Back on the Denver coffee shop circuit, business is blossoming. Categories out of 5.
Location-4(On Larimer Street, the popular area used to be South of the baseball stadium with Edison Lightbulbs strung over restaurants and shops. However, ever since the creation of the new and hip RiNo, or River North Art District the North end of the street has been getting its fair share of attention. Crema Coffee House is still a little off the beaten path and you will probably find yourself parking near the homeless shelter but fear not because after you grab a coffee at Crema you can stroll South and see beautiful murals and graffiti that liven the slightly run down landscape).
Barista Cuteness-4.5(If scruffy hipster baristas are what you like, you got ’em at Crema. The friendly staff gave lots of smiles and suggestions for food and drink. The man serving us had no problem explaining the differences between the two espressos they were serving as well).
Coffee Knowledge/Expertise-5(Crema takes their drinks seriously and does them right. Most drinks are served in one size and one size only which indicates that they will contain the proper ratios of espresso, milk, foam and crema of course. My mom and I ordered a pair of cappuccinos while my friend Seth sampled their Ethiopian single origin espresso. The cappuccinos lived up to my expectations perfectly cupping a third espresso, milk and foam. The latte art was also very impressive, illustrating the perfect steaming of the milk. The espresso was hearty enough to stand up against the rest of the cups’ contents and you could even taste the subtle chocolate notes).
Ambiance-5(Crema is deceptively large with a spacious front room, wraparound bar and quiet back room. The front room has bright blue folding chairs and bucket seats. Modern wood tables match the quirky art on the walls. The photography displayed across from the entrance is probably swapped out but is is currently beautiful photographs with ink detailing that makes them intricate and eye catching. The back room looked cozier, with larger furniture perfect for reading and doing work).
Food/Pastry Selection-4.5(Crema is not only serious about their coffee but about their food as well. The food menu is small but has interesting twists on classic lunch foods. PB&J is now peanut almond butter, date-balsamic jam, and chèvre and a Reuban Sandwich is made “Korean” with duck pastrami, sambal aioli, fresh kimchi slaw, and chèvre. While I have not sampled any of the lunch fare yet I can safely give them points for creativity. We of course did not leave without grabbing a couple pastries to try. We sampled an interesting strawberry brioche roll and a slice of almond lemon sponge cake. The two baked goods were quite a vision and it was hard to cut into them. Once past that we dug into the amazing treats that were incredibly light and flavorful).
Overall Rating: 4.6