You don’t often find good coffee in place surrounded by warehouses. You will here. Crema Coffee House is a hidden gem that seems to have adopted a marketing strategy based almost entirely on word of mouth, which, if you think about it, is a pretty cocky way of going about things. Instead of locating themselves in the downtown Denver core, or in a trendy neighborhood, Crema staked its territory in an industrial zone north of downtown, filled its space with slightly retro furnishings and a pared down coffee bar, cranked up the espresso machines ,and got to work.
What Crema lacks in marketing and location, it makes up for in the strength and quality of its coffee. Crema is not a roaster, but sources its beans from Denver-based Novo Coffee and Pablo’s Coffee ,as well as Seattle’s Herkimer Coffee. Crema’s choice of roasts is a nice change from the emerging trend of using the Stumptown and Intelligentsia brands as the main selling point for the shop and is helping to broaden the market for Colorado based roasters.
This is a shop that takes pride in producing high-quality drinks and has completely bought into the practice of treating coffee like the complex and time-intensive drink that it is. You won’t find a huge drink menu there. There are no white mochas or caramel lattes. Just coffee, espresso and lattes. The baristas take their time at Crema, producing drinks that rely on the inherent flavors of the coffee instead of masking that flavor with caramel sweeteners and too much foamed milk. The Americano here (my usual litmus test) is sweet and smooth enough to drink without any cream or sugar; a great sign of good coffee and proper preparation.
The shop itself is bleached wood, minimalist design and clean, simplified menu boards and walls sprinkled with work from local artists. The ambiance is more industrial than the traditional warm and cozy coffee house, but the decor works well with Crema’s overall vibe; pared down and letting the coffee speak for itself.
Location: 2862 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205
Hours: Monday thru Friday 7am to 7pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am to 5pm