While waiting for a haircut appointment, Steven and I decided to take a walk down 8th St, a neighborhood we haven’t really explored yet. This is when we stumbled upon a coffee and tea shop that looked long established, and fixated within the community. Oddly enough, Steep Coffee and Tea only came into existence 3 ½ months ago!
As cliche as it may sound, as you walk into the store, you can’t help but exhale a sigh of relief. Honestly, the relaxing, neat and simple-yet-orderly interior provides a familiar welcome of home. It’s definitely a place you can let your hair down while finishing up some work utilizing free wifi, reading a good book, or just catching up with a friend.
We were greeted at the counter with free samples of delicious blends of tea, cream, coffee, lemonade, and beyond – sometimes all at once. I thought I was some sort of self-created tea connoisseur before visiting Steep – nope, wrong. I had never had blends like Steep had created effortlessly – earl grey tea mixed with a vanilla cream, served chilled. Why didn’t I ever think of that? What an amazing combination! So of course, I order this new-found love of my life, and Steven ordered a strawberry Tea-monade, a mixture of strawberry, lemonade, and tea, also chilled – a super refreshing drink that is perfect for these summer months. Bonus: All tea varieties are gluten free and all signature drinks can be created Vegan.
Of course, we couldn’t stop at just the drinks – Steep offers an assortment of baked goods (collaborating with another 8th Ave business, Leaf & Crumb) and panini’s. Their small, creative food menu is perfect for hanging out and having a snack, or on the go lunch. A small cooler area at the counter holds numerous Naked juices, Izze’s, and other on-the-go beverages.
While Steven ordered the Pesto Chicken Panini, I took a stab at the Chicken Tuscan. Our entire order – two fairly large beverages and two panini’s – was under $20. As you all know, it can be very difficult to get a good lunch for two under $20 in this city, and even MORE difficult to be completely ecstatic about what you received! I was so pleased that this beautifully modern, creative establishment had such affordable and delicious food. I’ll say it – I judged the book by its cover; I thought for sure our small lunch would cost closer to $30. Everything that we ordered was above and beyond my initial judgment – the food is affordable; the staff is easy going and polite; the owner, Dan Cohen, is a cool, down-to-Earth guy that is right there in the action behind the counter; the value is definitely apparent in visiting Steep.
After speaking with owner, Dan Cohen, we got the feeling that he was really aimed at bettering the community with his shop. For example, the napkins and cup containers are all biodegradable and / or recyclable, which is such a huge plus in lessening our footprint. He supports local artists by providing his shop’s walls as a place to display original artwork for sale. He worked relentlessly (with local design assistance) to get the ambience and atmosphere of Steep just right, and totally nailed it. Classes are held, discussing and educating the community on the world of tea and all of its benefits. The interest is so far from becoming the “Next Big Thing”, or another stuffy, materialistic tea and coffee shop, which we thank him for. If I wanted to go to a commercial chain coffee shop, I would have – there are more than enough readily available on 8th, and in Denver in general.
Visiting Steep can be done by car or bike – there’s plenty of free parking as well as street parking available. Opportunity exists in numerous areas around the shop to lock up your bike.
Definitely stop by and watch the patio come to life – Steep hopes to have this project completed next month, providing more seating and the ability to relax and enjoy outside. Additional pluses about Steep are the other product offerings within the shop. They have a plethora of tea paraphernalia like steepers, mugs, and pots (to name just a few) inside, available and ready for purchase.
For more information about Steep, be sure to click the links within this DenverSpeax’s feature and head to their Facebook page. I especially love all of the pictures they have reaffirming how awesome they are. Check it out!