The Coffee Cottage

Stop by the Coffee Cottage for unique seasonal drinks like this custard latte–with a blend of eggnog, vanilla and cinnamon to put you in the holiday spirit! Photo Credit: @thecoffeecottageco via Facebook.

The Coffee Cottage is new in town, but has already found a special place among the locals.

They boast all organic coffee and pastries hoping to appeal to a health-conscious niche market in the small town of Woodland Park, but they succeed in serving great coffee to everyone who walks through the door.

Located in the group of shops near City Market grocery store, you’ll find them under the “coffee” sign near another Woodland Park favorite, AJ’s Pizza.

All organic and locally made. These “poptarts” are yummy and kid-approved.

Their owners take pride in their work and the things they offer; they have some unique treats as well as many of the coffee shop staples you’ve come to expect. But their coffee roast has a unique flavor that will mix up your normal order.

We’ve had several things from the Coffee Cottage including cappuccinos, lattes, flavored drinks, unflavored drinks, iced, hot–you name it. I think it’s well balanced and smooth, but the coffee they use has a hint of a smokey taste. It makes me feel like sitting around a campfire with a warm blanket and a warm cup of joe! I really like it, and because I only stop by when I’m “up the hill” – as those of us from Colorado Springs say when we visit the mountain towns up Ute Pass – it’s a pleasant surprise every time I return.

Have your coffee or tea your way, then grab a board game for some old-school fun.

The shop continues to grow; this is their first year in town, so they’re still getting settled. And I’ll be interested to see how the shop evolves and flourishes. The shop is filling in, and there are several regulars who use the space to study, have meetings or sit and relax. The Coffee Cottage also has a strong community mindset by lending a helping hand to other small creators in the area by displaying and selling local crafts, jewelry as well as other products.

I give the Coffee Cottage an 8/10. A solid score for their first few months in business.

Drive Through: No – plenty of free parking, though.

Kid Friendly: Yes – they can whip up a mean hot cocoa and there are some toys and games to play with, too. They really want everyone (even busy working moms with kids in tow) to stop by.

757 Gold Hill Place, Woodland Park, CO 80863 | thecoffeecottageco.com

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The Perk Downtown

The Perk Downtown is located off of Tejon Street in the heart of Colorado Springs. Photo: @ThePerkDowntown via Facebook.

Colorado Springs is home to great coffee, and the Perk Downtown is a prime example. This fun and bustling cafe has great drinks and food which rank among the best in town. As you might expect, it’s located in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs on Tejon. Tejon Street is home to lots of local shops and restaurants as well as being the premier route for all parades and downtown celebrations.

Add to the chalkboard while you’re there.

The location creates a fun atmosphere because there are always people there with you. It’s energizing, and not just because of the caffeine! We went for the first time on a cold spring day, and it was easy to get warm inside. In warmer weather, it’s fun to sit outside and people-watch on Tejon Street, or there’s seating upstairs and on the roof for better views.

Our kids had a great time!

We took our kiddos and they had some hot cocoa while we had coffee. And I have to give props to the staff for understanding the habits of 2- and 4-year-olds. The cocoa came in to-go cups with lids. Parents get it. Lids.

Very smart.

The best soy latte I’ve ever had. I’ve tried to replicate it at home, I’ve tried to find a better one in town. So far, I can’t!

For those who don’t do dairy, I had a soy latte that has yet to be topped.

I’ll just throw this out there too, they serve cocktails. Bloody Marys and mimosas (among other things), for those of you who may be interested.

We give The Perk Downtown a 10/10. Great location, great options and fun atmosphere.

Drive Through: No – Parking meters in the downtown area take credit cards, and are free before 8 am and after 6 pm, Monday-Friday. They are free all day on Sundays and city holidays.

Kid Friendly: Yes

14 S Tejon St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 | theperkdowntown.com

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Story Coffee

Story Coffee in Colorado Springs
Story Coffee truly has a unique story of how they got to where they are, and they believe everyone who walks through their door has a unique story of their own. Photo: Facebook/@storycoffeecompany

Story Coffee–self proclaimed “first tiny house coffee shop in the world”– is located in downtown Colorado Springs on the edge of Acacia Park. And it’s exactly what you’d think when you hear “tiny house coffee shop.” It’s tiny.

The interior is wide enough for two people to stand side by side and place their orders at the counter, and long enough for a few more sets to stand behind. It’s definitely not big enough for my 4- and 2-year-olds to run around like they wanted. But that’s the point.

The splash pad in Acacia Park is right next to Story Coffee, while the rest of downtown unfolds behind the park.

The owners of Story Coffee have lived the minimalist life for years. They sold their house and most of their possessions and hit the road with their two kids, collecting memories and mileage instead of stuff. They traveled the country exploring as a family, tasting great coffee, and learning from coffee shop owners from coast to coast.

The shop used to live in a different part of the Springs, until a few years ago when it was “parked” near Acacia Park during the busy holiday season as a test run. And Acacia Park has been the home of Story Coffee since.

The shop has a lovely deck if you want to sit. Because it’s inside the park and so near downtown, the setting encourages you to talk to other people while sipping your coffee or set off to explore downtown.

