When Ozo expanded into downtown Boulder, opening a shop on the West End of Pearl Street, it also added a new feature for coffee lovers: a brew bar, which gives Ozo the capability of brewing to order three ways.
To build the buzz around that -- and also educate interested patrons on how different brewing methods make different cups of coffee -- Ozo is now offering free brew bar tastings on Fridays at 2 p.m.
"It's nice to have the option," explains owner Justin Hartman. "And it makes us taste our coffee differently."
That's because there are significant contrasts among the methods, he says. The pour over, which uses a paper filter, brews a cup with clarity and light body, releasing more flavor nuances. The Chemex, fitted with a metal filter, sacrifices some of those nuances for more body. And while the French press gives the most body, the flavors become muddled.
Which means that even if the shop uses the same roast, brewing coffee with each of those methods will result in three very different cups of coffee. The brew bar tastings will allow coffee drinkers to sample all three, and choose their favorite method.
Hartman doesn't prefer one method over another; he thinks the best method to use can depend on the roast (the brew bar keeps three in rotation, out of a total of thirteen or fourteen). "We just had the most amazing tasting of the Brazil we've ever had in the Chemex," he says. "And tasting a freshly brewed cup of coffee is a lot different than having one that's been sitting in an air pot."
More of a cappuccino drinker? Ozo also has a Friday special for espresso fiends. The shop normally offers a choice of three espressos: the Isabelle, the decaf Isabelle and the 2012, which is a lighter espresso roast. But on Friday, it replaces the 2012 with another small-batch espresso. "We roast a specific amount for Fridays and use it until we run out," says Hartman. And with the single-origin roasts, that can happen by early afternoon.
In addition to the Friday tastings, Hartman says the new shop may eventually add cupping, allowing interested patrons to taste different roasts the way the roasters taste them, noting the differences between beans. And he may bring back tastings and cuppings at the Arapahoe location, too.
In the meantime, you can dial 720-974-0215 for more information.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.