If you go
What: Colorado Caffeine Crawl
When: Aug. 9 in Boulder, Aug. 10 in Fort Collins
Where: Various coffee venues
More info: caffeinecrawl.com
You don't have to worry about nodding off during this event.
Coffee lovers will have their day, or in this case, days, Aug. 9-10, when Boulder and Fort Collins host a Caffeine Crawl at several of the two Front Range towns' coffee hot spots.
The Colorado event is one of several being held in various cities across the country and organized by The Lab, headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.
"Whenever we pick a city, we look at the culture of the coffee scene there, how it works together, how all the different parts are connected," says Sadie Colwell of The Lab.
The latest crawl marks the fourth in Colorado. Two have been held in Denver, and Boulder had one last year. In a new twist this year, the two Colorado tours are car-free, letting participants either bike or walk. The Boulder event starts at Buchanan's Coffee Pub and Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and Cafe, where participants pick up event packets and programs before heading downtown to Boxcar Coffee; The Cup; Ozo Coffee; Piece, Love and Chocolate; Precision Pours, and the Unseen Bean Cafe.
In Fort Collins, those on the tour will gather at Old Town Square to tour The Bean Cycle, Happy Lucky's Teahouse, Harbinger Coffee, The Kitchen and The Starry Night Cafe.
At each venue, the proprietors will offer a sample and presentation about what they do. At The Starry Night in Fort Collins, that will include what the cafe calls an Irish Cream Toddy with a mini scone.
Jennifer Hoffman, co-owner of the shop with her sister, McKenzie, describes the drink as "cold-brewed iced coffee, very rich, very strong but with low acidity." Added to that will be Irish Cream syrup, heavy cream and whipped cream. McKenzie will offer information about where the cafe sources its fair-trade, organic coffee — from Coda in Denver.
Why, you might wonder, can't you devise your own tour by visiting these shops by yourself?
"I thought the same thing (at first)," says Mark Glenn of Conscious Coffees, which is the roaster sponsor of the event in Boulder. "The big difference is there's intention here. So when you go to each venue, the owner, manager and baristas are all there, ready to hang out with the participants. They will dig deep into the details of their coffee and expand on what makes their beverage or venue different."
Glenn, whose coffee will be served at Buchanan's, Innisfree and The Cup, says he is gratified to see how many customers pay attention to how their coffee is sourced. In his 19 years of business, he has built relationships with individual growers and cooperatives, paying above fair-trade prices.
"People are asking tough questions these days: 'Where did the coffee come from?' " he says. "They're integrating themselves as consumers into the value chain. We all vote with our dollars every day."
Glenn, whose company sometimes delivers its coffee to retailers by bicycle, says he also is excited that the tour is car-free. He also points out that caffeine can make a pretty good fuel for locomotion.
"In an event like this, there's going to be an augmented level of stimulation," he says. "It will start as a walking tour, but it may end up a running tour."
Contact Camera Staff Writer Cindy Sutter at 303-473-1335 or email@example.com.