Written by Livia Abuls
“I often don’t think of going off-campus to do my work,” says Colorado College juniorGillian Hyde. Well, you might want to rethink that because there is a new coffee shop in town, and its unique history combined with craft coffee is sure to have you running.
Fifty-Fifty Coffee House, located on the corner of Boulder and Institute, a five-minute drive south east of campus. Nearing its one-year anniversary, they have a lot to show for it. After speaking with Michelle, one of Fifty-Fifty’s two managers, I learned quite a bit about the founding of Fifty-Fifty and the mission of the neighborhood coffee shop.
The shop has always served coffee, but a few years ago two women bought out the old business and created Fifty-Fifty, named after their respective shares of 50 percent of the business, but rumored to be named because a drink is 50 percent coffee and 50 percent milk, it’s unclear… but still a clever, and catchy name. Soon after these women started their business, Brandon of Switchback Coffee Roasters bought the space next door… and the rest is history.
Switchback began in a garage in the springs with the vision of bringing high quality craft coffee to the area. Since its inception, they have grown extensively and moved their business to a more socially acceptable location, a real storefront. Switchback bought out Fifty-Fifty and it opened in February of 2015. Now, the originally separate spaces are on their way to becoming a glorious, connected business; unifying the experience from roast to cup.
Fifty-Fifty is unique in that it is owned by its roaster, making it a new combination of experimental concocting and “roasting for the machine,” as Michelle put it. The baristas at Fifty-Fifty double as roasters in Switchback, and as a result they truly know the ins-and-outs of these beans and how to truly make a delicious blend. The science behind the coffee is truly remarkable, and Fifty-Fifty has set out to revolutionize this “3rd wave specialty coffee” by creating coffee without the frills. Their menu is less about the add-ins, such as milks and syrups, and more about the coffee itself: where it comes from and how it was produced.
Michelle said that the business is at a “transition point” right now. Renovations are slowly starting to connect the spaces of Switchback Roasters and Fifty-Fifty Coffee House, knocking down the central wall and making the space into their dream: a community driven hub for productivity and pleasure. After not even one year, this business has shown incredible promise and internally has made huge leaps, definitely worth the drive over.