Little Owl Coffee – Denver, Colorado

From the Map

Category: Coffee Shop

How I heard about this place: some list of best coffee shops in America (I am altogether too addicted to lists. It’s my competitiveness.)

Here is everything you didn’t want to know about my thoughts about one coffee place in the city of Denver. You’ve been warned.

Coffee is very important to me.

I would say that I take it seriously. However, saying that would imply that I don’t regularly drink 99 cent iced coffees from 7-11, and I totally do.

But I’ve been a barista. I know a thing or two. I have a french-press fetish, and I have briefly understood why someone would want to own a Chemex.

Beyond “understanding” coffee the beverage, I, more importantly, understand coffee shop culture. I know all about walking into a minimalist industrial roastery  vs. a cozy, funky roastery. Employees of both establishments will have tattoos – but the CozyShoppe employees will have traditional color tattoos as opposed to hand-poked.

Jokes aside, your experience of the coffee will be different based on the shop.

This is not just a cheap-o blog post about my thoughts on coffee culture, however. This is about one coffee shop in Denver, a place with many coffee shops of all stripes. I just had to establish my cred first. This is me taking my coffee shops seriously.

The name “little owl” sounds like a kitschy-cozy shoppe with a hot, queer lady barista with dark green hair (we all know and love her). In reality, it is much closer to the minimalist-industrial shop where the lead barista is a dude and rides a white motorcycle. (These are real people, by the way)

Little Owl Coffee is a very attractive room (and it’s just one small square room). The walls are marble and glass. Very nice to look at. It’s on the bottom floor of a posh apartment building right off the 16th street market. Thrillist says that it is like an “authentic Italian coffee bar”. I’ve never been to Italy, so I don’t know that for sure, but I believe them based on the ambiance of the place alone.

Now, for the coffee. Thrillist praises the espresso. Actually, they praise the machine from which the espresso drips . In the spirit of Italy, I should have had some of that dripping espresso. I didn’t.

It was super hot that day, and I was [true to form] having a personal crisis in which I believed that my sister had disowned me because I teased her boyfriend. (We’re much better now by the way.) I was hysterical and beyond warm beverages, so I had either iced coffee, iced Americano, or cold brew. I remember not loving the drink I had, so it was probably cold brew. (Why does everyone like cold brew? Does not liking cold brew take away my Cred?)

Coffee culture is about two things: enjoying a latte/espresso, and working on a laptop/notebook (depending on what type of person you are). You could totally enjoy a latte or espresso in this beautiful granite/marble/glass cube, but it’s really not great for typing. The inside is too small and empty – it’ll be just you, the baristas talking to each other, and an occasional single hipster dude trying to make eye contact. There’s a patio, but typing in the sun is no fun. Also, it’s loud and busy outside because of the 16th street mall.

Which brings my to my last observation. I ask you, “Is this place cool?” It is next to the 16th street mall, which seems like it might be Denver’s Times Square?? I’m basically still a teenager, so I actually care what the local hipsterati think. Let me know if Little Owl Coffee is cool, people of Denver.

In conclusion: I need to go back and have a damn espresso.

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