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A New Find For Coffee Lovers: Hidden Gem- Alpine Modern

As we all know, finals and wrapping up the semester are just around the corner. I don’t know about you, but one of my final essentials for studying is finding a coffee shop that checks off a personal checklist of requirements: environment, staff, food, and most importantly, the coffee. I will admit, I stumbled upon Alpine Modern by pure accident. I was looking up coffee shops in hopes to find a shop that would serve as a place to hammer out an obnoxious paper that could only be completed by an atmosphere driven by decent coffee. I went ahead and did a quick Google search to see what was nearby campus and not a far walk from home. Alpine Modern was the first one to pop up for the recommended coffee shops. After perusing their menu online, I decided to give their shop a chance. In the search to find a coffee shop that fits my needs and wants, I can say with confidence that this standalone shop has become one of my favorites.

In the following paragraphs I am going to explain why I would recommend this coffee shop through the criteria on my infamous check-off list: 

Environment/Location

Alpine Modern is tucked into what seems to be the back end of The Hill. I know what you’re thinking, “Ugh The Hill, that means this coffee shop is going to be overpacked, loud, obnoxious, and probably not be the atmosphere to study.” Trust me, I had these thoughts too, and boy, was I proved wrong. Alpine Modern has a cute spacious patio with a fire pit and many seating options to enjoy a cup of coffee or even a conversation depending on your own needs. The patio itself has a few string lights that provide just the right amount of lighting to not be obnoxiously bright but allow enough light to see your peers or work material. The patio is not the only attention-grabber, the coffee shop has an awesome view of the Flatirons. The inside layout is perfect for the days where it’s just you, your laptop, and a cup of coffee. As soon as you enter through the door, you’re welcomed by a type of aesthetic that can only be described as light and welcoming. There are roughly around 13 tables along with a bartop table that sits about four fellow coffee drinkers. I found the noise level to be the perfect volume. It tends to lean more on the quieter side but also has enough background noise where fellow customers can be classified as white noise. The noise levels also depend on where you find yourself sitting. I sat near the coffee machine, so the noise level in other parts of the cafe would be noticeable.  Occasionally the cafe plays music. I went ahead and asked for their personal playlist, which will be included below: 

Staff

Coffee shops always have a variety of vibes due to music, customers, and the staff. Since this was  my first time at Alpine Modern, I wanted to chat with the staff to see what they recommend. We all know that there is a chance for staff to be less polite, but as a customer-facing employee myself, I understand the energy drain and grumpiness that can arise when dealing with nonstop customers with complicated orders. But, in the case of Alpine Modern, the staff was happy to give me some recommendations on what to order. And I have to say, I’m glad I took their advice on what is considered in their opinions to be the most popular options. I am sure that you, the reader, have experienced the unhappy tension of baristas as the many orders continue to flow in waves. In the case of conversations with the staff, their friendly and kind demeanor only adds to the attraction of Alpine Modern Cafe. 

Food and baked goods

Let us first dive into the food section. To start us off, we have the Avocado Tartine. Personally, this isn’t my cup of tea, but I did see some fellow customers order this at the counter. It was described to be a perfect mid-afternoon snack. Who could complain about the combination of fresh avocado spread along with bread? I would say this would be a great choice to grab in between classes if time is not on your side.

The second item I want to address is Alpine’s quinoa bowl. I will admit, I was just recently exposed to the idea of quinoa, and while I’m personally not a fan, this bowl has the potential to become a favorite. This specific bowl would be a great option for those long days where you might be looking for a hearty but not greasy meal to get you through your day. 

The last item I want to address is the ham, egg, and cheese croissant. I will admit any picture I would have taken would have not done it justice. The barista told me this was a best seller and normally would be sold out around 10 a.m. during the week. This item particularly caught my eye off the menu, because I’ll admit I have a big soft spot for croissant sandwiches. I took this recommendation to heart, and let’s just say that I will most definitely come back for this sandwich. One thing to keep in mind is that Alpine Modern has a wide selection of pastries besides their sandwiches. I also noticed that there were gluten-free options such as gluten-free scones!

The most important part: Coffee and other drinks

From someone who swears by any type of latte, Alpine Modern did not disappoint my standards for lattes. I was surprised by how strong the coffee was while still maintaining a flavor that wasn’t overtaken by pure coffee beans. If you’re like me and have let your tolerance for caffeine diminish, I would recommend you to be aware of the occasional consequence that can follow a great but still strong cup of coffee.  

I also was told by the staff that Alpine’s popular drinks include chai, drip coffee, and matcha lattes with oat milk. They also have hibiscus lemonade, and lemonade is my personal Achilles heel, no matter the weather. . This lemonade is also a good choice if you feel like you need a break from caffeine or a change of scenery for your taste buds. I know that I am definitely going to stop by and grab a cup when the weather warms up a bit. 

Overall opinion 

I think this cafe should be seen as a staple of Boulder coffee. My recommendation stems from a variety of reasons. I like the unique location of Alpine, it has views, enough seclusion for my preference, and a wide demographic of customers. I saw a  wide variety of individuals come through the door, young families, fellow students, folks after a bike ride, someone on their way to work, or a hiker who just finished the Chautauqua trail. I also value supporting local/smaller businesses, so next time you think about stopping by your neighborhood Starbucks, try an individual coffee shop instead. I can promise you’ll be able to enjoy a cup of coffee, talk with friendly staff, and either get some work done or relax a little.
Check out Alpine Modern at 904 College Ave on The Hill!

Katie Jacobson

CU Boulder '23

Katie is a Senior at the University of Colorado- Boulder. She is currently studying in the Classics department along with minoring in Anthropology and Creative Writing. Her hometown is Laguna Niguel, California. In her free time, you can find her discovering new music, reading, or grabbing a bagel from the Hill.