Colorado Coffee Merchants, for me, is the best coffee in Colorado Springs.
Step inside Colorado Coffee Merchants (CCM) nearly any day, and you won’t be alone. You’ll wonder quickly “are all these people just passing through Fillmore?” No, they’re probably not. They’ve made the place a priority. CCM was the first place I had a Noosa yogurt. It was where I train-wrecked my oldest son with his first mocha (3 pm was not a good idea). It is where I’ve had several business meetings with people that said “I had no idea this was even here… And that line’s pretty steady.”
Their legion of fans include the present variations of La Baguette (La Tartine, et al), Ranch Foods Direct, a couple independent coffee shops like Red Dog , as well as others. CCM does not do pour-overs. No siphons here. They don’t have virginal honey from Nederland’s wildflowers out as a sweetener. They don’t have non-lactose options (which sucks for me), so if you’re looking for coconut, you’re out of luck. But they don’t do that in Italy, and they certainly don’t do that at the firehouse where the owner, Eric, used to work.
I like my coffee smoky. I like caramel tones. I like if I can taste the cherry. I don’t like reaching the bottom of my cup as it cools and finding it bitter, which means that I like the acidity to be neutralized in the roasting process. So I like how a local firefighter chars his beans. And that’s the point. Eric used to be a Colorado Springs fireman. Part of the loyalty that you see is the esprit de corps of the city’s fire protection that loyally consumes their brother’s brew. That same sensibility of firehouse living, that same “dude… he makes the best enchiladas you’ve ever had” mixed with “it was really bad. And he didn’t leave my side” way of living permeates the place. Who am I to argue?