Vote for my wife’s Gluten Free Mocha Layer Cake!

Hi all,

Please show Mountain Coffee Crawl some love and vote for our “Black and White Mocha Layer Cake by Bethany Wohletz” @ Whole Latte Love:  We are the only recipe on the board that actually uses real espresso and not coffee flavored powder!

Thank you for your support!

Alex and Bethany


Best coffee shops for a date!

So the question was recently asked: where is a good coffee shop for a date? After some deliberation with my wife we settled on a few greater Denver area coffee shops.  We’ve already vetted them for the quality of the coffee so let’s just take a minute to talk about their other characteristics.

1.  Enchanted Grounds (website)

This is a great spot to take a date who has a little bit of a nerdy, fun-loving side.  You can enjoy great coffee from the roasters of Coda; in addition, you can enjoy every kind of board game imaginable. There is a game for every kind of personality – just find something on the shelf and ask to give it a try.  The overall atmosphere is modern, clean, and inviting with friendly staff and talented baristas.

Keep In Mind: If your date is a bit uptight and hates fun, this may not be the place for you.

2. Solid Grounds (website)









For the romantic in all of us, there is Solid Grounds near Littleton.  This is an ideal spot for a coffee-date because the atmosphere is warm and inviting; the seating is spread out with lots of little places to have an intimate conversation; the coffee and the baristas are excellent; and, Old Town, Littleton, is just a few minutes’ drive away.

For those who don’t know or who have never been to Old Town, Littleton, it is a quiet little strip of candy shops, chocolatiers, boutiques, and restaurants tucked away from the bustle of Santa Fe.  There are at least a few romantic places to eat after you enjoy your coffee.  So if your date is going well, head on over to Old Town for a bite to eat, a walk along the strip, and chocolate samples.

Keep in Mind:  This is a great date during the holiday season because the streets are lit up but it can be chilly so dress warm.

 (Continued tomorrow)

What your coffee says about you.

Have you ever noticed that there is a distinct difference in personalities between the people that drink the non-fat vanilla latte and the others that like their coffee oil-slick black?  Now, it’s just generalization at this point, so what I want you to do on your next foray to the local coffee shop is to look at the people and see if their order matches their personality.

Is the gruff old man ordering the hazelnut mocha or the shot in the dark?  Is your wife ordering stronger coffee than you?  Just a few questions to keep in mind on your next sip.

My personal survey of what kind of coffee I like renders a colorful blend of attempted frugality, (1.50 cup of black) mixed levels of hardassedness (no cream in my coffee), efficiency (con pannas), and the occasional urge to indulge in the good life (con pannas).


The Leprechaun Coffee Drink

… a rare post by the elusive blogger’s wife…

A delicious coffee drink we like to call “The Leprechaun”

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with a new breed of coffee drinks that falls mid-way between the caffeinated potency and delicious whipped topping of a con panna and all of the fun flavor variations of a latte.  So this morning, as I prepared myself to work the last clinic day before the Thanksgiving holiday, I came up with a coffee drink that I am fondly calling, “The Leprechaun.”

Using the whipped cream canister my hubby got me for my birthday, I used our Torani Irish Cream syrup to create an Irish Cream whipped cream.  As for the coffee component, 4 shots of espresso, 1-2 tsp fat free half and half, 1/2 to 1 tbsp hot cocoa mix (depending on personal preference), 1 pump of Torani Salted Caramel syrup and 1 pump of Torani Hazelnut syrup, and “Wow!” – what a delicious way to start off my morning!  (And somewhat fitting considering the Irish ringtone set to my alarm that woke me up this morning).

I can’t get no sa-tis-fac- not true!

Handsome devil and french pressIf you’re not satisfied with the way life has been treating or you are feeling glum, try brewing yourself a fresh French press of Guatemala into a cup with some piece of wisdom inscribed in its side.  Mine, of course, tells me that I am a handsome devil – that healthy dose of narcissism coupled with a burst of caffeine from damn good coffee is enough to put even the most foul of moods right.

This technique doesn’t work as well if you use a less than flamboyant mug.  For example, a mug that says, “I hate Mondays,” will not provide you the same boost as a mug that says, “You’re a genius AND a rock star.”  …I wish I had one of those mugs.  Either way, stay caffeinated my friends.

Pablo’s Coffee

Pablo's Coffee Espresso Beans

We stopped by Pablo’s (website) after lunch and were really blown away by the quality of the coffee.  Not one person in our group had a bad thing to say about the espresso.  It was rich and full-bodied with notes of lemon.  The espresso blend and single origin beans are hand roasted at a separate roasting facility a couple blocks away.

