland, Ore., and thick, homemade whipped cream.
2360 Montebello Square Drive, Suite H-1, 445-1050, peakplacecoffeehouse.com
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
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
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
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
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
As smart and sophisticated as a schoolhouse haunt should be. Get the Novo Anyetsu coffee, for espresso shots, cappuccinos and pour-overs with a distinct blueberry nuance.
11550 Ridgeline Drive, #102, 719/772-6101, cafevelobikes.com
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
Every city center has a spot (or five) like this, but ours is better. Get the Toasted Marshmallow Mocha, fusing handcrafted espresso, steamed milk, Ghirardelli chocolate and Da Vinci-toasted marshmallow syrup.
Jives Coffee Lounge
16 Colbrunn Court, 210-7650, jivescoffeelounge.com
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.
Whether you're on your way and can't be late, or just feel like dodging the hipsters, drive-thru coffee shops can often meet one's needs while adding a little flair. Here are five worth a stop:
Dutch Bros. Coffee
301 E. Colorado Ave., 1802 E. Platte Ave., 1440 N. Circle Drive; dutchbros.com
Expect: possibly the friendliest person with whom you've ever talked coffee in the car. Though it's a seven-state chain, Dutch Bros. employs a sunny ethos that sometimes yields a free drink or just a high-five. Locally loved and often emulated, and for good reason.
Loco Bean Coffee
4797 Barnes Road, 550-4586, 2438 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 633-4586, locobeancoffee.com
Expect: bright-yellow kiosks and a world-beater philosophy that has owner John Reinecke ready to take on Starbucks. Routinely good customer service follows drinks like the Salty Caramel Hipster.
434 W. Fillmore St., 373-9230, 720 S. Eighth St., 291-6663, kangaroocoffeellc.com
Expect: baked goods, a thrice-daily "hoppy hour" and a focus on the experience that has baristas requesting you taste your drink before you drive off to make sure it's good to go.
Morning Glory Espresso
101 Fontaine Blvd., Fountain, 344-9185, morninggloryespresso.biz
Expect: discounts for military, first-responders and teachers; seasonal stuff, like a gingerbread chai; and a sassy menu full of drinks like the Steamy Pinup (vanilla, caramel and cinnamon), or the Twisted Diva (white mocha with peppermint).
Multiple locations, bikini-xpresso.com
Expect: boobs. And coffee from Monument roaster Serranos Coffee, but otherwise: boobs. The company even posts baristas' schedules and photos on its Facebook page.
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