There's a lot of coffee buzz going around in Colorado, and why shouldn't there? In a state that truly lives by "if you're going to do anything, do it well," there's plenty of great coffee and coffee shops circling the cultured confines of Boulder and Denver alone.
As a gal on a personal quest to find the best provided in the area, I've can comfortably say I've tried them all; from Boulder's chic Alpine Modern and Boxcar Coffee Roaster to Denver's funky Weathervane Cafe and Thump Coffee, even up to Ft. Collin's Harbinger Coffee (which has some fabulous craft coffee mocktails, I will call them, seasonally available).
But traveling outside of the usual crowded cafes of city living offers gems of all kinds--which brings me to a coffee shop I proudly have come to frequent every Saturday morning possible.
"67 Steps" is one of the key slogans for this tiny coffee haven, a shop known as Precision Pours, hiding ten miles to the East of Boulder, and about twenty miles North of Denver in a small upcoming town of Louisville. This oddly-shaped building sits along a sidewalk, a sign in the window reading "PARKING 200 FT." lets curious coffee-cravers know the parking lot is close by. The modest coffee shop seats no more than twenty people inside, and offers some space in the backyard for seating as well with a hodgepodge of lawn furniture, which creates Precision's atmosphere of simple charm.
Take your 67 steps (or 80 steps, if you have short legs like me), and enter the cozy space, with local art on the small walls, and coffee merchandise filling up every other small space. The menu is on a clipboard, no fuss, separated into a few selections of espresso, a few selections of fresh brew coffees and options for brewing them, along with a couple other drinks for the non-coffee goers among us. Although I have stated I am a regular here, and although I always choose black coffee, my order is never the same. And why should it be? Precision Pours is always offering a new coffee on it's menu. I've tried coffee from all the coffee regions, and have sampled from roasters in Florida, Washington, British Columbia, and so many more.
So if you walk in and are completely baffled by the names and regions, feel free to ask the owner/head barista, who is there basically every day--Brice Young. My number one reason for returning to Precision Pours on a consistent basis. Brice's love for coffee extends into his customers, because he makes an effort to get to know what you like, and he will make you the best cup you've ever had. Yes, the shop down the road may roast their own coffee, but if the barista helping you behind the counter could care less about your enthusiasm for your shared interest in coffee or treat you like a neighbor, then there's no point in returning. Brice encourages coffee knowledge and conversation. He let's you bring in your own coffee to test with him. He wants to know what you've experienced or where you're from. He's a local guy, who's always been local, and cares about his community with a passion. Brice is the kind of guy who will not stop trying to give you the best cup if you are consistently put off. Brice is the kind of guy who makes his own cashew almond milk in-house. With figs for sweetness. Who else does that? Give him a try if you are scared or put-off by coffee culture. He will gently guide your way.
Anyway, back to my point from before, yes, the coffee selection at Precision Pours is ever-rotating, another of the many reasons it remains my favorite shop to visit. The coffees are local and from around the country. I do appreciate a shop that can roast it's own beans, but this keeps Precision's offerings fresh and the shop is forever on a journey to truly find the best coffee offered in the States, which is incredible. This shows that this shop's commitment is to coffee, and nothing else.
Speaking of coffee commitment, Precision Pours offers coffee flights. That's right, a coffee flight, my second reason Precision Pours earns top marks from me. The coffee flight is my favorite way to sample a new coffee I haven't tried before, as it brings out all of the flavors in different ways. If you have never tried the same coffee three ways, you are missing out on a true coffee-tasting experience. A coffee flight consists of one coffee brewed three ways: as espresso, as an Aeropress cup, and as a Hario or a Phoenix 70 cup, which essentially is a way of trying the coffee from the most concentrated brewing method to the least (Hario pour-over). We all know what an espresso shot is. It's the most concentrated way of getting that coffee deliciousness. The aeropress is the in-between of espresso and pour-over. The Hario pour-over is in all the third-wave coffee shops... but let's take you all to my final reason Precision Pours is one of my favorite places that sells coffee: the Phoenix 70 brewing system. The Phoenix is the latest way to brew coffee, a metal device promising consumers better temperature control and cup profile control, which means optimal extraction of flavor nuances. This shows how Precision Pours stays humbly on the cutting-edge of coffee culture.
This shop is dedicated to creating that precise cup of coffee the shop's name advertises.
So bring your friends, or grab a book to take, pretend not to listen to the owner speak passionately about the coffee world. Find the parking lot at the bicycle shop and head your legs west, to the little white shop.