Elle Taylor, owner and barista of Amethyst Coffee Company, opened her Golden Triangle shop in the Metlo building earlier this year. The warm, minimalist shop brews several Commonwealth Coffee varieties, and rounds out those offerings with one out-of-town roaster. Taylor likes to feature coffee from roasters who aren't easy to find in Colorado. "We started with Ritual from San Francisco and next we have Parlor from Brooklyn," she point out, adding that sh plans on changing the guest roaster every three to four months.
Taylor's goal is a diverse offering list, and she also thinks it's important to showcase a variety of origins. "Coffee is like wine in this way," she explains. "Certain origins and varietals of plants and processing techniques so much [influence] how the coffee will taste."
Amethyst will roll out a new menu of signature drinks this weekend. "We're working on some plays on some different cocktails," Taylor adds. "We're making a cold brew cobbler and we're making an in-house horchata with sweetened condensed nut milk."
The menu at Amethyst is unusual; one half lists prices by amounts of espresso and milk. The other half includes more familiar items, like cold brew, tea and mochas. The coffee shop also offers pastries by Sugar Vision.
Taylor hopes that the menu will encourage customers to consider what goes into their usual orders and inspire them to try something new. "We had a woman last week say, 'I don't think I'm smart enough to order coffee here,' and I was like, 'No, that's not the point,'" she recalls. "The point is to have you rethink or better understand what you're drinking and really highlight the coffee aspect of it…customers can still have their routine, but it helps them switch it up a little bit."
Taylor loves the mix of people in the neighborhood: "We get business people, we get families, we're a little bit of a destination for people, we get all the kids from Cap Hill."
She named the shop Amethyst because the word is significant to her on many levels. "Inherently I wanted this space and the idea behind it to be a little more feminine," says Taylor. "Coffee tends to be really masculine or very gender neutral."
She also wanted to name the shop after a precious stone, because "we treat those with such respect and they're so revered in our culture…I wanted to name the shop something that would set that tone." Naming her shop after a precious stone indicates the level of respect that goes into her craft.
"We treat the product that we work with with a lot of respect and have a lot of respect for the whole process, from the farmer to the roaster to us," she notes. She also wanted to name the shop after her dad, and amethyst happens to be his birthstone.
That coffee-as-art mindset carries over to events at Amethyst. Local artist and regular customer Eric Shumake leads occasional craft classes at the shop on painting with coffee concentrate.
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"It's really fun, it's ten dollars and he takes it for materials and time," saysTaylor. The next class will be in late June—check Amethyst's Facebook page for details.
Amethyst is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.