In a Cheesman neighborhood with nice houses on a semi busy one-way street, you’ll find Novo Coffee. Chances are you’ve driven right by it but never thought twice. I would see it ALL the time but I assumed it was just some hole in the wall café that was the base of a local brand name coffee company. It was far back on my list of places to go to, as it just never appealed to me. What was I thinking? You would think I would know by now that not all of the good coffee shops are in prime locations and jump out at you.
Novo coffee is actually the source of coffee for a lot of local coffee shops, restaurants and grocery stores. They have THE most interesting coffee menu I have seen thus far. I ordered an Orange Slice Mocha Latte that included: fresh orange zest, chocolate and a dash of vanilla, espresso and almond milk. I was surprised to see them slicing the oranges right there and adding the zest to the latte. It was sooooo good. They did coffee art in both when I got it to go one day and stayed in the next. The coffee itself was not only unique, but strong. They made their coffee the right way and not just pumped with sugary syrups.
Keeping up with the Denver coffee shop trend, their lighting was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. On top of each table along the wall that is meant to be workstations, had little overhead exposed light bulb lamps. It fit so well with the exposed brick wall and how the place was colored. I absolutely loved how they designed the interior. The walls were dark grey with exposed brick, and the entrance wall was floor to ceiling windows and garage door that blending in. I’m assuming it’s open in the summer with out-door seating. The ceiling was black. Random parts of the counter area had accent colors such as lime green and orange. Most of the seating was black with the exception of a line of orange chairs. It just looked really modern and most importantly, clean.
Another trend they are keeping up with is the long workstation table. The first time I went to Novo there was some typical Denver fit 30-something standing instead of sitting working on his laptop. (It’s actually better for you than sitting but come on… unnecessary) Either way, people actually like these and use them there were plenty of other seating areas but people still prefer them. There was a long bench against the wall with separate tables that were especially comfortable. It just felt so clean and you didn’t sink into the bench either. I will definitely go back to get work done at this place as I found that there were so few distractions. It was very quiet in there.
The pastries were actually IDENTICAL to Thumps. The same Paleo muffins, vegan pop tarts and even the coffee cake was the same. I’m confused. They must get them all from the same place… but where? I do know that Thump uses Novo Coffee so maybe it’s Novo Coffee and Novo pastries?
What sets this place apart from the rest? The small quiet spot and unique menu. Really… where else can you find a fresh orange zest latte? Even the baristas were really sweet and friendly. It was just a feel good place. It was extremely clean and cozy.
Novo Verdict: I will definitely be back! There was a really cool trendy crowd that I liked there. It doesn’t seem to be too crazy during the week in the afternoons from what I’ve seen so take advantage of it. It’s a quiet peaceful trendy spot with a really refreshing menu worth checking out. Novo on 6th, near Cheesman is on the top of my list.
Since initial visit I have discovered:
1. The pastries are now clearly labeled and from Sugar Bakery located at 3rd and Broadway downtown Denver. Check out the oh-so-local story behind the pastries taking over the Denver coffee shop scene here http://sugar-bakeshop.com/about-us/
2. They are not as busy as you would expect on a Saturday morning
3. Novo is a Denver Family owned coffee company
4. The male weekend baristas are in fact good-looking and so genuinely friendly it hurts
5. I forgot to mention the prices are a little higher than you would expect. A smaller coffee to go + paleo muffin = $8 something + tip (And I wonder why I spend more on coffee shop trips in a week than I do on groceries)
6. The Novo location on 6th is a brand spankin’ new addition to their other locations
7. The syrups they use in their drinks are ALL homemade by Novo & have a seasonal syrup. Right now it’s Lavender