Jessie and Jim Huthmaker formerly lived in the Springs, but moved to his hometown of Lexington, South Carolina, 12 years ago and opened a coffee shop. Jim found a roasting mentor in Guatemala and learned the trade, falling in love with that country’s beans, still his favorite.

They recently moved back and opened Righteous Grounds, doing a beautiful overhaul of a former church building. They clearly know the roasting and barista side of their craft. Everything we drink is excellent.

A cortado spotlight’s the Peak to Peak Guatemalan-Brazilian blend, faintly fruity with a beautiful, bitter cacao finish. We take a dirty chai to-go with a bag of Mocha Java medium roast beans to play with at home (as they aren’t on the ’spro or drip this day).

We get the Big Train brand powdered chai with Brazilian Swiss water decaf in oat milk, making for the flavor of spice cake in a cup minus the cloying aspect; it’s a fabulous fall alternative to pumpkin drinks. At home I Aeropress the Mocha Java, which doesn’t refer to chocolate but to the world’s oldest coffee blend’s connection to the ancient, bustling Yemeni port of Mokha, where coffee from the island of Java was imported.

Jim uses an Ethiopian-Indonesian blend for his take on the tradition, which he describes as smooth with berry undertones and distant cacao flavor. To me it starts thin on the palate and finishes earthy; a tiny touch of cream and local honey opens it up with richness and a sweet edge, and a bite of 92 percent dark chocolate I have on hand makes more magic happen. 

Food & Drink Editor

Matthew Schniper is the Food and Drink Editor at the Colorado Springs Indy. He began freelancing with the Indy in mid-2004 and joined full-time in early 2006, contributing arts, food, environmental and feature writing.