The employees were friendly enough and remade a drink, no questions asked, after accidentally crossing the orders (it was very busy at the time we went and they were training a new cashier.)  The decor was sheek and eccentric, complimented by an atmosphere that was carefully cultured chaos.  Note: go here if you’re an extrovert and like meeting new people!

Overall, if you enjoy noise, and bustle, and that corner-community feel, or if you don’t, and just want a damn good cup of joe, this is the place for you.  We did not leave without first purchasing a pound of their espresso for the road.

Harbinger Coffee


If you’re a coffee purist that demands exacting standards in each cup of coffee check out Harbinger Coffee (website) off of College in Old Town!  Jonathan, the owner, prepares each cup himself, monitoring all the variables that go into each pour over with scientific precision.  He is friendly and extremely knowledgeable about everything coffee related.

You can choose from two different types of coffee beans from a featured roaster of the month: good quality and top shelf; 3.50, and 6.50 per cup respectively.  You can take your coffee however you want it as long as it’s black and it’s pour over.

Check it out to get the full experience and learn a few things about how to brew the perfect cup of coffee.  Harbinger might too pricey for your everyday cup of joe but at 3.50 it is a bargain perusal into the coffee elite.

Little Bird Bakeshop

If you’re in Old Town looking for breakfast and a spot of espresso, try out the Little Bird Bakeshop (website).  The service was polite; the scones were perfectly crafted and flaky; and the coffee was better than one might normally expect from a bakery. The espresso had a nutty quality to it with a light mouth feel and almost no lingering aftertaste.  All the syrups are made in house out of all natural components –  the bakery is dedicated to bringing only the best and purest, ingredients to their products.   The prices were commensurate with what you’d expect from a high quality bakery.  We enjoyed the cultivated old-tyme atmosphere and the spacious seating.  It was a nice spot to relax before we started the day.

The only critiques my wife and I had was that their mocha wasn’t sweet enough (it tasted like they used straight dark chocolate cocoa powder) and the espresso macchiato I ordered was a little muddy.  Of course, sweetness tends to be a matter of personal preference.

Why we need our morning coffee?

Monday morning at 2:30AM our cat wakes me up by scratching the door because he needs to use the litter box.  We have strategically located the box outside on the patio for reasons I’m sure you can understand.   Well, I let him out earlier, like right before bed, but now he really, actually has to go.  Middle of the night, middle of November, it’s freezing, and for some reason he just cannot make up his mind what section of his litter box he wants to use.

First he digs one hole, then realizing he’s off by a couple of centimeters, covers it up and digs another right next to it.  Oh, but the horizontal clearance isn’t quite right so he covers up that one and moves a couple more centimeters down.

While I’m standing there, in the cold, at 2:30AM, I come to realization that a watched cat never poops.

And this is why I need my morning coffee.

Genoa Wine and Coffee (don’t mind if I do!)

Genoa ExteriorMade a recent visit to Genoa Wine and Coffee (website) after we got done with our grocery shopping at King Soopers at the crossroads of Timberline and Drake. It is located in the same parking lot and attached to a little strip mall.

Our first impression of the exterior did not inspire confidence in the quality of the coffee but we decided to try it out anyway.

We entered to find ourselves pleasantly surprised by the unique menu selection, decor, and relaxing atmosphere of this Italian themed coffeehouse/wine bar.  There was plenty of comfortable seating with several quiet individual tables to meet someone for a romantic glass of wine or an amicable conversation over coffee.

Genoa Coffee Interior

Though the menu includes a few different food options, I opted only for the bottomless cup of joe – the 12oz was only 2.12!  They had beans from  LaVaZza on brew and I went for the dark roast.  It was pretty decent, a bit smokey with notes of cherry and sour apple.

My wife ordered a the “coccotella” – a con panna mixed with chocolate and Nutella. She reported the espresso being very tart but in such a way that complimented the rest of the drink.  We liked that the cashier took the time to bring our drinks to the table we were sitting.  The staff was friendly and competent.

Probably the most interesting part about this shop is its fusion with the wine bar – this gave the location a uniquely Italian accent and made it a viable option for a visit later in the evening.  The wine prices looked reasonable, with five dollar glasses of their wine of the day.

All in all, we enjoyed our experience and hope we can make it a part of the northern Colorado disloyalty card.