Hanging Out With Paul’s Coffee & Tea

Bacon Egg Burrito at Pauls Coffee

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

Paul's Coffee & Tea ExteriorThe 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.

Inside Pauls Coffee & TeaIs 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.

Bacon Egg Burrito at Paul's Coffee & TeaWe 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

Coffee Gear

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.

Community

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

Location:
956 W Cherry
Louisville, CO 80027

Hours:
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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meet Brewing Market Coffee

One of the nice surprises of commuting between Broomfield and Boulder on the back roads of Colorado, is discovering hidden gems of restaurants, coffee shops and antique stores.

Brewing Market Coffee

Brewing Market Coffee Cup with LogoOne of the gems we found on a recent drive through Lafayette was Brewing Market Coffee.  Established in 1977 by Artine Yapoujian and located in a strip mall near Rte 7 and Rte 42, the unassuming exterior gives way to an awesome coffee shop experience on the inside.  Not only do they offer plenty of seating, but they also have a wine bar!  This could quite possibly save a few marriages.

There is a bit of a debate about the name of this location.  While during our visits we were convinced the name is Brewing Market Coffee, we see that Google has it listed as Espresso Vino by Brewing Market Coffee.  With multiple locations in Boulder County, they must be differentiating this location with its vino (wine) component.  This review is for Brewing Market Coffee, so we will continue to refer to this location as such.

So let’s take a deeper look Brewing Market Coffee and see how the seating, treats, drinks, and community stack up.

Seating

With a u-shaped seating area around the counter and wine bar, there is plenty of space to settle in, talk and/or work.   The best part is the variety. of seating options.  Of course, they do offer leather armchairs to lounge and read a book.  And they do offer tables from two tops to 6 tops.  But what is great about the tables are the different heights.  Bar style tables around the outside contrast with the more typical size tables at the center.   And there is bar seating available to boot!

Friendly Bean Seating Score: Beans Dancing in the Streets

Coffee & Espresso

On our most recent visit, we sampled a medium dark drip and a small Brewing Market Coffee Interiormocha.  Both were served promptly. The drip coming over the counter immediately and a few minutes for the barista to make the mocha.

Taste test! The drip coffee was good.  It wasn’t too dark or bitter and had some wonderful earth tones to it.  While not exactly what I consider a dark roast, the coffee was the right temperature and tasted great.  I would come back for more.

The mocha was a bit too sweet for our taste.  We asked the barista how many pumps they use and she said four.  This seems like a bit much for a small.  The espresso taste was good, but overwhelmed from the sweetness and reminded us of the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf beverages which always seemed to come loaded with sugar.  We recommend asking for light mocha.  We will do the same on our follow-up visit.

They also have a variety of teas available, not to mention wine as well!

Friendly Bean Coffee & Espresso Score: It’s Way Better Than a Gas Station

Coffee Gear

Walking in through the front door on either side are plenty of coffee gizmos and gadgets.  Plenty of french press options to choose from. There are also a number of different types of moka pots available too.  While not as extensive as some other coffee gear offerings, the selection is good and offers a few unique items to pick as gifts.  For our next coffee gear purchase, we will shop here before buying.  (They also have a full compliment of tea gear.)

Friendly Bean Coffee Gear Score:  It’s Cool

Community

Our first visit was a Saturday afternoon.  We were delighted to hear live music from a number of fellows who were playing together around a made up large table which was reserved for them.  It was incredibly nice to sit with a cup of coffee and a sausage breakfast sandwich listening to casual music in a new coffee shop.  There is also more formal live music on Wednesday and Friday nights.

This location is a great resource for the community as they host various events.  One of those fantastic is the monthly car show.  While the website lacks any specifics on events, we look forward to repeat visits and checking out some of the events.

Friendly Bean Community Score: The Beans are Still Roasting

Location, Hours, Etc

The location is at the intersection of Arapahoe Rd and N 95th in Lafayette, the location is convenient when traveling between Boulder and Lafayette.  The addition of a drive-thru also makes this a great place to stop.  While more of a destination coffee shop rather than one you would come across walking (there isn’t much at this interaction), it is a great place to try.

Espresso Vino Location2770 Dagny Way, Ste 101
Lafayette, CO
720-890-3993
Hours:  M-F 6AM to 9PM
Sat. 6AM to 8PM
Sun. 7AM to 7PM

Is it a Friendly Bean?

From our initial few visits, we are happy to welcome Brewing Market Coffee to the Friendly Beans family.   We will continue to visit and update our review as we get to know them better.  We will also be publishing their events as we get more information.

In the meantime, if you are in Lafayette and need a cup of caffeine, stop by.  Heck, you don’t even have to get out of the car when you use their drive thru!

 

 

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Restarting in Colorado

The intention was to launch a site with a focus on community coffee shops of Snohomish County, Washington.  As the author of this blog, I have to admit circumstances got the best of me.  After living in Everett for the last 2 years, I decided the great Pacific Northwest wasn’t for me (too much rain, lack of sun, and horrible traffic). I also noticed. a lot of coffee shops in Snohomish were drive thru and didn’t offer the true coffee shop experience I was looking for. So, I picked up and moved to the happiest place to live, Boulder County, Colorado!!

