If you thought coziness was a subjective, indefinable quality… well, you’re right, but that’s not going to stop us from trying to measure it. We’re visiting Denver coffee shops, cafes and tea houses neighborhood by neighborhood to do it.
We’ll award points in several categories: Temperature, comfortable seating, decor, music and menu. Shops can earn bonus points for things like having a working fireplace. To be as fair as possible about the temperature, your intrepid reporter will wear the same thing to every spot.
Because there are so many coffee shops and such, we’ll tackle them neighborhood by neighborhood.
This time, we sipped around Platt Park.
Stella’s Gourmet Coffee and Such
1476 S. Pearl St.
Being at Stella’s is a little like being in someone’s home, and not just because it’s a converted house. The multiple rooms, each painted a different bright color, are packed with somewhat mismatched tables and chairs — as if your grandma pulled all the old dining room sets out of the basement for the family reunion. It’s warm and well-lit, and the walls are hung with a variety of art. One room features shelves and shelves of books. There’s a big ol’ comfy couch on which five friends (but probably just three strangers) could comfortable sit and a fireplace and heat lamps on the patio, should you want to hang out with your dog in the fresh air.
When I stopped by, everyone was working quietly and my only complaint was with the generic mid-tempo house music. But I’ll endure it for one of their warm winter specials, which include hot cider, a homemade pumpkin spice latte and a maple white chocolate mocha.
Comfy seats: 8
Bonus: 1 for heated outdoor seating
Total score: 38
Steam Espresso Bar
1801 S. Pearl St.
With glass garage doors behind the bar, exposed brick, funky chandeliers over the tables and some communal high top seating, Steam has the modern-classic vibe locked down. It makes for an inviting atmosphere, though there isn’t a single comfy seat to make you want to stay too long.
It’s definitely more of a meeting place than Stella. People were chatting enough that it was difficult to hear the soft music.
My one issue was that one garage door was open while I was there, and it was cold outside, but no one else seemed to be bothered.
Comfy seats: 1
Total score: 32
Corvus Coffee Roasters
1740 S. Broadway
The one thing to know about Corvus is the coffee is very good. It’s also fairly warm in there, it’s got that trendy wood-and-steel thing going on and the warm lighting is nice. So was the soft folk music playing when I visited. But, man, it’s not very inviting. Just look at those steel chairs and stools.
Comfy seats: 0
Total score: 34