A Tour of Boulder/Broomfield
As you may notice, my tours mostly consist of places to eat. I have taken several trips to Colorado before, but never to spend time in Boulder. Usually we end up driving through it to go somewhere else. This time, I got to devote the whole trip to getting to know the city--and I'm so glad I did! Upon arriving in Boulder, my husband greeted me with a variety of local kombuchas and fried chicken from The Post Brewing Company. Their birds are humanely raised and brined for hours, then dipped in buttermilk and gluten-free flour to cook. I had their "hot" style spicy chicken, with collard greens. The collards were cooked with what seemed like a mix between pulled pork and ham hocks…and I really love ham hocks.
The homemade whoopie pies that used all my effort to resist at Post Brewing Co.!
The next day we explored downtown Boulder…we essentially went on a non-alcoholic drinking tour!
1. I got to try the locally-made Sherpa Chai from a nearby Asian restaurant called Sushi Tora. It was surprisingly tasty and made with love. The ingredients are great and I love that it's possible to get the Sherpa Chai concentrate shipped home, in a big container that won't break the bank. Sushi Tora's owner and head chef has quite the background story, working in electronic music in Japan and touring with Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson in the 80's!
Speaking of background stories, we also popped into a cute little coffee shop/microroaster nearby called The Unseen Bean, which is so tiny we almost walked right past it! We already had drinks in our hands, but went in to see what it was like. We were amazed and inspired by the shop's history. The owner is quite possibly the world's only blind coffee roaster, having been blind since birth. Deciding to start a second career after working as a mechanic for many years, Gerry Leary taught himself with a backyard mini roaster, then trained extensively on the West Coast. Now he can roast the perfect batch based entirely on sound and smell, which is truly impressive. Also noteworthy is their passion for finding the best, fair trade and organically-grown coffee around, and giving it to their customers as freshly-roasted as possible. We'll definitely be back!
2. Our next stop was at the KU CHA HOUSE OF TEA. I was so excited to check out their selection. As I made my way to the back, I couldn’t believe my eyes! They have a dedicated tea garden with zabutons to sit on and tea tables.
I enjoyed the "Back to Your Roots" tea. It was delicious…I have a thing for that licorice aftertaste! I’m thinking of making my own…it seems like it would be pretty easy. Licorice root, Dandelion root, ginger root, and of course, roasted mate. I also want to get one of the gourds to drink it out of! I already have a bombilla that I am in love with! It is surprising how well it works. Easy to clean and easy to use! A tip from experience: just make sure you don’t burn your lips on it. The area set aside for tasting at Ku Cha is so zen. We loved it. And, of course because of the formal atmosphere, it was nice to sit with my love, sip tea (he had the Boulder Boost), and talk with our phones put away (except to take some awesome pictures, of course!). Another plus was the friendly barista!
3. At the next corner we found ourselves near TONIC HERBAN LOUNGE. We had warm tea belly which was getting more full by the minute so we decided to check out some small shops nearby while we let our stomachs settle. We found a quaint outpost of the shop Cured, then we went to the main store next to Boxcar Coffee later. We found some great treats at both locations! Here are just a few to share: anything by Undone Chocolate, this maple coconut chocolate by Dick Taylor, and this cardamom and black pepper bar by Amano. Totally Delish and great airplane snacks! Oh, and if you find yourself there, don’t forget to taste-test their amazing cheese and cured meats selection--and their wine room is tiny but brilliant!
After all that, we wandered back to the Tonic Herban Lounge. It was a little dark, or atmospheric may be more appropriate. It is also an oxygen bar, which isn’t my thing (yet) so I was a little apprehensive. The owner seemed happy to keep to himself but was friendly. Then we saw the menu, and it is stupendous! It has all the fun concoction ingredients that I love, put together in ways that really taste great!!!
The drink was so complex; bubbly and sweet but with a dry bitterness that was almost overwhelming!
They had stuff like: Blue-green algae, Adaptogenic tonics, and much, MUCH more. I want to go there everyday until I try everything…except maybe the worms that are specifically for male fertility. Soooooo, I had the Absinthe Brew from Ish’s Brew Alchemical Elixirs. There is no absinthe in it, FYI (not that I’d necessarily be opposed). The menu gave warning to be sure you can drink bitter before ordering. Good thing I like bitter, that’s all I have to say!!! Woowee! It was intense and I loved it. I’d even order it again! What did it taste like? A bottle of Artemesia FEO + a bottle of liquid goldenseal topped off with sparkling water. Watch out! My husband got the liquid yoga, and it tasted divine. It was a nice flavor contrast to what I ordered.
Left: natural orange foam of the yam latte! Right: The "Crave You" and "Yum Yum Latte" drinks at Wonder. So good on their own AND mixed together!
4. Our next drink sampling was at Wonder, which I absolutely loved. We tried several samples---all uniquely tasty. Hubby got a dirty golden milk and although I was stuffed to the brim, he talked me into a steamed yam spiced latte. It had natural orange foam! How cool is that?! I had to go back before our trip was over, and I got a "Crave You" nut milk (made with hazelnut, filtered water, raw cacao, maple syrup, vanilla bean, pink mineral salt) and a bottled cold brew "Yum Yum Latte" (cold-brew coffee, house-made nut milk, maple syrup, vanilla bean). For the life of me, I could not decide which one I wanted more, so I bought them both and mixed them together and my, oh my! I had a great afternoon sitting there, reading my book (which I also highly recommend).
5. We took a long walk, in and out of quite a few shops until we happened upon a side street my husband made me go down. It was raining and I just wanted to head back to the hotel…
And you'll have to stay tuned for the next post to see the conclusion of my Tour of Boulder and Broomfield! Thanks so much for reading, and if you've ever been to Boulder yourself, feel free to mention some of your favorite places in the comments below :) In the meantime, check out some of the products I encountered at the underlined links above!