The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
When Cabu Latte owner Nick Maxfield secured a space in Denver’s Commons Park for his trike-powered coffee cart last summer, he envisioned selling cacao butter-infused cold brew lattes to throngs of pedestrians commuting from LoDo to the Highland neighborhood. After spending months waiting for his cart to arrive from the United Kingdom and ordering all the necessary equipment for his plant-based coffee endeavor, Maxfield officially premiered the cart near the Platte River Bridge this past September—but had to pivot his business almost immediately, thanks to a decrease in foot traffic due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is a dream location,” he says of the spot in Commons Park. “I thought, ‘If people like the coffee, we are going to sell so much here.’ But since the foot traffic is down to about a quarter of what it was pre-COVID, we had to figure out how to get it [the product] into people’s hands.”
The solution: Inspired by wine in a bag, Maxfield launched Cabu Club in November, a service that delivers 1.5-liter pouches of his plant-based cold brew to addresses within eight miles of Commons Park. Here are three more things you need to know about one of Denver’s newest coffee purveyors.
Cabu Latte is over four years in the making. In late 2015, Maxfield, who also owns a small Denver real estate and property management company, was on the hunt for a wholesome coffee drink that suited his low-carb and dairy- and soy-free diet. When nothing on the market fit his needs, he worked for years to perfect his own. The resulting concoction is a superfood-packed pick-me-up made from five ingredients: cold-extracted coffee (aka cold brew), cacao, dates, vanilla, and acacia fiber (a digestive health-promoting dietary fiber).
The highly caffeinated latte is a smooth as silk, with gentle notes of dates and vanilla. Maxfield credits the complex, tea-like taste and creamy mouthfeel of Cabu—derived from taking “ca” and “bu” from cacao butter—to the cold extraction process used to make the coffee and the fatty part of the cacao bean included in the recipe, respectively. He sources beans from Denver’s Coda Coffee Company and Dazbog Coffee, and vanilla and cacao from suppliers dedicated to sustainable, community-centered practices.
“We use a different part of the cacao bean that is typically paired with coffee. We use the cacao butter, but we don’t use any of the cacao powder,” Maxfield says. “When you press the beans, you get this bitter cacao powder and the rich, fattiest part of the bean, which is a creamer in our coffee. That smoothness and that subtleness, combined with the bright and crisp flavors of the cold brew, are what makes [our coffee] different and special.”
Cabu is a family business. Maxfield says he wouldn’t have been able to start Cabu Latte without the help of his father John and brother Sam, who assist him with operations, and cousin Molly Groves, Cabu’s marketing and social media manager. Opening during the pandemic presented the family with many challenges, from supply chain delays to issues with the new equipment. But Maxfield’s love for the product, which he says is vital to starting any business, and positive customer feedback inspired him to push forward. He’s working on a number of new flavors right now and hoping to partner with local farmers’ markets to expand his delivery radius, so more Denverites can enjoy his passion project.
Visit Cabu Latte on the west side of Commons Park at the Platte River Bridge (across from Commons Park West Apartments) Friday–Sunday, 8 a.m.–12 p.m.; or order a pouch online for pick-up or delivery. Follow Cabu on Instagram and check the website for updates.