Pekoe started out as a tea shop on North Broadway, which is why its selection includes an array of creative tea creations. They also have three monthly specials, created by employees. This month a favorite is the London Nog- a blend of Earl Grey and eggnog.
Students said they appreciate the unique choices Pekoe provides.
“I like Pekoe,” said Sukee Bennett, a 20-year-old junior environmental biology major. “I guess like their creativity with the drinks, I feel like they are more innovative.”
Bennett said her favorite drink is chai, and Pekoe serves the best. She said she drinks their house chai, but they also brew a mate and rooibos blend.
“I also really like the chai tea, either iced or hot,” said Katie Gratrix, a 19-year-old sophomore pre-journalism major. “Sometimes chai is too sweet or too spicy; this is a really good mixture. They play really good music, it’s a very modern atmosphere, and one time the guy put a little heart in the milk after he steamed it.”
While Pekoe is technically a tea shop, it serves coffee and espresso as well. It’s $2.00 for a 12-oz cup of coffee and $3.00 for a 12-oz latte, tax included.
Pekoe is also the only coffee shop on campus to offer boba, which are chewy tapioca pearls that can be added to a drink and then sucked up through a large straw.
They have a moderate selection of pastries daily, which include things like millet muffins and vegan chocolate zucchini bread. Udi’s salads and sandwiches are available, but not displayed so they can be easy to miss.
“I really like their white-chocolate-raspberry scone,” Gratrix said.
Pekoe’s location in the ATLAS building makes it an excellent choice for a grab-and-go coffee or bite to eat. It’s usually packed, especially right after class gets out, but the line moves quickly.
For those looking to sit down and study or get a meal, the Laughing Goat in Norlin is a great way to go.
It takes the cake (no pun intended) for the greatest selection of things to eat. Too many pastries to choose from litter the long stretch of counter to tempt students as they’re in line.Salads and sandwiches are only the beginning of what the Goat has to offer for lunch items. One can order hummus wraps, malotes (which are similar to calzones and filled with things like chicken and pesto, among others), or choose from one of their three daily, organic, chef-prepared soups.
Michelle Gabossi, a 19-year-old sophomore business major, said the choices of food appeal to the more health-conscious.
“I like that they have healthy food options and treats,” Gabossi said. “They have really good cookies! It’s kind of pricey but you get what you pay for with the food- they’re not giving you s*** food.”
Gabossi said she also appreciates the study-friendly location.
“I like that it’s really convenient,” she said. “You can come between classes or if you’re studying it’s really quick to come get coffee and stay up later, which I do.”
Owner Johnny Jenkins said he knew he would be catering to a ton of students and he planned accordingly.
“We knew coming into here that it was part of the [Norlin] library’s goal to increase the use of this space,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said the Goat’s location was strategically planned.
“They wanted to make this more of a destination spot,” he said. “We designed it with maximum ergonomic efficiency to deal with the super high volume. It’s like little microbursts between classes.”
Jenkins said he also tries to give students some kind of stress relief.
“I want it to be very positive happy, upbeat and loving,” he said. “Students here are under stress so we try to lighten them up, make them smile and give them a momentary break from their intense studies- especially during finals.”
The Laughing Goat, which brews Kaladi Brothers coffee, tries to retain quality while catering to quantity.
“I’m not into that culture of bigger, bigger, bigger,” Jenkins said when asked about the absence of the 20-oz size option. “For people who really love coffee, the smaller the better.”
A 12-oz cup of coffee with tax costs $1.75 and a 12-oz latte costs $3.60. Unlike most coffee shops, which make espresso drinks with two, three and four shots as the sizes go up, the Laughing Goat pours shots in doubles. Any size latte comes with a double shot, but $1.00 buys another double.
Less conspicuous is the Folsom Street Coffee Co., located in MCD biology. Its low-key atmosphere is one of the things that draw students to it.
“The Laughing Goat is always just really packed,” said Katie Alexander, a 24-year-old second-year Master’s environmental studies major. “I like it here; I can get in and out faster.”
Other students said they agreed it was a less-crowded option, like Bryant Kealey, a 21-year-old senior environmental studies major.
“I think it’s quieter than the other ones and less full,” Kealey said. “The library’s full right now.”
Folsom Street has less food to choose from than the Laughing Goat, but more than Pekoe. They have a number of vegan options which Alexander said she likes, as she munched on a vegan sandwich with her customary soy latte.
“I like lattes and I feel like Folsom St. has consistently delicious lattes,” she said. “I feel like lattes are easy to screw up and make that burnt milk flavor.”
Kyle Kite, a 20-year-old business finance major, said he agrees.
“Good coffee, good people,” Kite said. “I come here and review every day right before or after my accounting class downstairs. You can always hear some pretty funny conversations with the employees who work here.”
It’s convenient for those with classes in Muenzinger, no doubt. But according to Rick Warner, the general manager and father of the owner of Folsom Street Coffee, it’s also frequented by researchers working in MCD biology.
Warner also said Folsom Street is zero-waste at its off-campus location and close to zero-waste at the on-campus location. Even its roaster, Conscious Coffee, delivers coffee by bicycle wagon.
“Conscious Coffee was just recently named micro-roaster of the year by American Roaster magazine,” Warner said. “They go through a co-op to buy coffee and buy directly from farmers. They are organic and fair-trade.”
Even so, with organic costing so much more these days, Folsom Street’s prices fall right between Pekoe’s and the Laughing Goat’s. After tax, a 12-oz cup of coffee costs $1.70 and a 12-oz latte costs $3.41.
This care they take in selecting a roaster extends to how they make their coffee and espresso.
“Our machines are all semi-automatic, which means we have to watch every pull- not just press a button and walk away,” Warner said. “We try to do latte art, which creates micro-foam with the milk and blends with the coffee causing the flavors to really mix.”
This is unique in comparison to bigger coffee shops, which Warner said tend to just top off their lattes with fancy sugars and syrups. This is more or less a cover-up and doesn’t have the same flavor-enhancing effect.
“Latte art is more than just an art,” Warner said. “It’s a science.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Ana McIntosh at Anna.firstname.lastname@example.org.