80 S. Cascade Ave., 719-322-2916, hbrcoffee.com
Over a handful of review visits since Humble Coffee’s launch in 2014 as a drive-thru at 2103 Templeton Gap Road, I’ve now tried every signature latte drink on the menu. It’s hard to pass up the Wildflower (a hemp milk chai latte) or Debonair (peanut butter mocha), some past treats, but on my most recent jaunt to this new (3-month-old) Downtown location, I decide to revisit the Aloha, a coconut and lavender latte that I order half sweet (my routine for all syrup-infused lattes) with a coconut milk substitute to exaggerate the island vibe. As with all the medium-sized drinks ($6.50/16-ounces), it comes with four shots of Humble Bee Roastery-fired beans, but in this case, my barista lets me know I’ve lucked into a fifth shot for some reason, and I’m not complaining at all. The house white espresso they use in the drink adds a notable caffeine kick, and its stylistic peanut-buttery flavor plays well off the coconut syrup’s sweet, inherent nuttiness, with the floral backnote of the calming lavender.
I pair it to-go with a double chocolate muffin procured from a local bakery for an immediate, concurrently sugary treat, with a moist crumb and complementary richness that helps pull the coffee notes out from all the overlaying flavors of the drink. Then, for a later lunch bite, I nab half a turkey wrap from a grab-and-go cooler stocked with house breakfast burritos and bowls, and a few sandwiches purveyed by Colonel Mustard’s Sandwich Emporium. The thick wrap does come with a choice of chips for $9.25 total, and presents a green spinach tortilla folded around juicy Boar’s Head OvenGold roasted turkey breast slices, Swiss cheese and bacon with avocado, tomato and lettuce garnishes, The Colonel’s Special Sauce (not super noticeable) and a couple side packets of mayo and mustard. It doesn’t reinvent anything, but is totally fresh and good for what it is, feeling light on the belly, too.
An important note on locating this new café: It’s in the rear corner of the first floor of the Wells Fargo south tower, down the hallway from Sportivo Primo and Duca’s Pizza inside the Antlers hotel. So, without any street or sidewalk view, it’s somewhat of a destination spot for those in the know, other than nearby workers in the tower complex. But once you find it, you’ll discover a pretty sizeable dining and lounging/workspace, brightly lit with a couple comfy couches, a series of cool two tops (shiny lacquered wooden tables with various colors stained into the woodgrain) and a merch wall with some shelves for coffee gadgets, plants and art pieces too.
You might recall that Humble came under new ownership in early 2021, launching the roastery arm in a retail storefront located directly behind the drive-thru hut on Templeton Gap. Now, according to my barista downtown, Humble’s first franchise location will join the family sometime around this summer, to be located at 4797 Barnes Road (in the revolving-door location that’s hosted everything from The Breakfast Shack to Local Bean Coffee in recent years). So you’ll have one more place locally to say Aloha (and receive a latte in return).