The Best Colorado Specialty Coffee Roasters

9 Best Colorado Specialty Coffee Roasters

As far as beverages go, Colorado might be better known for its draft beer scene, but that doesn’t mean you should underestimate its coffee game!

Some major cities, such as Denver and Boulder, have a serious coffee culture, and there are roasters throughout the state experimenting with bold flavors you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.  

Next time you’re in the Centennial State, check out one (or many) of these coffee roasters and their delicious offerings.

In no particular order, these are the best Colorado specialty coffee roasters: 

1. Novo Coffee, Denver 

Novo is a relationship-focused coffee company founded in 2002 by Jake, Joe, and Herb Brodsky.

They focus on building meaningful relationships with the coffee farmers that produce their coffee and dedicate themselves to building upon those relationships year after year, 

Novo Coffee is also committed to constant improvement. The owners and employees taste the coffees weekly to find ways to alter their roast recipes to achieve the best results.

Furthermore, their Loring air-roaster and roast-to-order model makes them more environmentally friendly than other coffee roasters.

If you’re in the area, check out one of their classes or tours in addition to sampling their coffee.

They have some sort of event nearly every day of the week, including tastings and tours, and classes such as: 

  • Coffee brewing 
  • Pouring the perfect espresso 
  • Seed-to-cup
  • Milk steaming and drink building  

If you can’t make it to the classes, I recommend reading my article on preventing grounds in your coffee to learn one of the most basic but most important coffee skills. 

All of their coffees are worth a try, but if I could only recommend one, I’d suggest you give “El Mirador” a try.

This coffee is from Huehuetenango, Guatemala, and brings a combination of almond, starfruit, and chocolate to your morning cup of joe. 

Pack sizes 12 oz, 2 lb, 5lb 
Bag price $16+ 
Whole bean & ground? Both 
Subscription service? Yes

2. Generous Coffee Company, Golden 

Ben Higgins may be best known for his stint as the lead in season 20 of The Bachelor, but his coffee company, Generous, which he established with business partners Riley Fuller and Drew Scholl, is far more impressive than his reality TV gig.

The coffee is delicious, but this company is about more than just coffee; it’s about giving back.

Generous gives back 100% of its profits to nonprofits worldwide, especially Humanity and Hope United in Honduras.   

When you receive your bag of Generous coffee, you might be surprised by how beautiful the packaging is.

Generous partners with artists from all over the world to design their packaging, so the artists get exposure and they can have a say in where the profits are donated. 

The most popular blend is the Higgins, named after the President and founder.

This blend is the darkest one Generous offers and has notes of caramelized sugar and dark chocolate.

I also like their signature espresso blend, Golden City Espresso, because it is a relatively straightforward medium roast but still has hints of nuts and spices that set it apart.  

Pack sizes 12 oz, 16 oz, 5 lb 
Bag price $18+ 
Whole bean & ground? Both 
Subscription service? Yes

3. Switchback Coffee Roasters, Colorado Springs 

Switchback Coffee Roasters’ slogan pretty much sums it up: Excellent coffee for everyone.

The company has come a long way since it was started by a couple of friends in their garage in 2010 and is now one of the most well-known and respected specialty coffee roasters in Colorado. 

Switchback prioritizes quality, sustainability, and transparency for its coffees.

They ensure that their coffee is sourced from farms that use environmentally conscious practices and pay their coffee pickers fairly, and all of their coffee can be traced back to one farm or co-op. 

I highly recommend the Guatemala Lucinda Puac Perez blend because of its distinct taste, featuring complex nutty flavors, sweet hints of blackberry, and a chocolate body.

I also like that this coffee comes from a woman-owned coffee farm, which isn’t always easy to find! 

I also like the Colombia San Fermin blend, with caramel, apple, and roasted hazelnut notes.

The smooth, juicy body is perfect for a daily drinker.  

Pack sizes 12 oz, 5 lb 
Bag price $16+ 
Whole bean & ground? Both 
Subscription service? Yes

4. Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters, Westminster, Lakewood, & Arvada 

Sweet Bloom founder Andy Sprenger has some serious coffee creds: with two United States Brewers Cups, a World Brewers Cup runner-up recognition, and an Aeropress win, this guy knows what he’s doing.

He opened Sweet Bloom in 2013 with the help of his wife, Laurel, and his nephew, Caleb.

In 2019, Sweet Bloom merged with Two Rivers Coffee, headed by Eric Yochim.   

Sweet Bloom donates a percentage of its profits to the following organizations: 

  • Water for People. This Denver-based international nonprofit strives to bring water, sanitation, and hygiene to communities worldwide. 
  • Compassion International. This nonprofit has its headquarters in Colorado Springs and works with local Christian churches worldwide to develop child development programs.
  • Dry Bones Denver. This organization strives to relieve suffering and provide resources, nutrition, and employment to teens and young adults experiencing homelessness in Denver. 
  • International Justice Mission. The goal of this nonprofit is to protect people experiencing poverty from slavery and violence and rescue slavery victims.  
  • Bread for the World. The goal of this organization is a lofty one: ending world hunger. They’re working towards this goal through various outreach programs and global efforts.   

Sweet Bloom also has various event and class offerings that can teach you how coffee is made and how to brew the perfect cup.

For an introduction, I recommend reading my article on how coffee is produced and processed.    

You can’t go wrong with their coffee offerings, but a personal favorite is Los Chelazos from La Palma, El Salvador.

This blend is a sweets lover’s dream with hints of chocolate, pineapple, and toffee.

Sweet Bloom removes coffees from inventory based on seasonality, so if you see a blend that sounds good to you on their website, don’t hesitate to grab it! 

