We recently asked the locals here in Louisville what the best place to get a coffee and burrito was. The answer was Paul’s Coffee & Tea on W Cherry Street near S McCaslin Blvd. It is a rather unassuming storefront. Located on a corner of the strip mall, the endless windows inside provide a lot of fantastic natural lighting. They also roast their own beans, operating as a coffee shop and roaster. Keep reading and find out whether or not Paul’s Coffee makes the Friendly Beans list.
Paul’s Coffee and Tea
The first impression when you walk in to a coffee shop for the first time, doesn’t really represent the true vibe. First impressions matter but are not always accurate.
Walking into Paul’s for the first time felt chaotic. The counter area is cluttered, the cashier and drink area are reversed and the wall behind the counter is super busy with guitar decoration and chalkboard menus. The diversity of seating types is also a bit disjointed to the eye. While it feels a bit chaotic, there is order to this madness. Read on as we make sense of this unique coffee shop and roaster.
Seating & Atmosphere
Mismatch and cluttered are two words which keep coming to mind. The seating ranges from comfy leather armchairs to mix and match dining chairs and tables to bench seating. Whether you want to chill out and read a book, lounge with friends over coffee, or sit down and blast out that report for work, come in and get comfy in a variety of places. The large tables are great for larger groups of 5 or 6 to sit at a common table and work through a project together.
The atmosphere is upbeat. We are still trying to find words to describe the overall theme. The checkered floor contrasting with the aged wood paneling and the retail of the local artist wall are reminiscent of a diner, a historic barn and a cheap art gallery. Toss in the mix and match chairs and we can’t put our finger on it. That’s the character and it is different in good and bad ways.
Is the overall atmosphere inviting? Yes. Once you get over the mix and match clutter feel, you settle in to a great community place. Grab a table with a friend or a couch and spend the afternoon.
We love the art gallery wall featuring local art by local artists. The works are for sale, which is another positive.
We also love the community bulletin board in the back by the bathrooms. While we prefer to see community boards in a more prominent spot. The fact they have one is great.
However, be forewarned, outlets are not abundant and the bench is high for the tables, so take a chair if you want to work.
Friendly Beans Score: B. The Beans are Comfortable
Food, Treats, and Goodies
A nicely stocked display case and pastry rounds offer quite a diverse selection of goodies. From croissants to macaroons and cookies, there is something yummy to snack on. If you prefer something a bit more robust, there are plenty of burritos to choose from.
We sampled both the Spicy Sausage and Bacon Egg Burritos. Both were “panini’d” (the act of finishing an item on a panini maker, thus putting lines onto the item) and were offered with salsa. Of the two, the Bacon Egg burrito got the vote for best tasting. We look forward to trying their additional items on future visits.
Friendly Beans Food Score: A. Beans are Dancing in the Streets
Coffee & Espresso
We asked for a dark roast drip and were pointed to the “holiday blend” roast. There were actually a few selections for drip, but the holiday blend proved sufficient. Definitely a nice upgrade over gas station coffee but not as rich as some of us prefer. The selections rotate so don’t expect the same coffee everyday. We did sample a breakfast blend and decaf sumatra on subsequent visits and couldn’t tell too much of a difference in flavor. In fact, the breakfast blend was quite weak.
The espresso drinks were fantastic. The latte and mocha we sampled had a bright espresso undertone complimented with the milk (and mocha). The drinks also tasted consistent over three visits with different baristas at the healm. This is a huge plus. We recommend sticking to the espresso drinks.
Friendly Bean Score: B. The beans prefer pressure, not the drip
The coffee gear offered is sufficient for any coffee to pick a nice fresh press or simply some coffee filters for home use. There are a few items on the counter and the rest are located to the left of the counter near the window.
Being a custom roaster, you can also buy fresh beans. Yep, that’s right, you can buy beans from a local business and avoid the big brands at the grocery store. Paul’s Coffee & Tea is a great place to stop.
Friendly Bean Coffee Gear Score: B. Good selection with custom Beans.
During each of our visits, there was an incredible amount of activity. Everything from students coming and going to study, to professionals working over a coffee, and large groups at a table discussing a project. The liveliness is wonderful to see.
We didn’t see any advertised events being hosted by Paul’s Coffee & Tea. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as not all coffee shops are open late or offer the ability to host.
Overall, the community feel is pretty awesome and the liveliness inspiring.
Friendly Beans Community Score: A. The Beans are lively and happy!
Location, Hours, Etc
Located near the intersection of Route 36 and McCaslin Blvd in Louisville, the location is very convenient, especially for meeting people. The parking lot is tad small directly in front, but there is plenty of parking a few steps away as the parking expands.
Website: Visit their homepage
956 W Cherry
Louisville, CO 80027
Monday – Friday: 6am – 6pm
Saturday – Sunday: 7am – 6pm
Is it a Friendly Bean?
Is Paul’s Coffee & Tea a Friendly Bean?? Once you get over the mix and match atmosphere and feel the inspiring community vibe and energy of the patrons, Paul’s Coffee is definitely a member of the Friendly Beans family. The next time you are in Louisville, please stop in and grab a latte or mocha and feel the energy.