Editor’s note: Boulder Weekly received this submission from the Imagine! CORE-Longmont reviewers and decided to let them head off this week’s Cuisine section with a story on their experience at Bittersweet in Louisville. Imagine! is a not-for-profit program that assists adults with developmental disabilities and helps them integrate in their communities.For those who don’t have a sweet tooth, Bittersweet offers more than just delicious coffee drinks and pastries. Located on Main Street in Louisville, Bittersweet opened June 5 and already boasts an average of 30 patrons per morning. Where once stood a gift basket store and a storage area now sits a quaint little coffee shop.
We talked with Alex — a physics and fine arts major at CU — who has been working in the coffee business for six years. Alex, one of two Bittersweet employees, told us about the co-owners: Patrick Walsh, he said, owns a construction and remodeling company, and Azadeh Angha moved here from Iran in 2000.
While talking with us, Alex brought us some awesomely delicious treats and our choice of drinks. The pastries included wholesome chocolate macaroons, light and buttery vanilla cupcakes, perfectly smooth gluten-free “puddle cookies” (sweet cookies with an indentation of rich, dark chocolate in the middle), and decadent, gluten-free chocolate cake with sweet raspberry filling. They are frickin’ good!
A lot of the baked goods at Bittersweet, in fact, are gluten-free, except for those products that are impossible to make otherwise, like their scones.
For drinks, Mike got a mocha, Dan went with the iced coffee, and Ian guzzled down a hot cocoa. The coffee isn’t too strong and doesn’t have the unpleasant aftertaste of more commercial fare, a reason we prefer smaller shops to the mega-chains. Ian spouted out a slew of happy, indecipherable gibberish about how much he enjoyed his hot chocolate. And Mike’s mocha was particularly good, with an elaborate “etching” of a chocolate leaf on top.
“Etching” is the process by which a barista, using a fine-tipped tool, draws a design in the frothy drink surface. It takes a long time to master this art, and Alex told us the most popular shape is the “Rosetta” or rose.
Both the drink contents and food come fresh from local distributors and bakeries. Everything is priced competitively, unlike a lot of large chains that charge exorbitant prices for similar products.
Bittersweet also offers something for customers’ aural and ocular pleasure: a wall of art including mosaics, black and white photographs and acrylic paintings, and live music by locals, mainly jam bands and world music. The artwork rotates monthly, and the live music comes and goes at random.
Bittersweet is part of the Louisville Marketplace, a group of stores having more personality than, say, a strip mall or indoor shopping center. A nearby dog park includes tables and chairs, so patrons can keep an eye on their hounds while sipping a latte. Overall, Bittersweet’s environment feels relaxing and put us at ease.
In the end, our experience left us far from bitter. Imagine! CORE-Longmont Reviewers are: Mike Williams, Ian Markiewicz and Dan Roberts. Check them out on Twitter at: Twitter.com/ReviewersPage.
820 Main St., Louisville 303-257-8955 Open daily, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.