Somewhere between restaurants and bars sit coffee and tea houses. We're talking about places with little food, but lots of drink; places that provide fascinating people-watching, but plenty of personal space.
To make a wide generalization, most all of our coffeehouses and roasters use small-batch, single-origin and blended coffees from around the world, often with a selection of organic and fair-trade beans. That said, they differ significantly from one another, and below, you'll find more descriptions of atmosphere and options outside of coffee "standards" (coffee, cappuccino, latte, chai, tea, smoothies, breakfast wraps, etc.).
For places with plenty of caffeine but also wider menus, see the "coffee cafés" list here.
Black Bear Coffee & Tea Lodge
6550 S. Academy Blvd., 226-2327
Located in the Safeway shopping center off State Highway 115, Black Bear offers big chairs near a fireplace, and a bunch of tables, where you can enjoy its homemade soups, salads, breakfast burritos, pastries and a Frappuccino-like house specialty called the Polar Java.
Boulder Street Coffee Roasters
332 N. Tejon St., 577-4291
This coffeehouse and roasting spot is a staple downtown hangout for hipsters and high-schoolers, and usually at least one person with an acoustic guitar on the sidewalk.
C Cobb Creations Coffee Bar
236 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., 576-9825 | cobbcreations.com
A catering outfit first, this gourmet stop serves homemade pastries like biscotti and cinnamon twists alongside its standard coffee offerings, only from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday.
Coffee & Tea Zone
25 N. Tejon St., 632-3887; 12225 Voyager Pkwy., 488-8893; 6628 Delmonico Drive, 599-8841 | coffeeandteazone.com
Also a roaster, C&T Zone offers a couple things not common (or entirely unique) to the Springs: a diverse bubble tea selection and Zoneberry (based off the popular Pinkberry yogurt drinks elsewhere).
1801 Cheyenne Blvd., 475-0888
Nestled at the base of Cheyenne Cañon, this quaint java joint serves Barista products, excellent banana and pumpkin breads, breakfast burritos, deli sandwiches and more. Employees say it's the perfect one-stop-shop before entering the canyon, a favorite of hikers and bikers.
Colorado Coffee Merchants
302 E. Fillmore St., 473-8878 | coloradocoffeemerchants.com
Recognized by its popular Ümpire Estate brand served by many local restaurants, CCM offers a quick self-service pouring area for commuters in its small storefront café, and free coffee fills for a year with the purchase of a $49.95 copper mug.
6071 E. Woodmen Road, 597-7300 | connectedcup.com
Directly outside the Penrose-St. Francis medical center up north, this spacious slice of home serves Serranos products and quality cappuccinos.
Copper Creek Coffee
3315 Carefree Circle West, 597-4189
Just outside Palmer Park, Copper Creek uses Colorado Coffee Merchants beans to make creative delicacies like the Irish Polar Bear (white chocolate, Irish cream, espresso and ice cream).
Cucuru Gallery Café
2332 W. Colorado Ave., 520-9900 | cucurugallerycafe.com
With art events, music, alcohol options and tapas, Cucuru is more than just a Cuban-themed coffee shop. But while you're there, be sure to check out High Rise Coffee Roasters-fueled standards.
Firedance Coffee Company
2814 N. Prospect St., 577-4398 | firedance-coffee.com
A roaster that also sells green (unroasted) beans and many flavors online, Firedance offers retail hours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, with standard coffee offerings.
Heavenly Brew Coffee
5547 Power Center Point, 282-4101
Serving Barista products and coffee shop standards, Heavenly Brew is a quiet, relaxing spot frequented by business commuters and many who just want to hang out in a friendly environment.
Java Express Rx
2504 Alteza Place, 570-0040 | javaexpressrx.com
An espresso catering outfit first, Java Express does beautiful things to Firedance Coffee products. In addition, it features specialty hot cocoas, smoothies and more.
Kairos Coffee & Tea
505 Popes Bluff Trail, 226-5150 | ywamcolorado.org/kairoscoffeeandtea.html
Located just off I-25 and Garden of the Gods Road in a former sports bar, Kairos uses the socially conscious Buy Well Fair Trade Coffee. And beyond serving the public, the outfit serves students involved with the nonprofit Youth With a Mission. Look for breakfast and lunch items and coffee standards.
