Starbucks, WTF?


I’ve been meaning to blog about Aviano Coffee for some time now, and on yesterday’s visit, the chalkboard “menu” outside was simply begging me to whip out the ol’ camera phone and capture a poorly lit JPG for you all.

As you may have noticed in my bio, I come from the Pacific Northwest. This makes finding a decent cup of coffee anywhere else a chore, to put it lightly. So one of the first things I did upon arriving in Denver was go on a tour… seeking out any and every fine coffee establishment until I found something worth consuming. Naturally, Starbucks and other chains are right out. Peet’s makes an okay cuppajoe, but we’re looking for the best stuff here. After three experiences that almost made me just give up on coffee in Denver, I landed at Aviano.

The first thing to notice, is that these guys pay attention to details. You can see it in the decor. The use Intelligensia beans out of Chicago, which excepting a couple world-renowned roasters in Portland/Seattle, is among the best beans you can find. This was a promising start. The second promising occurence was when I ordered a traditional cappuccino and wasn’t asked “what size?”. If you have to ask, just skip it and pour me some drip coffee, please.

The coffee is pretty good, ultimately… but, as usual, it depends on the barista. There are a couple baristas, including Doug, the owner, that hit the mark every time, with perfect shots and perfect milk. The rest are hit and miss… though I will say the guy in there yesterday (I didn’t catch his name) asked how my capp was, and upon my observation that it was a little bitter on the top (hardly a cardinal sin), he promptly made me a new one and insisted that he would keep trying until he got it right. The second one was excellent.

And, of course, there’s WiFi. It’s recently been encrypted for ‘customers only’, but they haven’t changed the password, so once you got it you got it.

Aviano is on 9th and Lincoln, in the Beauvallon building. Take a moment to enjoy a traditional double cappuccino, and don’t feel bad if you feel the need to muse out loud, “Starbucks, WTF?”.

3 Comments so far

  1. Jenn (unregistered) on September 5th, 2007 @ 5:29 pm

    I will have to try it, I am getting a little tired of the same old Starbucks at an ever increasing price. I have to have my coffee fix in the morning, but on Fridays I get it from a coffee shop on my way to work at J.P. Schwartz, Inc. Thanks for the tip!

  2. CrazyVirgo (unregistered) on September 12th, 2007 @ 10:09 am

    also a Pacific NW transplant, and was afraid of this situation. Haven’t been to Aviano yet, and will go soon. I’d like to suggest: Kaladi Brothers on Evans near DU (by Anthony’ & the original Chipotle); also ink! in RIverfront makes good coffee. These are both small roasters, who roast locally, making their beans fresh. They are serious baristas that make art out of the foam on your latte, which I must say I missed when leaving Seattle. They also don’t ask sizes, they know the best size for the drink. Yet, they don’t snear at the tourists that order 1/2 caf, 3 pump, no foam, extra large vanilla latte’s. They leave that for me:)

  3. Koan (unregistered) on September 18th, 2007 @ 11:39 pm

    Hey Jason,

    Thanks for the kind words. Hope today’s Capp passed the test! (was it better than Chris’s? Ha ha) Very cool talking Portland coffee shops also…


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