Boxcar Coffee: A Taste of Colorado’s Finest Brews


With its laidback ambiance, quality coffee sourcing, and attention to customer experience, Boxcar has become a destination for coffee lovers and digital nomads alike. This article explores what makes Boxcar Coffee in Boulder, Colorado, so unique and appealing.


  • Boxcar Coffee offers a relaxed, rustic atmosphere perfect for remote work or simply enjoying specialty coffee drinks.
  • The shop prides itself on carefully sourced beans, expert roasting, and intricate latte art, providing customers with a quality coffee experience.
  • Beyond great coffee, Boxcar engages with the local community through coffee education events, tastings, workshops, and more. Boxcar Coffee Roasters embodies much of what makes this progressive town beloved, fusing artistry and sustainability with community and comfort.

The cozy coffee shop emanates the casual, eco-conscious vibe Boulder is famous for. Its repurposed boxcar design hints at the city’s railroad history while creating a rustic-chic interior space. Locally roasted coffee, homey decor touches, and smiling baristas enhance the welcoming atmosphere.

But Boxcar offers more than just a charming ambiance. The real draw lies in the shop’s dedication to specialty coffee through ethical sourcing, artisanal roasting, and expert brewing. No coffee detail goes overlooked, from the relationships built with growers to the intricate designs swirled atop lattes. Boxcar also engages Boulder’s thriving coffee culture through regular public events, from intimate weekly tastings to large-scale community gatherings celebrating coffee’s rich traditions worldwide.

For remote workers, the shop checks all the boxes: reliable high-speed WiFi, cafe-style seating and lighting, and coffeehouse comforts like quality coffee and baked goods. Whether hunkering down to work or simply relaxing with a perfectly pulled espresso, Boxcar Coffee Colorado promises to delight.

Local Experiences and Cultural Immersion

Beyond serving incredible coffee drinks, Boxcar Coffee Roasters aims to be a community hub celebrating coffee culture and supporting other local makers. The shop sources many ingredients from neighboring Colorado purveyors, like milk from Longmont Dairy and chocolate from Fort Collins’ Nuance Chocolate. Boxcar also spotlights local artists by displaying their works on the cafe walls.

The space frequently hosts public events spotlighting ethical coffee farming, artisanal roasting processes, and latte designs, often featuring guest speakers from the regional coffee community. Weekly coffee cuppings offer an intimate way to taste and discuss different coffee varieties with knowledgeable baristas. The annual Coffee Fest gatherings include activities like home roasting demos, brewing equipment exhibitions by local vendors, and meet-and-greets with nearby farmers.

Through these immersive experiences, Boxcar customers gain exposure to Colorado’s thriving specialty coffee scene. They have the opportunity to connect with local leaders pioneering sustainable agriculture, innovative brewing techniques, and coffee-centric art forms. By sourcing locally and creating a welcoming community space, Boxcar Coffee Roasters delivers an authentic taste of Boulder coffee culture.

Coffee and Work: Ideal for Digital Nomads

With COVID-19 accelerating remote work trends, cafes like Boxcar Coffee Roasters increasingly cater to mobile professionals. Its cozy atmosphere, quality coffee, and fast WiFi create an ideal hub for digital nomads to hunker down and work.

Boxcar offers free high-speed WiFi throughout the cafe, with recent tests clocking nearly 50 Mbps download speeds. Whether video conferencing or downloading large files, connectivity remains reliable. The shop also provides an assortment of seating options to accommodate various working styles. Small wooden tables allow space for laptops and notebooks, while a long communal table encourages collaboration. For a quieter working environment, plush armchairs upstairs offer a peaceful hideaway.

Though not a completely silent workspace, the moderate noise level and acoustic paneling prevent sounds from being disruptive. And an abundance of electrical outlets positioned around the cafe enables easy device charging. Whether working solo or meeting up with colleagues, Boxcar Coffee Roasters satisfies digital nomads’ needs.

Coffee Quality and Offerings: Ethical Sourcing and Expert Brewing

Boxcar Coffee Colorado takes pride in its carefully curated coffee menu, starting from the source. The company maintains direct relationships with specialty growers in Africa, Central, and South America to obtain the highest-quality Arabica beans through ethical, sustainable practices.

Focusing on single-origin varietals and special seasonal offerings, the on-site coffee laboratory then small-batch roasts beans to perfection. The current rotation highlights bright, fruity Burundi Kayanza and sweet, chocolatey Colombian San Augustin. Finally, Boxcar’s skilled baristas prepare the beans through various brew methods like AeroPress, pour over, French press, and espresso using top-of-the-line equipment.

Of course, Boxcar also serves classic coffeehouse beverages like lattes, mochas, and cold brews. But with its dialed-in espresso and homemade ingredients like vanilla syrup, even the most common drinks taste a cut above the rest. For those seeking a true coffee experience, Boxcar’s single origin pour-overs or specialty espresso flights allow customers to become true coffee connoisseurs.

Artistry and Education: Latte Art and Public Workshops

Boxcar Coffee extends its artistry beyond brewing incredible coffee—it’s also reflected in the delightful latte art adorning many drinks. The baristas receive extensive training to create stunning designs from free-poured milk atop espresso shots. Intricate fern leaves, rosetta flowers, and even portrait heads have all made appearances in the cafe’s lattes and cappuccinos. Beautiful drinks become conversation pieces customers can savor while learning about the craft behind these ephemeral works of art.

