Denver Caffeine Crawl

Wednesday October 26, 2011 // By Tia Peck

The Crawl is designed to give individuals an opportunity to learn, share and experience what the passionate baristas, tea soms, specialty coffee roasters and other local, artisan producers in their communities bring to the table.

The Denver Crawl visited 6 shops on a chartered bus. Each ticket provided attendees with a guided tour of the shops, Denver Caffeine Crawl souvenirs, bottled water, a free sample drink from each of the participating shops, and a raffle ticket to win one of the four grand prizes. 

Our beautiful Saturday started bright and early at 11am. We all met at the Allegro Coffee Roasting facility bright eyed and bushy tailed. There were many different brewed coffee roasts ready for us to start our caffeine intake.  We were put into three different groups of about 25 people and started our tour about the coffee roasting and the cupping process.  After putting on some very fashionable blue hair nets, we made our way through the Allegro roasting facility.  First stop were the roasters.  We watched as the roasting team weighed out green beans and then put them into a 120 kilo roaster.  Although fairly automated, the beans were under the careful watch of a roaster, and released into the cooling tray only when his visual confirmed their readiness.   We then took a full tour of their warehouse, winding our way around the massive inventory of bagged green beans.  It was really amazing!  We wrapped up at Allegro by watching a quick cupping, and then we were ushered onto 3 vans to start our coffee shop crawl. 


Our next stop was Fluid Coffee where we talked about  single-origin and blended espressos.  Shots of espresso where passed around and the tasting began.  The shots of espresso where good and very different in taste, but what captivated Kari, my sister, and I was not the espresso but the espresso machine instead.  Fluid was using a Stella Di Caffé  that was donated by Unic  for the  Caffeine Crawl.  It was a beauty of a machine that gave a little mood lighting with its color changing front light panel. 


Next was Crema Coffee House where we talked about the difference between a pull lever espresso machine and a standard espresso machine. At first I think we were all pretty distracted by the shops décor; it was artsy, with a chandelier and upholstered ceiling tiles.  They served us iced Toddy coffee that had been brewed with oak to give it a completely different taste then regular iced coffee.  We did touch a little on the difference in espresso machines but having a few members from Toddy with us, Crema’s Toddy brew was definitely the main discussion.

We took a breather and got some lunch at The Market at Larimer Square and talked a little about home brewing and pairing with dessert.  More Toddy was served that was also very enjoyable especially when paired with a delicious cake called “Spring Fling” The Markets signature cake, made with zucchini bread, cream cheese frosting and assorted fresh fruit.

After lunch we headed to Metropolis Coffee where we enjoyed a wonderfully made macchiato with a latte art heart and talked a little about traditional espresso drinks.  We played a coffee trivia game and two of our BPS staff members won a Metropolis Coffee t-shirt. Good job Kari and Beth!!

We ended our lovely tour at Rooster and Moon Coffee Pub where we were taught how to make homemade strawberry balsamic vinaigrette syrup that we enjoyed as a sweetener in black iced tea.  We also talked about how to make other homemade syrups and what type of espresso and cocktail drinks they could be used in. 

We all met back at Allegro Coffee to discuss the day’s events, take a few pictures, and pick the winners for the four grand prizes.


The Caffeine Crawl was developed by The LAB to help inform consumers about quality-driven beverage information from around the globe and to assist producers that care about a better overall solution in their niche market.  Check out find a Caffeine Crawl near you. A portion of the Denver Caffeine Crawl proceeds was donated to the HALO Foundation

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