Named after a former Greek Orthodox Basilica that’s now a museum in Istanbul Turkey, the Agia Sophia coffee house opened in the historic district of Old Colorado City in May of 2006 out of a desire to have a place people could encounter “Orthodox Christianity on the streets.” Indeed, the Holy Theophany Orthodox Mission has a meeting in Agia Sophia every Sunday at 9am, whereas the coffee house doesn’t open until 1pm. Combined with their on location book store, provided in partnership with Eighth Day Books from Wichita, KS, I was intrigued enough by this unique cafe to visit during my trip to Colorado Springs. The atmosphere was worthy of its reputation, the service was okay, and the coffee was good.
The Atmosphere. The Agia Sophia is located in one of the most unique buildings I’ve ever been in. It was the first City Hall of Colorado City, and is part of the National Register of Historic Places. You order coffee and food on the first floor, then turn around and walk through the foyer to go upstairs to the meetings room, sitting area, and very quaint bookstore. There are select book offerings on the first floor, but most are upstairs. Many Yelp reviewers make a big deal about the atmosphere and building. Those reviews are justified, and you should really visit us to experience the building and add your signature to the guest book in the foyer.
The Service. I was greeted when I came in, and the barista was very pleasant to me. It was good service, but not really as special as the building the shop is in. The young lady who helped me seemed a bit more interested in talking with a young man present than to talk coffee with me. She can certainly be excused for this priority, as I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of it as some point or another. But I do drive out of my way to visit many of the cafes I review here for you. And I try to talk coffee everywhere I go. And here at the Agia Sophia, it seemed I was more excited about the coffee than the employee serving it was.
The Coffee. The wife and I each and a mocha. No single origin espresso or pour overs here, but they do offer a French Press. We had an appointment to get to, so we didn’t sit down and try it. But I’ll be back to try the French Press some day. The to-go cups were blank, much in contrast to their wide variety of colorful ceramic mugs. The sleeves, however, were branded with
Umpire Roaster sleeves. I was surprised to see this because there was no mention that I could find of their relationship with Umpire Roaster on their website.What’s also a little strange, is that the Umpire Estate web address take you to a Cyber Basement Web hosting website instead of anything about coffee roasting. They do, however, have a Facebook Page that seems to be up and running.
I can highly recommend a visit to the Agia Sophia espresso house and book store.