Coffee; the sweet, dark ambrosia that keeps us going throughout the day. In recent years, coffee has become a phenomenon that has seen the proliferation of Starbucks on seemingly every busy street corner, and Boulder has been no exception. However, luckily enough, Boulder possesses it’s more eclectic, independent coffee shops that have proven to be more popular hotspots for locals.
First, a brief history of coffee:
Coffee drinking is thought to date back to the 15th Century in Ethiopia. Legend goes that a healer was exiled from his city and sent to live in a cave. There, near death and starving, he tried eating some berries he found on a tree. The fruit was bitter, so he tried roasting them, revealing the bean or seed in the fruit, but the bean became too hard to eat. He then tried boiling them in water to soften them and discovered that the water turned dark brown in color. He tasted this water and was astonished to find that it revitalized him, giving him energy and making him more alert. When he returned from exile he told the story of the mysterious bean, and thus, that was how coffee came to be.
It quickly caught on and traveled to Yemen, Istanbul, Italy, and England. Funnily enough, when coffee came to England it was banned for a time. It first came to Britain in the late 16th century, primarily through the Dutch East India Company. Fifty years later there were over three thousand coffee shops, and they became known as venues for deep religious and political discussion. In 1675, King Charles II, fearing insurrection, attempted to ban the substance.
Nowadays, coffee is still hugely popular, with 83% of Americans drinking three cups daily, according to USA Today. Gourmet lattes have become staples, many people have their own machines at home, and there are more than 50,000 coffee shops in the United States. It has become a nation of coffee drinkers, and with all the varieties now available, the pleasant effects (especially when studying for exams), why not?
Boulder itself has a numerous number of shops, from Ozo Coffee to the Boxcar Roasters, many of which can be found on Pearl Street. Ozo coffee even offers their own coffee classes for hard core connoisseurs or any interested party, which include ‘Barista Basics’ to learn how to make their patented expresso drinks, and ‘Introduction to Coffee’ which explains the origins of coffee and the different kind of roasting styles that produce optimal flavor. Boxcar Roasters also offers wine and beer along with their coffee and some hilarious paraphernalia for any coffee junkie.