Gift Shop Coffee House
739 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-4438 | giftshopmanitou.com
This new outfit doubles as a busy music venue and Manitou social spot. Light food offerings are available next to Barista coffee products.
Gold Hill Java
757 Gold Hills Place, Woodland Park, 687-6670
A roaster too, Gold Hill offers homemade cookies, muffins and breakfast burritos, as well as coffee standards (get a mocha) and loose-leaf teas in a comfortable, homey atmosphere. (Think deep, cozy chairs.)
Laura Lee's Teas
2367 N. Academy Blvd., 634-592 | lauraleesteas.com
Primarily a retail store boasting more than 140 loose-leaf teas and 80 whole-bean and ground coffees, Laura Lee's also serves light lunch items like soups and finger sandwiches, as well as muffins and pastries, at a handful of comfortable tables.
Mountain Brew Espresso
115 E. Kiowa St., 577-4347
Serving both downtown workers and Springs visitors via the adjacent bus station, Mountain Brew pours Barista products and offers treats like breakfast bagels.
8836 N. Union Blvd., 648-1713
This outfit just opened in early March and is still developing its menu, but its coffee products are supplied by Colorado Coffee Merchants and baked goods are procured from local sugar stop Sweet Daphne Confections. Look for sandwiches, wraps and breakfast calzones.
2230 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 635-2745 | nemoscoffee.com
Located off Printers Parkway, Nemo's offers the standard array of specialty coffee shop items, including sandwiches, salads, pastries and breakfast burritos.
Pikes Perk Coffee & Tea House
Multiple locations | pikesperkcoffee.com
With its own roasting business and shop locations dotted around town, Pikes Perk has become synonymous with coffee in Colorado Springs. The outfits are comfortable and consistent and boast all the standards, plus sweet snack treats and friendly staff.
Purple Mountain Coffee
7601 N. Union Blvd., | 272-4136
Separate from the like-named roaster in town (which offers online sales), Purple Mountain's storefront outfit offers intimate indoor seating and an outdoor patio during warm months. The décor features local photography and jewelry, and beyond coffee offerings like a Dirty Mocha Frappe, look for standard eats procured from local bakeries like Taste of Life.
Raven's Nest Coffee
330 N. Institute St., | 632-3433
This cool, small neighborhood roaster is everything you want in a quiet, off-the-beaten-path coffeehouse. Drop in with a good book for a Raven's Nest Latte.
Rico's at Poor Richard's
322 N. Tejon St., 630-7723 | poorrichards.biz
Rico's serves Purple Mountain Coffee products brewed in fancy Chemex carafes. You can also order sipping chocolates, alcohol and eats from Poor Richard's next door.
Serranos Coffee Company
7335 N. Academy Blvd., 266-0843; 582 Hwy. 105, Monument, 481-9445 | serranoscoffee.com
Serranos is a locally respected roaster whose coffee is served in many restaurants, and whose Web site offers gift-basket options. Its local shops also double as comfortable and welcoming drink spots. Go for an expertly prepared mocha.
Solar Roast Coffee
Three Pueblo locations: 226 N. Main St., 719/544-2008; 3429 Dillon Drive, 719/289-7458; 210 N. Santa Fe Ave. (inside the Buell Children's Museum), 719/583-6216 | solarroast.com
A one-of-a-kind roaster, Solar Roast uses a solar concentrator to roast its beans, and recently became a 100-percent certified organic outfit. Look for superb coffee and sweet standards, as well as snacks and chocolates made with the house beans.
84 State Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake, 488-2007 | speedtrapcoffeebar.com
Boasting Serranos coffee and the coolest coffeehouse name around, the Speedtrap is Palmer Lake's caffeine pusher. Get the Entrapment.
Spice of Life Café
727 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-5284
Equal parts spice and tea emporium, coffee shop and café, Spice of Life sources products from all over (with its coffee from Portland, Ore.) and offers a cozy setting for sipping whatever you wish.
Wesley Owens Coffee
1773 Lake Woodmoor Drive, Monument, 481-2145
This is a quiet, neighborhood coffeehouse with comfy chairs and Serranos products. Look for homemade items like scones and bagels to enjoy with your drink selection.