• Woodland Park's Gold Hill Java (757 Gold Hill Place, goldhilljava.com) hits all the right notes of a mountain-community gathering space, especially with its live music sessions. Enjoy a Kodiak wrap and a bottomless cup of house drip.
• Mateine being so close to caffeine, it's apropos to include The Twelve Tribes' Maté Factor Café (966 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-3235) in a rundown of coffee shops. Plus, atmosphere-wise, it's synonymous: The Ewok Village-esque interior, scented by baked goodies, invites lingering over many a cup of stevia-sweetened yerba mate.
• The wonderfully artsy Marika's Coffeehouse (739 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, marikascoffeehouse.com) features awesome, creative, house-made treats like Oatmeal Scotchies (chewy cinnamon-oatmeal cookies with butterscotch chips), perhaps best enjoyed with a Boulder-based Bhakti Chai Latte.
• Sample by donation from 15 different coffee methods (pour-overs, French presses, etc.) inside Old Colorado City's Switchback Coffee Roasters (1635 W. Colorado Ave., switchbackroasters.myshopify.com). It's a wholesale roaster, not actually a coffee shop, but you can still enjoy wi-fi on the comfy couches before committing to a bag of beans to-go, post-playtime.
• Switchback Coffee beans stock the shelves at nearby Jives Coffee Lounge (16 Colbrunn Court, jivescoffeelounge.com), an active live music setting a few nights a week and otherwise great place to gaze out at Bancroft Park life over a spicy or zebra mocha.
• Yet another jitter-gifting Old Colorado City asset, Agia Sophia Coffee Shop & Bookstore (2902 W. Colorado Ave., agiasophiacoffeeshop.com) features a mostly Orthodox Christian book collection upstairs with elegant seating and atmosphere. Downstairs, play a game of chess over a masterfully made espresso drink and the Mediterranean Plate featuring stellar hummus.
As a volunteer Coach and Mentor in my third year at The First Tee of…