New York is a bubble and so, Mrs. Savor and I popped over to LaGuardia for a visit Colorado Springs. We were going to gorge ourselves at a wedding, hike around the landscape, and take in the scenery. As I started my usual routine of searching for coffee, it turned out the cafe scene seemed to be promising.
Colorado Springs is the sort of once-sleepy town where you find residents complaining about the explosion of growth that it has seen over the years. Where the pavement is growing at a rate unmatched by the sidewalks, making a trip to the town’s Motor City mandatory. There you’ll find every possible car dealership you can imagine but, yeesh, good luck trying to find a sidewalk. As soon as the charms of walking in traffic wore off we decided it was time to book a ride.
So I scrolled through the various car-sharing options and, without distraction, booked a trip out to experience the caffeinated culture of Colorado Springs. My first stop was Inertia Coffee.
Inertia is the science museum of coffee shops: a veteran-owned business with a distinct sense of physics. True to the scientific process, Inertia has a keen sense of devotion to the optimal nature of making coffee. The coffee bar was decked with a variety of pours and the lounge was adorned with biographies on Tesla, scientific journals, and a very cool book: The Design of Coffee, An Engineering Approach which quickly moved to the top of my reading list.
I opted for a Rawandan Aeropress. It arrived perfectly hot and was a decent drink, although it lacked the sophistication to call it a world-class cup of coffee, something I would chalk up to the quality of bean rather than the preparation.
Ms. Savor was hungry at this point so we went in search of a bite to eat. I wanted to experience al the coffee the area had to offer so we found food and drink at Urban Steam. It is a great brunch spot with an Austin, Texas vibe. The menu is loaded with creative deep-fried fare and hearty mugs of joe. As I felt myself starting to warm up to the city we played tourist and made our way to the Garden of the Gods.
The view is spectacular there and the vibe is distinctly Colorado. Your feet in the grass you can look out at the beautiful red rock formations that tower up to the sky. If you want to drop the change to stay at the luxurious hotel adjacent to it you can enjoy the spa, cafe and gym as well.
If you are still with us, dear reader, then prepare yourselves! as I’m about to reveal the highlight of our journey the next day as we ventured out for one last cup of coffee on the way to the airport. We were considering another trip to Inertia as they had such a variety of unexplored offerings, but as we came to find out: there’s a bit of a coffee scene in Colorado Springs if not Colorado in general. I was sort of throwing darts at a map at this point (perhaps with a bit of help from Yelp) when I settled on Loyal Coffee, a name that I could not relate to as this blog would run sort of dry without a certain amount of cafe promiscuity.
And yet, I couldn’t help but feel a bit of a high-school-crush sentiment as I walked into the place. With it’s industrial chic aesthetic, marrying wood with concrete with porcelain, Loyal was the sort of space a laptop and a jonesing for caffeine could call home for an hour or two. I knew it wouldn’t last: I was flying back to New York, Loyal was sort-of settled in Colorado but, damnit, I was going to enjoy our time together. I stepped up to the mod bar in search of the perfect cup for the day. The baristas there were knowledgeable and it was clear that we were dealing with serious coffee drinkers. I settled on an Ethiopian pourover, made my way to a concrete bench against the side of the joint, and waited for it to be brought out.
As a coffee snob, I evaluate every cup from a basic keurig to a well-steeped brew the same. I’m judging the temperature of each sip, considering the gravity of the pour as I make my way through it, and evaluating the taste for different notes. It is a lot of different ways that a cup can succeed and, more often than not, a lot of different ways it can fail. It is a rare thing when a cup of coffee can deliver on all fronts.
The taste has stuck with me to this day. The most distinct sensation that came with every inhalation of the intoxicating aroma and sip of the watery nectar was… blueberries. As a tasting note you will often find blueberries written on the label of beans in various coffee shops throughout New York and, often times it is warranted but not without a search. Every sip of Loyal’s Ethiopian was like lifting a basket of blueberries and drinking them down.
There are moments in life that stay with you. Experiences with friends great meals, and even cups of coffee . That morning’s pourover makes the list of one of the best cups of coffee I have had in life.