With winter—OK, late fall—weather comes the switch from cold brew to piping hot cappuccinos, from margaritas to old fashioneds. But what to drink when you want something with less of a jolt? These six Denver coffee shops have just the thing: warming, delicious, low(er) caffeine drinks to sip on when it’s chilly outside.
The Drink: London Fog
A London Fog—which is an Earl Grey tea latte for those not up on their lingo—is a soothing choice for a cool, overcast day. Four-month-old Doppio Coffee in City Park makes a great one, with frothy steamed milk and a bright bergamot flavor. For even less caffeine, opt for the vibrant green matcha tea latte instead. Pair your drink of choice with a slice of Doppio’s many-layered matcha crêpe cake, made by a family friend of the owners. 1245 East Colfax Ave., 303-537-7794
The Drink: Red Latte
Avoiding caffeine altogether? Go straight for Spur Coffee’s soul-warming red latte. The drink combines rooibos tea (a South African plant that is in fact a member of the pea family), zesty bergamot, and vanilla with the milk of your choice for a slightly bitter, delightfully creamy sipper. Bonus: Just like Spur’s original Littleton location, the new, plant-bedecked Baker outpost offers house-made baked goods, including a delicious autumn spice cake. 95 Lincoln St.
The Drink: Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate needs no introduction. Novo’s is velvety and toasty thanks to their dark Mid Mountain Blend from Utah’s Ritual Chocolate. It’s also mighty photogenic thanks to beautiful latte art. Novo recently opened its fifth Denver location in the Hilltop neighborhood, so Denverites have more options than ever for satisfying their cocoa cravings. Multiple locations
The Drink: House-Made Chai
Rivers and Roads’ chai is special. The Clayton neighborhood shop’s house-made blend of black tea with milk is nice and spicy and not too sweet, with hints of cinnamon and aromas of gingerbread. Caffeinated and decaf versions are available. If you’re looking for a drink to get you in the holiday spirit, this is it. 2539 Bruce Randolph Ave., 303-321-3052
The Drink: Pic Du Midi Tea
This hip three-year-old cafe in Boulder has more to offer than just espresso and avocado toast: It also has a wonderfully curated list of loose-leaf teas. Our favorite, the caffeine-free Pic Du Midi Tea from Brooklyn, New York’s Bellocq Tea Atelier, is described as “an alpine herbal blend, warming and uplifting, with notes of mint, ginger and currant.” We just call it delicious. 904 College Ave., Boulder, 303-954-0129
The Drink: Spicy Bae Tonic
Amethyst Coffee’s two-month-old second location—this one in the Berkeley neighborhood near Lakeside Amusement Park—is just as charming as its first, with a pared-down, feminine aesthetic, a seasonally rotating menu of specialty drinks, and lots of seating options (check out the adorable pink stools at the barista counter). Order the “Spicy Bae Tonic,” an immune-boosting concoction of ginger, turmeric, lemon, cayenne, and honey that’s sure to abate any case of the sniffles. Bonus: Sweet and savory treats from Denver’s new Rebel Bread to pair with your drink. 4999 W. 44th Ave.