Playground in Acacia Park.
The playground is great for the little ones while mom and dad fuel up with some caffeine.

Our kids loved playing on the playground while my husband waited for our coffees. In the summertime, Acacia Park is packed because they turn on the splash pad, and kids can’t get enough. Concerts are put on just behind Story Coffee on the outdoor stage. Also, Tejon Street has shops, restaurants, and it’s the parade route for every event in the Springs.

My coffee was hot, smooth and light. It was the perfect thing for walking on a bright spring day.

Photo: Facebook/@storycoffeecompany

They sell some pastries but don’t have a full kitchen, so you won’t be able to order a full meal. They don’t have a huge variety, but the things they do, they do well. The shop is popular, so the line is long. There was only one person working when we were there, so things took a while. But remember, their shop has limited square footage. There’s not enough room for lots of employees. But it was worth the wait.

All in all, we give Story Coffee a 9/10.

Kid Friendly: Yes

Drive Through: No. And if you park on a weekday, many streets have parking meters (but the meters take credit cards).

120 E Bijou St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 | storycoffeecompany.com

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Costello Street Coffee House

Costello Street Coffee House in Florissant, Colorado.
Costello Street Coffee House was renovated from the historic McLaughlin House in Florissant, Colorado. The house was built in 1885 for the McLaughlins, a prominent family in the area, who lived right next door to the founders of Florissant, the Costellos.

Be careful, don’t blink! If you do, you might miss all of Florissant, Colorado, on your way through. Like many mountain towns throughout Colorado, the bustling metropolis of Florissant is comprised of a small cluster of shops. If you’re not paying attention, you might pass it by.

However, this small town, located at the intersection of Highway 24 and Teller County Rd 1, is worth slowing down for.

It has a convenience store and gas station, so it’s a good place for a pit-stop. But it’s also home to some great food.

Costello Street Coffee House has a Victorian interior design.
The Victorian style of Costello Street Coffee House makes it unique and homey. Get cozy by the fire with your drink of choice.

Costello Street Coffee House is a fun place to stop and refresh. The historic McLaughlin House in Florissant now serves steamy cups of coffee and tasty treats, while maintaining the cozy feeling of going home!

The home was built in 1885 for the McLaughlins during the height of the Victorian era. The McLaughlins were a prominent family in the Florissant area,  and the interior reflects their Victorian style to this day.

Costello Street Coffee House has a full menu if you want a bite for lunch, or you can grab a pastry to go. You’ll find all the staple coffee-shop drinks. I got a chai tea. I’m not usually a fan of chai, but this was tasty. To me, chai tastes like Christmas. It has the same smell as the boxes of Christmas decorations we unpacked each year. I think that’s why I don’t get it often; it seems out of place in months that aren’t December! But I can definitely see myself coming back around Christmas for another chai tea while getting cozy in front of the fireplace.

They have a full menu.
They have a full menu as well as delicious pastries to choose from.

Florissant is an hour from Colorado Springs, and an hour and a half from Breckenridge, so it works as a perfect midway point. Pike National Forest, The Florissant Fossil Beds, and Mueller State Park are all 10-20 minutes away. You can stop by Costellos to grab some breakfast before venturing into the Pikes Peak area. Then finish your day by exploring Colorado Springs and Garden of the Gods before heading back up Ute Pass and into the mountains surrounding the Florissant area.

All in all, I give Costello Street Coffee House a 6/10. I don’t think they have a lot of unique things to offer, but what they have is consistent and good. It’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re staying in our Florissant Family Retreat, only 10 minutes away!

Kid Friendly: Yes

Drive through: No

2679 US Hwy 24, Florissant, CO 80816costellostreetcoffeehouse.com

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KaPow Comics & Coffee

KaPow Comics & Coffee is a fun and geeky place to get a cup of Joe.

KaPow is an easy hole in the wall to miss. It’s a small shop located on North Nevada Avenue near the Colorado Springs campus of the University of Colorado. It’s a few minutes from the Historic North End of Colorado Springs and downtown, as well as local favorite hiking area, Pulpit Rock.

Comic lovers rejoice, KaPow Comics & Coffee is connected to a full fledged comic shop with titles from several genres as well as miniatures and collectibles. The inside of the building is lined with bold colors and art from local artists.

KaPow uses coffee exclusively from Coda Coffee Co. Coda hails from Denver, and they are a certified B corp. Meaning they adhere to strict social and environmental standards.

The cafe does local sales and specials for their brews and books alike, local artist showcases, and trivia and game nights.

They have all of your favorite traditional coffee drinks as well as a full menu and specialty drinks with a nerdy twist! I tried a plain Jane latte, and it was so smooth and good. Aaron tried the Han in Caramelnite and won’t stop talking about it! I think George Lucas would approve.

The only downside to KaPow is not many people know about it. It’s a little quiet inside on any ol’ day, but it fills up for special events.

All said and done, we give KaPow 8/10.

Kid friendly: Yes.

Drive through: Yes! Satisfy your inner geek on the go!

