The Buzz: Boxcar Coffee Roasters

October 2011

Does “gourmet cowboy coffee” sound like an oxymoron? Not if you're Cara and Vajra Rich, founders of Boxcar Coffee Roasters, who have channeled the best way to draw out the deep, rich flavors of coffee brewed at high altitudes.

Taste the difference at the Riches' cupping bar inside Cured cheese shop. The couple recognizes that at a mile high, water boils at only around 202 to 203 degrees, rather than 212 degrees. This makes it more difficult for ground coffee to infuse its richest flavors into the cup. To combat this bit of science, the Riches invented a way to keep coffee hotter during the brewing process.

Using a heat mantle straight from the chemistry lab and custom-made brew pots, Boxcar pours boiling water directly over freshly roasted, evenly ground coffee. After resting for around 25 seconds, the brew is reheated and circulated on the heat mantle to tease out the nuances. Then it's shocked with ice cubes to sink the grounds and strained through a metal strainer (paper filters tend to leach out unintended flavors). The result: steaming hot, robust java fit for even the most discerning gourmet.

Bonus: Pair your coffee with Boxcar’s mini Bundt cakes, bite-size cinnamon rolls, and sugary mini doughnuts. And pick up a pumpkin whoopie pie (filled with cream cheese frosting) for later.

1825-B Pearl St., Boulder, 303-527-1300