With the Rocky Mountains as the backdrop, the high plains between Boulder and Denver offer grand vistas, lots of recreation, and some superb restaurants. Mixed in between are some fabulous coffee shops. From the coffee of Pearl Street to the espresso machines of Main Street in Louisville and Lafayette, Colorado, there is a little bit of everything for everyone.  True coffee shops with comfy seats, friendly baristas, and treats to boot.

Join me on this new journey of Colorado coffee culture and community.  Join me for the next chapter of Friendly Beans.

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Friendly Beans – Coffee Houses of Snohomish County

Friendly Beans – Coffee Houses of Snohomish County Colorado

Beans are friendly when they make you feel great, bring out the kid in you and connect you with friends, peers and to the larger community. Coffee shops are a dime a dozen in many areas of the US, but not all offer friendly beans. Gone are the days of the stove-top percolator and disgusting freeze dried instant coffee. Coffee consumers in the 21st century expect freshly roasted and brewed coffee and espresso served with passion that would actually make grandma jealous. Some get coffee right, others get the atmosphere right, and few offer the truly great friendly beans experience.

Great Coffee Meets Great Food

Coffee is an ancient commodity dating back to the 15th century in Ethiopia. By roasting and brewing seeds from the berries of the Coffea plant, one extracts a rich, acidic, caffeinated beverage traditionally served hot. Now grown throughout the world and brewed any number of ways, coffee is as essential to modern daily life as electricity. It wasn’t until Starbucks came along that coffee really truly exploded into a consumer money maker. Mixed with milk, espresso is the basis for many favorites including the latte, the mocha, and (dare I say it), the pumpkin spice latte. In fact, espresso based milk drinks are more popular than brewed “drip” coffee, making most “coffee” vendors such as Starbucks, Peet’s and Coffee Bean milk vendors more than coffee vendors.

Whether you are a coffee geek with a home roaster, burr grinder, and lever espresso machine or just a social drinker looking to share gossip over a latte, the expectation is high for the quality of the drink. While coffee can come dark or light, the right consistent brew is most important. Coffee houses and vendors spend a lot of time getting consistency right. Starbucks has moved toward automatic espresso machines and detailed recipes for their drinks. Gone are the days of barista skill at Starbucks… or rather barista skill has moved into the world of the private coffee shop. The independent barista measures and hand tamps their portafilters and carefully mixes the drinks just like a skilled bartender. This blog will distinguish between the two, corporate coffee houses like Starbucks are really “vendors” which lack skill whereas independent coffee houses are true artisans. Either approach is capable of delivering the rich, caffeinated drinks we have come to expect.

With coffee, there must be a truly great treat to complement the coffee bitterness. While coffee vendors like Peet’s coffee have a standard menu with the occasional seasonal offering, the selection is usually the same when you visit locations across the country. The independent coffee houses are a little more interesting with home baked treats that vary greatly. Some coffee houses do not offer anything more than a few scones, cookies and croissants and yet others offer breakfast burritos and panini’s. Quality of the food matters as much as the coffee served alongside.

To earn the Friendly Beans seal of approval, both the coffee and food items must not only be enjoyable and priced right, but be memorable and worth driving many miles for.

A Welcoming Place to Hang Out

Friendly beans are best enjoyed in shops with nice comfy chairs, functional work tables, and a welcoming atmosphere. Whether a modern, eclectic vibe, or 1920’s antique store, having an atmosphere which feels welcoming and enables togetherness is essential to the friendly beans experience. A checklist of conveniences include free wifi, a combination of comfy couch/chair seating with tables tables to work from, convenient location, community event/ad board, and a welcoming, energetic vibe. Coffee houses can struggle to get the mix just right, so we will report back what we find.

Smiles Are the Best

Beans can angry as often as they are nice. Mood swings are not abnormal. But when it comes to the Friendly Beans experience, smiles are all which matter. While we have come to expect a friendly atmosphere at most coffee vendors, we have found service varying a lot at coffee houses. Sometimes it is just one employee having a bad day, other times, the service is just horrendous.

We are on the lookout for truly remarkable baristas, baristas that not only make an awesome, but tell a good joke and go above and beyond in terms of friendly service. We are looking for people passion as much as coffee and pastry passion. Without friendliness, beans are just beans.

Join Our Journey

This blog is focused on the Friendly Beans experience of Snohomish County of Washington Colorado state and Boulder County. Why Snohomish BoulderCounty? After living in southern California for 17 years, the author recently relocated to Everett, WA. After two years there, the horrible winters brought him to the happiest county in the US, Boulder County. With his love of coffee shops following him, he decided to share his exploration of coffee shops and created Friendly Beans. The purpose is not to declare a winner, but rather explore the good, the bad, and the ugly and everything in between which serves great coffee, great food in a welcoming environment.

Please join us on this journey. Please comment on our findings and share your experiences as we go. In the meantime, check out our growing list of Boulder County Coffee houses.

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