Where to go for community and a cuppa.
We seek them out for friendly meetups, our morning jolt and a change of scenery, our special place to read or bang out uninterrupted work (café ambient sounds actually boost creativity—Google “coffee shop noise machines.”)
Here are just a few of our NoCo java faves:
Starry Night Espresso Café
This Old Town people-watching perch has had 20-plus years to perfect its balance of energetic and cathartic. Soak it in among shades of soothing blue, swirly Instagram-worthy latte art and College Avenue views.
Order: A slice of cappuccino cake if they
112 S. College Ave., 970-493-3039,
Mugs Coffee Lounge
Two buzzy locations on and near campus draw a steady stream of loyalists to this family-owned fair-trade favorite. The community vibe is met with jamming music, students on laptops (read: ultra fast Wi-Fi and lots of outlets) and playful hot sippers like the Big White Whale paired with homemade pop tarts.
Meet here: The reservable Mugs Underground Lounge is a free space to meet, study or just relax.
Mugs @ the Oval, 306 W. Laurel St., 970-449-2265; Mugs Downtown, 261 S. College Ave., 970-472-6847, mugscoffeelounge.com
The Bean Cycle
Pull up a red stool at this roaster roost and hunker down with a good book. Need a new read? The coffee shop shares space with Wolverine Farm Publishing and Bookstore, a volunteer-run nonprofit stacked with donated volumes. Order a Peruvian or Costa Rican cup, grab a bag of beans, and head to its brew bar tasting room for Friday afternoon in-house roasts.
144 N. College Ave., 970-221-2964,
Bindle brings early risers to Jessup Farm Artisan Village, opening its 19th-century mechanic shop doors at 6 a.m. weekdays. Check the Crop-to-Cup world map wall to see where this week’s beans are sourced. The husband-wife-run space is all about seasonally and responsibly sourced beans and wholesome, from-scratch eats.
Try: Jenn’s brown-butter apple empanadas.
1933 Jessup Dr., 970-999-4201,
For an old-timey twist, join locals over simple cups of fresh brew at this coffee bar/ice cream parlor/gift shop in historic downtown Windsor. Enjoy a slower pace surrounded by 1899 exposed brick walls and high ceilings.
Bring the kids: They’ll love the vintage candy and toys and the soda fountain where sodas, shakes and malts are still mixed by hand.
430 Main St., Windsor, 970-460-7165,