by RJ Wagner, staff writer

The Sleeper Picks

Building 3 Review – 2727 N Cascade Ave Suite 155, Colorado Springs, CO 80907

Building 3 is a lovely little coffee shop outside of downtown, on N Cascade Avenue off of Filmore. My personal favorite, this shop offers great coffee, and even greater atmosphere. The best part of this shop is the vibe it delivers. Sitting inside an old middle school, the defining part of B3’s atmosphere is a long school hallway that has been turned into the main seating area. A large array of tables and chairs along both sides, wall decorations that talk about the school and shops history, and soft lighting from above, the hallway is the best part about B3 and its fantastic atmosphere. There is a smaller ‘lobby’ area where you enter, and where the counter is located, that has a great atmosphere as well. It features rustic, earthy decorations and theming that aid to the ambiance. The coffee does not disappoint either. It comes at a reasonable price for very good coffee, whether you want a standard drip or creamy latte. The flavor is rich and smooth and well worth the money they charge, which is in line with a lot of other shops around town, so your wallet won’t be shocked when ordering. Building 3 will not let you down once finals cramming come around, or any other time for that matter.

Kawa Coffee – 2427 N Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80909

A hidden gem, this shop is a book you cannot judge by its cover. Tucked away in an outcropping of different businesses, this shop provides all the charm one could want. Unique tables, signature artwork, and different assortments of plants make it an easy shop to settle into, especially as the shop itself sits within a little nook. The coffee does not disappoint either. The menu is large and diverse, and offers drinks of all shapes and sizes, and all delicious. the coffee, both drip specialty, eludes the same charm and quaintness the shop does – simple flavor with involved undertones. Prices are nothing that will shock you and are about average for most shops. If coffee is not your thing, they also have Italian sodas to scratch that drink itch. Kawa is a shop that is both quiet and comfortable, and perfectly set up for a relaxing study session.

Dynamo Coffee Roasting and Community – 4029 Tutt Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80922

The newest shop on this list, Dynamo has big shoes to fill. Formerly the eccentric and wonderfully weird JavaPunk, the shop was converted into Dynamo coffee, and the steampunk aesthetic was replaced with a more modern and rustic look. The owners are former Kawa employees, so you can see where the inspiration comes form. While the shop is small, it is a quiet and low-key shop where focus is extremely achievable. Bright colors and pretty décor characterize the interior of the shop, and lend to very warm and inviting atmosphere. The coffee delivers as well, as in-house roasting provide a wonderful and original experience. The quality is apparent, and whichever form you choose you can count it to deliver. The cost will not wreck your wallet either. Dynamo is a sneaky dark horse that deserves a mention.


The Heavyweights

Wayfinder – 6140 Austin Bluffs Pkwy, Colorado Springs, CO 80923

Wayfinder is a fantastic shop that perfectly adheres to its theme. Maps, charts, globes, and luggage pervade the interior, and the ‘navigation’ theme is quite clear, and quite tasteful. It feels like stepping back in time and getting a taste of great coffee and history. Mahogany wood is a main décor component, and adds to the classy feel that Wayfinder goes for. This classy vibe is enhanced after dark, when Wayfinder transitions from coffee shop to cocktail hang. Their drip coffee, specialty, and everything in-between continues the feel of classiness and elegance. Rich flavor and dark roasts characterize the menu. The roasts are deep, and the flavor is delicious. Prices can be a bit high compared to other shops around town, but it is backed up with worthwhile quality. High traffic and crowdedness are an obstacle that comes with the Wayfinder experience, but if that does not deter you, be prepared for a coffee shop experience that is among the best there is.

Third Space Coffee – 5670 N Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Third Space is less of a coffee shop, and more of a workspace that serves coffee. The largest on the list, there are a variety of seating options for any need you have. Hanging seats, recliners, and couches for those just trying to relax and converse, long tables with multiple seats for teamwork collaborations, and small tables for individual study or friends catching up. The look and vibe of the shop is among the best, in the morning and in the evening. Rustic, earthy, and modern vibes are everywhere, and soft lighting lends to a soothing feel. Great coffee accompanies the vibes. The drip coffee is very good, but in my opinion, the lattes are the best there is. Frothy and foamy with bold flavor, Third Space’s latte game is strong. The cost is about what the average shop’s is, for both drip and specialty. Traffic and seating can be an issue however, especially at peak hours. Nonetheless, Third Space is a hub for study and productivity.

Loyal Coffee (North and Downtown) – 408 S Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 and 11550 Ridgeline Dr. Colorado Springs, CO 80921

Loyal Coffee does not hesitate to flex its coffee muscles, but they earn the right. The modern look is the one this shop buys into, with whites, greys, soft blues, browns, and sleek and sharp lines. Ropes hang above the north shop, and wood ornaments decorate the interior of the downtown one. The drip coffee is maybe the best there is. A unique and complex flavor makes each sip a new one, and each cup a great one. The specialty coffee is just as good, but the drip is a standout. Quality beans match the quality service and vibe, so the whole experience is a positive one. Whichever one you aim for, both the North and Downtown Loyal Coffee locations will help you bear the pain of late work catch-up.