4239 N Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80907 | kapowcomicsandcoffee.com

 

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Third Space Coffee

Third Space Coffee is a community-minded hang out. Photo: IG/@third_space_coffee

We had heard a lot of great things about Third Space Coffee, so we knew we had to give it a try.

The inspiration for their name came from a community-minded apporach to owning and operating a business. They wanted their venue to be the “third space” in your life; first is your home, then work, and third is your community space.

And they definitely delivered there. The shop has lots of space and seating, so a lot of people can gather together at once. They host live music, group events, and worship groups weekly.

There’s a separate area for parents to take their kids, so little legs can stretch while moms and dads sit together.

Large events are part of what makes Third Space a community hub. Photo: Facebook/@ThirdSpaceCoffeeCOS

We’ve been there twice, and both times there were a lot of people, so the atmosphere was very fun, but we were less impressed with the coffee. I ordered a vanilla latte and it was sour for my taste. I usually like them smooth, with just a hint of vanilla. I’m not afraid of the coffee–rather than the sugar–being the hero of the drink, but this was not for me. My husband’s cappuccino was small and bitter, more like an espresso shot. The second time we went, his was much better, but I thought mine was much the same.

The other thing I’ll mention about Third Space is the location. While the store itself is easy to find and has plenty of parking, it’s off of Academy Blvd. It’s a busy thoroughfare, so you’re traveling fast and it’s easy to miss your turn. A lot of places are only accessible from one side of the street because of the median.

While the coffee wasn’t our favorite, it had a lot of other good qualities including a great staff. It’s especially nice if you have your kids with you.

Kid friendly: Yes – separate play area for kids = happy moms and dads!

Drive through: No.

We give Third Space Coffee a 5/10.

5670 Academy Blvd N, Colorado Springs, CO 80918 | thirdspacecoffee.org

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Kairos Coffee House

Kairos Coffee House near Popes Bluff and Ute Valley Park in Colorado Springs
Kairos Coffee House behind Popes Bluff and Ute Valley Park.

Kairos Coffee House was a last-minute decision we’re really happy we made.

Colorado Springs natives may have noticed their sign along Garden of the Gods Road, but you can’t actually see the storefront from the street. In fact, it felt a lot like searching for the Isle of Tortuga from Pirates of the Caribbean: it cannot be found, except by those who already know where it is.

Once you get inside, you’ll forget you’ve never been there before–because you’ll already want to come again.

In the ’70s, this space used to be a bar, so the decor still has that cool, bar vibe with multiple levels, stone walls, and the baristas stand behind a bar that surrounds them on all sides. But it’s been transformed into a really cozy setting. Local art is hung on every wall, and there are tons of windows that let in lots of natural light. The fireplace near the entrance is open on two sides, so you can warm up on your way in, or pull up a chair on the other side with your coffee of choice.

There are larger tables which make it great for study groups or a mobile office, and in fact, they encourage you to come in and make yourself at home with work, school, friends, or a good book. They even let you host events like baby showers, birthday parties, and corporate gatherings.

Their menu has something for everyone. My next visit will include the London Fog!

I had a regular vanilla latte which was creamy and sweet. I think I prefer it with a little more coffee flavor, so next time I might ask them to go light on the syrup. My husband had a Caramelicious and loved it. He had it with with four shots, so it wasn’t too sweet.

Kid friendly: Yes – though it is quiet, so if your kids are prone to running around (like our 2- and 4-year-old), you may think ahead.

Drive through: No.

We give Kairos Coffee House a strong 9/10. If it was in a slightly different location it would get 10/10, but we’ll definitely be back.

505 Popes Bluff Trail, Colorado Springs, CO 80907kairoscoffeehouse.com

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The Principal’s Office

The Ivywild School was an elementary until 2009. Now it’s home to several local businesses. Photo: Facebook/@IvywildSchool

We love The Principal’s Office! The coffee is amazing, but what really makes The Principal’s Office unique is the setting.

The Principal’s Office has it all: great food, drinks, coffee and an amazing atmosphere. Photo: Photo: Facebook/@POatIvywild

It’s on the southwest side of the Springs in a building called the Ivywild School. In 1916, it was built as an elementary school and served the community as such until 2009.  By 2012 it had begun its transformation into the social hub and community marketplace that it is today. In addition to The Principal’s Office, the Ivywild School is home to Colorado Springs native Bristol Brewery–try their Beehive beer, it’s my favorite. There are several other restaurants, local shops and the gym stays open for events like group yoga, improv acts, movie nights and more.

The Principal’s Office has a great selection of coffee, from a straight black cup o’ Joe to their artisan drinks, it’s really all good. I had a rose water vanilla late that I now find myself craving.

They serve food and also specialty cocktails. My husband and I love their homemade Moscow Mule. They make their own ginger beer, and they throw in a jalapeno for extra kick. We’ve tried to replicate it at home, and we just can’t. Give it a try for yourselves!

Kid friendly: During the day – yes. There is seating at the bar, as well as indoor tables and a nice outdoor sitting area. It does get more of a cocktail bar feel at night.

Drive-through: No. Do yourself a favor, and go inside!

The Principal’s Office gets a full 10/10 from us.

1604 S Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80905poativywild.com

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