Pack sizes 12 oz, 5 lb 
Bag price $15.50+ 
Whole bean & ground? Whole bean only 
Subscription service? Yes

5. 1859 Coffee Company, Central City 

Colorado is famous for its breathtakingly high altitudes, and the 1859 Coffee Company specializes in high-altitude roasting.

The company began when founder David Cholewa attempted to roast coffee in the Rocky Mountains in 2005 at 9,600 feet (2,926 meters) and discovered that the coffee didn’t have a burnt aftertaste. 

According to the 1859 Coffee Company, the higher the altitude, the better the coffee because the thin air at high altitudes produces a quicker roast at lower temperatures, preventing burning or scorching.

This practice reduces the coffee’s acidity.    

If you have someone in your life that doesn’t like coffee, I recommend purchasing 1859 Coffee’s Naturally Flavored, Medium Roast Coffee.

The overtones of vanilla, hazelnut, and caramel are subtle but contribute to a smooth, delicious taste that even coffee haters will like! 

Pack sizes 5 lb 
Bag price $75 
Whole bean & ground? Both
Subscription service? No

6. Harbinger Coffee, Fort Collins

“Harbinger” refers to one that pioneers change or foreshadows things to come, and it is the perfect name for the innovative and continuously-growing coffee company in Fort Collins. 

The artisan coffees at Harbinger Coffee undergo an intense selection process, so if you’re getting coffee from Harbinger, you can be confident that it is high-quality and delicious.

Jonathan Jarrow founded Harbinger in 2012, and Ben Kutcher joined as a partner in 2016.

The two men are committed to growing Harbinger and bringing unique, specialty coffee to the city of Fort Collins for years to come. 

The best offering from Harbinger is their Ethiopian blend, Nano Challa.

With notes of violet, white peach, and black tea, this coffee-drinking experience will surely be unforgettable. 

Pack sizes 12 oz, 5 lb 
Bag price $18+ 
Whole bean & ground? Whole beans only 
Subscription service? Yes 

7. Ampersand Coffee Roasters, Boulder 

Ampersand Coffee sources 100% organic and 100% fair trade coffees, prioritizing supporting regenerative organic farming and empowering coffee farmers.

Organic farming promotes the health of soil organisms and plants, so farming is sustainable.

Fair Trade Certified Coffee guarantees a minimum price, so coffee farmers can continue farming even when prices drop.  

Ampersand is also partnered with the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) and Cafe Fermenino, which work to promote gender equality in places where coffee is grown.

Additionally, Ampersand donates 0.5% of its total revenue to IWCA.   

Not only can you feel good about purchasing their coffee because of what they give back to the community, but Ampersand was also rated the best coffee in Boulder, so you won’t be sacrificing taste! 

Their Mighty Peace Congo blend is chocolatey, caramelly, juicy, and lemony, all at once.

I also like this product because every purchase supports peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo by providing resources to former soldiers and sexual violence survivors.

Ampersand has a tasting room and roasting facility that is open to the public, and you can find their coffee in various locations all over Colorado, notably: 

  • Moe’s Broadway Bagel in Boulder 
  • Bold Beans in Denver 
  • Hot Chick a Latte in Denver 
  • Cafe 13 in Golden 
  • La Vita Bella in Longmont 
  • South Street Market in Louisville 
Pack sizes 12 oz, 5 lb 
Bag price $15.95+ 
Whole bean & ground? Both 
Subscription service? Yes 

8. Jubilee Roasting Company, Aurora 

Peter Wanberg began Jubilee Roasting Company out of an old warehouse in Aurora in 2015, and now the company is a staple in Northern Aurora.

Jubilee purchases coffee from the same farms yearly, prioritizing developing meaningful relationships with farms and farmers worldwide.

You can purchase coffee at their physical locations and online, and Jubilee also sells high-quality brew gear, including multiple grinders, carafes, and filters.

For more information about grinders, I recommend reading my article comparing blade and burr grinders.   

My favorite brew is the Peru Puno Sandia, which has notes of plum, vanilla, peach tea, and cacao.

The beans come from a subregion of the Sandia Valley that is renowned for its interesting flavor profiles, and this brew from Jubilee is a great way to give it a taste for yourself.

Pack sizes 12 oz, 2 lb, 5 lb 
Bag price $15+
Whole bean & ground? Both 
Subscription service? Yes 

9. Solar Roast Coffee, Pueblo 

Coloradans like to hate on Pueblo, but the city has a lot more going for it than people give it credit for!

Solar Roast Coffee is one of the city’s treasures, which brothers Mike and David Harktop began in their parent’s garage in 2004.

They used an old satellite dish, a hundred plastic mirrors, and a broccoli strainer to create a makeshift, solar-powered coffee roaster. 

That first model of their solar-powered coffee roaster was called Helios I and could only roast a pound of coffee at a time.

Over the next few years, they went through various roaster models.

Helios IV was thirty-five feet across and could roast thirty pounds of coffee at a time, a far cry from their first model. 

After they received a business development grant through the Pueblo Economic Development Corporation, the Helios V was born.

This model used an electric heater that powered the roaster and electricity throughout the building.

Solar Roast Coffee is 100% organic and uses only fair-trade coffee beans. The slow solar roasting process gives the finished product a smooth finish with a rich taste.   

They have various coffees you can choose from, but my favorites are the Costa Rica Medium Roast with bittersweet chocolate notes and the Ethiopia Light Roast with berry flavors and fruity overtones.

They also have a sample pack available, in case you can’t decide which kind you want to try first and want to sample them all.   

Pack sizes 1 lb, 5 lb 
Bag price $15+
Whole bean & ground? Both 
Subscription service? No


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