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Home / Articles / Special Sections / Best of Boulder /  Best of Boulder 2013: Coffee, Tea and Non-Alcoholic Drinks
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Thursday, April 25,2013

Best of Boulder 2013: Coffee, Tea and Non-Alcoholic Drinks

By Boulder Weekly Staff
Photo by Susan France
Ozo Coffee barista Greg Lefcourt

Chai

BHAKTI CHAI
1048 Pearl St., 303-484-8770

Second Place: Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
Third Place: Third Street Chai
Fourth Place: Pekoe Sip House
Fifth Place: Trident Booksellers and Cafe

Chai tea’s sweet and spicy blend is Boulder’s personality in a cup. Its exotic flavors even find ways to adapt through the seasons; iced chai in the summer is refreshing after a yoga session, and warm chai’s spices feel like a good seasonal choice during chilly winter afternoons spent reading in a local coffee shop. Locally owned Bhakti Chai blends of black tea, cardamom, ginger and cane juice emulates the fiery “masala chai” tea made in India. No variation says Boulder quite as well.


Coffee House

OZO COFFEE CO.
1015 Pearl St., 303-645-4885
5340 Arapahoe Ave., 303-440-0233

Second Place: The Laughing Goat
Third Place: Vic’s
Fourth Place: The Cup
Fifth Place: Amante

Ozo Coffee Co. makes a pretty darn good espresso, but to judge a coffee shop by just its coffee is akin to judging a book by its cover. The atmosphere, the seating, the product, the wifi and the service all contribute to the ambience that creates a fine coffee shop. Ozo scores highly in all categories. Its friendly staff are more than willing to talk your ear off about the subtle flavors in its ever-rotating list of roasts. The chairs are comfortable enough to make you feel welcome staying a few hours. And, the list of lattes and mochas is long enough to ensure you never run out of new flavor combinations to try. Taking second is The Laughing Goat, which provides music and adult beverages in addition to wonderful coffee.


Coffee Roaster

OZO COFFEE CO.
1015 Pearl St., 303-645-4885
5340 Arapahoe Ave., 303-440-0233

Second Place: Boxcar Coffee Roasters
Third Place: Brewing Market
Fourth Place: Conscious Coffee
Fifth Place: The Unseen Bean

As the general populace’s knowledge of coffee has increased over the past few years, so has the number of competitors in this once-lonesome category. It seems every coffee shop now either roasts its own beans or gets them carted in by donkey from a guru on top of a mountain. This year, Ozo Coffee Co. once again takes home the trophy. The mad scientists at Ozo are constantly developing titillating new roasts, satiating the thirst of even the most adventurous coffee drinker. Boxcar Coffee Roasters, which supplies beans to several coffee shops around the city, takes second.


Juice/Smoothie

JAMBA JUICE
3053 Arapahoe Ave., 303-247-1170 %u2028

Second Place: Whole Foods Market
Third Place: Alfalfa’s Market
Fourth Place: Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place
Fifth Place: Rush Bowls

Ever get a mid-day craving for the perfect blended concoction of mango, pineapple and passion fruit? Maybe you’re more of a strawberry-banana gal or a pomegranate-blueberry-raspberry guy. No matter what your frozen desire, Jamba Juice has got you covered. And if the fruit in your smoothie isn’t enough of a health reason to drink your lunch, of course you can always add multivitamins, energy or protein for a little incentive boost. Our runner-up this year is Whole Foods, which includes a splash of green in each of its blended beverages — think spinach, chard, bok choy or kale. Health alert!


Latte

OZO COFFEE CO.
1015 Pearl St., 303-645-4885
5340 Arapahoe Ave., 303-440-0233

Second Place: The Laughing Goat
Third Place: Vic’s
Fourth Place: The Cup
Fifth Place: Amante

Nothing makes the somewhat bitter taste of espresso palatable to the coffee-averse like a well-made latte. Mix in milk and perhaps a shot of flavoring, and you’ve got something even a tried and true sweet tooth can enjoy. But let’s not knock the palate of hard-core latte drinkers. We’re sure the Italians had some much higher, more refined purpose in mind when they started blending espresso with steamed milk. We just got so distracted by those hearts, leaves and other designs gracing the top of the foam that we forgot to think much about it. In any case, if you want a coffee with both the artistic and culinary imprints of your barista, the best stop in town, our readers say, is Ozo Coffee Co.


Mocha

OZO COFFEE CO.
1015 Pearl St., 303-645-4885
5340 Arapahoe Ave., 303-440-0233

Second Place: The Laughing Goat
Third Place: The Cup
Fourth Place: Vic’s
Fifth Place: Starbucks

You think you know coffee, but Ozo Coffee Co. has a list of mochas like you’ve never seen. With more than a dozen varieties, Ozo offers concoctions like the “Island” mocha, with coconut and macadamia nut syrup mixed in with the standard chocolate, and the “Lumberjack,” which blends 64 percent Costa Rican dark chocolate with maple syrup and vanilla flavors. With seemingly endless options, there’s a delightfully tasty option for everyone on Ozo’s mocha menu.


Teahouse

THE BOULDER DUSHANBE TEAHOUSE
1770 13th St., 303-442-4993

Second Place: Pekoe Sip House
Third Place: Ku Cha House of Tea
Fourth Place: Celestial Seasonings
Fifth Place: Atlas Purveyors

Spice up your tea life at this year’s winner for the teahouse category: The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse. Their lengthy list of offerings sample from the four main types of tea: white, green, black and oolong with imagination-piquing names like Silver Dragon. They have herbal teas, which technically aren’t really tea at all, but herbal infusions masquerading as tea. But the herbs included have special benefits, according to Dushanbe’s website, that can include help with indigestion or flatulence or sleeplessness. And, of course, the Teahouse offers all kinds of teas in a hand-carved, ornately-painted teahouse.

Your tea life could also get a dose of excitement at Pekoe Sip House, this year’s runner up, where the Spicy Green Chai (made with ginger, green tea and steamed milk) will leave a pleasant zinging sensation on your tongue.

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