Special Grounds Coffee is a cafe in Colorado Springs, CO. I had the pleasure of visiting this cafe in February, 2017 during my short cafe tour of the area. If repeat business is any indicator of quality, Special Grounds fits the bill because even though I was trying to visit as many cafes as possible- I went twice. The location was convenient for me, the service was memorable, and the coffee was good.
The Location. My middle son was nine at the time of our trip, and has wanted to attend the Air Force Academy since he was about 6 years old. When we visited, we stayed right off Academy Blvd, close to I-25 and within sight of the academy. We had a great time touring the academy campus. I highly recommend it to anyone interested. I also recommend feeding your kid’s hopes and dreams with trips, visits, and memorabilia to places they want to go, jobs they want to do, and adventures they want to have. My boy was incredibly excited and it refreshed his desire to go to the academy (though it didn’t really need to be refreshed).
Special Grounds is located in an outdoor strip mall with plenty of parking, two doors down from a donut shop, and a four minute drive from our hotel. Street traffic early in the morning was non-existent, though it picked up later in the day. It’s easy to find, easy to get to, and easy to get out of.
The Service. I was served by two different baristas on the two mornings I visited. Both were eager to talk coffee with me, recommended a local pizza place for lunch, and talked with me about my trip to the Springs. One of the owners, I think, was sitting at a table both days. She joined our conversation and asked me the second day how the pizza place the previous barista recommended was. The pizza place was also truly incredible. I’ll write about that another time. The service and experience were so incredible, that it reminds how sad it really is when you walk into a cafe and the barista doesn’t want to talk (or even be there).
The Coffee. Special Grounds had a single origin from a drip batch brewer that I didn’t try. No pour overs or other third wave preparation methods. But what they did offer- they did right. My first visit, the wife and I tried two of their special recipe drinks: Rocky Mountain Mocha and Copper Mountain Mocha. One of my boys also got a hot cocoa, which you can see in the picture above. All the drinks were fantastic. Even the special recipes weren’t too sweet. And very importantly, the cups were stamped with their logo. The cups communicated ‘even though we’re a small shop, we care about what’s inside this cup.’
In conclusion, I wanted to mention that there is faith based artwork hung up inside the shop. If you share their faith, like I do, you will be encouraged. If you don’t, you won’t be overwhelmed by it and you shouldn’t let it get in the way of drinking their tasty coffee.