Welcome back to the Colorado Coffee Column! This week we are traveling south to Breckenridge, the ski town nestled at the base of the ten-mile range.
On a Saturday morning in July, we snuck into a parking space right off of Main Street. The town closed the main drag to foot traffic only, creating a Disney World atmosphere set against vibrant Victorian architecture.
With an abundance of coffee spots to choose from, I tasked my brother with the ultimate choice. Off we went down the street, past colorful store fronts, into a dark, brick building: The Crown – Coffee. Bar. Lounge.
– Margot Calmar, The 100 Companies
The deep red of the brick carried into the interior, complemented by black walls and wood accents. The logo, a crown with antlers growing out of it, was displayed throughout, and stamped on every cup that passed by.
Leaving the sunshine outside to enter this dark cave took me aback at first. It was quite the contrast from the light wood of The Big Iron Coffee Co. in Steamboat. The “lounge” aspect of the shop had been modified due to COVID-19, with fewer tables and much more open space. First impression? Cold decor, but not unfriendly. Open, but not oversized. Full, but not crowded. A paradox perhaps.
We waited our turn at the bar and admired the craftsmanship of the one-man-show behind. I was surprised to notice a full bar, given they close around 5/6. Turns out they’ve always been a hotspot for cozy happy hours. When prompted, I ordered a cappuccino and my brother ordered a latte. Then at the last second he ordered a sandwich from the lunch menu. Mind you, at this point in the morning, we were still barely awake. I shot him a confused look and stuck with just the coffee (even though the homemade treats were calling my name).
The coffee came out first, and we took a seat at one of the few high-tops available. As I took my first sip, I glanced around at the interior design and started to realize how this dark cave still felt cozy. The reason? Little hints of color where you wouldn’t expect. The lights were a mix of stained glass and clear Edison bulbs. Local art hung on one wall, accent pillows dotted the benches and green plants were scattered amongst the tables.
The coffee was delish. Prepared perfectly, with just the right amount of foam in my cappuccino and a strong espresso taste. The roast itself wasn’t overly advertised at the shop, forcing me to assume they weren’t roasting their own.
Oh, but the sandwich. Little did we know, The Crown is actually famous for its food. My brother ordered The Adams turkey on wheat, complete with sprouts, which is always a fan favorite. We realized that the breakfast and lunch sandwiches were the true main, and the coffee was really just the side.
As we stepped back into the bright sun and crowded street, I immediately missed the cool oasis tucked away inside.
Join us next month as we travel to Aspen.