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By: Logan Williams & Dalton Larrinaga
Can you think of a better way to spend your Saturday morning than on a mile-high expedition in the ever so enticing downtown area of Denver known as LODO? Well neither could we! That’s why we, the ever adventurous dynamic duo, decided to meander down there this last weekend for some quality coffee time.
Hopping off the light rail at Union Station we found ourselves at the beginning of our quest. We had heard tales of a great little coffee shop and had to check it out for ourselves. Nested in a small room off of 16th and Blake, Little Owl Coffee encompasses everything you would want to see in a Denver metropolitan coffee shop. The shop itself was simple yet modern; wood seats and tables, marble walls, a hard wood ceiling, and a single espresso bar adorned the quaint space. The staff was incredibly friendly and made us feel very welcome. But don’t worry, this metro feel wouldn’t be complete without a little hipster flair. While friendly, the staff was also very open, making small talk about one another’s awkward relationships with the cheese guy from Whole Foods, or even talking about their weekend bumming it in the mountains – a true Colorado staple, just like this coffee. If this wasn’t enough, their Wi-Fi is certified organic and locally roasted just like their beans. Speaking of the beans, they are collected from all around the world, and then roasted in Denver making the Middle State Coffee Company a perfect addition to the Little Owl vibe. They give rise to a vibrant flavor that is perfect for anyone’s Cup of Joe. Rich and delightful, like the morning air in Wash Park, these beans are the perfect start to anyone’s day.
If the locally roasted beans didn’t tantalize your taste buds then maybe their simple menu will. Known for their cappuccinos and pour overs, Little Owl, much like Asbury Provisions attracts a more refined crowd. This isn’t the typical, “serve me a cup of whatever is brewing and then I’ll be on my merry way…” No, this is a place where they want you to enjoy every last sip and every moment in their establishment. Whether you are inside at the bar or outside on the patio, you will appreciate your experience. Which made us question why we had ever gone anywhere else before.
As ever so inquisitive college students, we tested our superbly limited knowledge of coffee by ordering two different, yet safe bets. You know, kinda like betting on the winning team. Logan, having somewhat of a clue, ordered a pour over whereas Dalton, clueless to the coffee world asked the barista for their recommendation, which was the cappuccino. These are their stories…
Logan: The coffee was strong and bitter with a mild aftertaste, much like O-week for many of us. The pour over, for those who don’t know, is when finely ground beans are placed in a filter above either a coffee cup or glass container. Hot water is then poured over, hence the name, and filtered through the beans. Commonly thought to be the purest way of making coffee, the pour over is a coffee house staple. If a coffee house claims to be a purist and they don’t have this on their menu, just leave. It would be about the same as if a pizza shop didn’t have pizza or if Illegal Pete’s didn’t have burritos or snarky servers who take your order at 2am; they are simply not to be trusted. Either way the pour over here was excellent. The coffee was just the right temperature and had a thought provoking rich flavor that sat on your tongue once you were done, unlike Sodexo dessert. Much like Ron Swanson, I am a person who likes his coffee black, none of that foo-foo espresso that will be discussed by my partner up next.
Dalton: Being a tea man myself, coffee is that dark creepy alley that you know you shouldn’t walk through, but at the same time is a short cut around the block. With that statement you’re probably thinking why is this guy writing a review on coffee, well you know what, sometimes you just have to adventure and try something new. I mean it can’t be that bad, right? Half of the world is addicted to the stuff. Boy, was I surprised with what I got. First off I didn’t fool around with the gentle pour over, the barista went straight for the big guns and power brewed a shot of espresso with enough horsepower to get me out of bed. And don’t even get me started on the presentation. The barista had drawn a leaf with frothed milk all nonchalant, like it was second nature. The only leaf I normally see in my mug is dried, chopped up, and stuffed in a bag. With the first sip it became abundantly clear that I was going to enjoy this drink. There was just so much flavor in that little cup.
Regardless of your preference of weak-minded pour overs or foo-foo cappuccinos, feel confident in the fact you will enjoy something from this fine establishment. Whether you’re looking for organic Wi-Fi or metropolitan class, this is the place to be. Cheers to a successful expedition and we hope to see you all there soon!
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