Oct 2, 2020 | By Abby Mercier | Photo by Bibi Powers

The fall season has started to round the corner, and so have the coffee enthusiasts. Most would agree that Starbucks has a great pumpkin spice latte and spicy chai, but there’s something that makes the coffee extra tasty when supporting and buying from a local business.

Although there are many coffee shops within walking distance of Colorado College, this review will focus on three of my favorites: Good Neighbors, Loyal Coffee, and Switchback Coffee Roasters.

I most recently visited Good Neighbors (the only shop I’ve been to since COVID-19 hit) and their COVID-19 mitigation efforts are top-notch. The shop is open-air, has socially distanced seating, and requires wearing a mask whenever you are not sitting.

Good Neighbors has friendly staff (some CC students even work there) and a bright and cheerful work area that is conducive to grinding out a heavy load of work.

I drink a fair amount (OK, a lot!) of coffee, so I ordered two drinks during my study session: a spicy chai and an iced latte with cinnamon honey syrup.

My personal go-to coffee is always a spiced chai, so naturally this was my comparison point. The chai was great — fairly sweet, but still delicious. The latte was possibly the best latte I have ever had; if you are a cinnamon fan, this is the drink for you!

Loyal Coffee has similar vibes to those of Good Neighbors: a friendly barista, funky music, and a delicious menu.

At Loyal, they offer a very spicy chai which truly lights your taste buds on fire. My favorite menu item there is the Ricotta Apple Bread: ricotta smear, apple slices, Colorado honey, cinnamon, and rustique bread. I’m not usually a ricotta fan, but this is a seriously sensational flavor combination.

My only qualm with Loyal Coffee is their limited seating. When the coffee shop is busy — which is almost every time of the day — there is often only seating available on the concrete benches. Although they’re aesthetically pleasing, the benches are a bit difficult to sit on for hours on end.

Switchback Coffee Roasters is a wonderful little coffee shop that has a slightly more communal vibe than Loyal or Good Neighbors. In fact, this coffee shop offers sustainably sourced coffee for all.

The Switchback website states their mission for creating an equitable business for all: “We believe that great coffee and experiences should be for everyone so we strive for our cafe to be a safe place, we offer various pastries and food for nearly all dietary restrictions, and we even offer pay what you can for drip coffee so there is always one option for anyone regardless of their situation.”

Beyond having an admirable business model, the coffee shop offers a solid cup of chai tea. Unfortunately, I haven’t ordered much else from the shop, but I am certainly looking forward to doing so in the future.

In sum, these three coffee shops — Good Neighbors, Loyal Coffee, and Switchback Coffee Roasters — are fun, safe, and have delicious menus. Visit them if you are looking to get off campus and support a local business in a COVID-friendly manner.

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