Boxcar also offers public workshops for anyone eager to deepen their coffee knowledge in an informal setting. Weekly “Learn with the Baristas” sessions allow attendees to learn professional brewing techniques hands-on. And monthly Coffee 101 classes cover introductory topics like coffee varietals, processing methods, and cupping best practices. For those interested in the business operations side, Boxcar’s free monthly “Meet the Roasters” talks give a behind-the-scenes look at running an artisanal coffee company. From understanding espresso machines to cupping like a Q Grader, Boxcar offers budding baristas and coffee enthusiasts many pathways to further their education.

Community and Events: Bringing People Together Over Coffee

As a true community establishment, Boxcar Coffee Roasters unites various facets of Boulder’s coffee scene while engaging the broader public. The shop maintains close ties with other local coffee companies through collaborative events and showcasing neighbors’ products. For example, Boxcar has partnered with Boulder roaster Corvus Coffee for pop-up shops and tasting events.

The cafe also aims to make specialty coffee more accessible by hosting free weekly public cuppings. These guided coffee tastings allow new audiences to learn about sourcing, roasting, and brewing from industry experts in an informal setting. Seasonal Coffee Fest gatherings also welcome the whole community to celebrate coffee culture together through music, food, and educational activities.

By fostering connections within the regional coffee industry while also introducing specialty coffee to the general public, Boxcar Coffee Roasters brings together diverse stakeholders to advance the local coffee community.

Ambiance and Experience: Charming Cafe Atmosphere

Stepping into Boxcar Coffee’s repurposed train car cafe feels like entering a charming hideaway. Exposed brick walls, string lights, and salvaged wood accents reflect Boulder’s eco-conscious values with vintage flair. Customers can choose from counter seating along the service bar or relax in leather armchairs and couches spread throughout the space. Colorful local art brings visual intrigue, while acoustic paneling keeps the noise level pleasantly moderate.

The atmosphere evokes the laidback vibe of a college town cafe where everyone feels welcome to unwind with a good cup of coffee. Patrons tap away on laptops with a coffee by their side or chat over slices of homemade coffee cake with friends. Baristas crank out pour-overs and espressos with smiles while indie folk music plays softly in the background. And when the Colorado sun is shining, Boxcar’s patio offers the perfect spot to soak up some vitamin D.

Whether you’re a coffee aficionado searching for your next exotic bean to sample or a stressed student looking for a comfy study spot, Boxcar Coffee Roasters offers something for everyone in its charming locale.

Practical Information for Visitors

Hours and Location:

Boxcar Coffee Roasters operates two locations in Boulder: the original Downtown shop at 1825 Pearl Street and a newer East Boulder outpost at 3010 Sterling Circle Suite 100. Both cafes are open daily from 6:30 AM to 6 PM.


With hundreds of 5-star reviews on Google and Yelp, Boxcar Coffee Roasters is considered a “can’t miss” destination in Boulder for coffee and remote work. Customers consistently praise the cafe’s warm atmosphere, stellar coffee quality, and exceptional baristas.

Food Offerings:

Beyond excellent coffee drinks, Boxcar serves fresh pastries like croissants, scones, and coffee cakes baked in-house daily. Lunch items include toast, grain bowls, and sandwiches featuring local ingredients. Whether enjoying a quick snack or meal while working or lingering after a coffee tasting, delicious bites accompany Boxcar’s coffee menu.

Additional Services:

The downtown location offers free one-hour street parking, and the east side shop provides free covered parking. Both cafes offer free WiFi, restrooms, bike racks, and dog-friendly outdoor seating. Monthly coffee subscriptions allow customers to enjoy Boxcar’s specialty roasts from home.


What types of coffee does Boxcar serve?

Boxcar Coffee Roasters serves a wide variety of specialty coffee drinks using single-origin beans and housemade ingredients. Their menu features espresso drinks like lattes, mochas, and macchiatos, as well as manual brewing methods like pour-over, AeroPress, and French press. Seasonal offerings and coffee flights are also available.

Does Boxcar Coffee have a lot of seating options?

Yes, Boxcar Coffee aims to accommodate both individual work and group meetings with diverse seating choices. Options include counter seating, small cafe tables, large communal tables, soft leather armchairs, and outdoor patio seating. Quiet nooks for focus work and open areas for collaboration are both available.

What food can I order from Boxcar Coffee?

The cafe serves an assortment of freshly baked pastries, toasts, grain bowls, and sandwiches daily made using local ingredients. Menu items change seasonally but often include options like croissants, coffee cake, avocado toast, and prosciutto sandwiches.

When is Boxcar Coffee open?

Both Boxcar Coffee locations in Boulder are open daily from 6:30 AM to 6 PM. Extended hours are sometimes offered during busy seasons or for special events. Check the cafe’s social media for the most up-to-date hours.

Does Boxcar Coffee roast their own beans?

Yes! Boxcar Coffee Colorado features coffee roasted in-house in their onsite lab. Their talented team experiments with different roast profiles to bring out the best flavors in each origin. The beans are ethically sourced directly from farms around the world.


About the author

James Ranson

I’m an editor, traveler, and fan of the great outdoors. I’ve been to all 48 continental US states, and my drives through Colorado’s rugged peaks and snowy forests (not to mention whiskey tastings in Denver!) still stand out in my memories. I’m excited to use my ten years of editing experience to develop engaging and informative guides and articles that enhance the outdoor experiences of both Colorado residents and visitors. Whether a piece is about exploring the best ski resorts, uncovering scenic trails for hiking, or finding the most inspiring drives through the Colorado Rockies, my aim is to provide comprehensive and accessible content that encourages adventure and exploration.