Choose Your Own Adventure

If You’re Not Having Fun at January Coffee, You’re Doing It Wrong

Article by Kailey Beuerlein

Photography by Kristen Binder

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

The motto at January Coffee in downtown Boulder is “Great Coffee is for Everyone”—and they really mean it. A multi-roaster specialty coffee shop serving a curated selection of their favorite roasters from all around the country, January Coffee was born from a desire to pair amazing coffee and tea with an inspired food program (Aussie-style).

Its love for preparing, tasting and enjoying coffee with others is what fuels the desire to build a community around their coffee shop. Offering handcrafted signature beverages and high-quality and thoughtfully sourced teas, January Coffee also has a bangin’ brunch program. It's a coffee program first and foremost, but self-proclaimed foodies second. Their mission overall is to bring people together through genuine hospitality and knowing that at the end of the day, it's not about the liquid in the cup, but the people that are drinking it.

Talking with John, founder and owner of January Coffee, his excitement and passion for the art of making coffee is palpable and infectious. Born and raised in Boulder, John spent nearly two decades working in various coffee shops in Los Angeles. He managed several different specialty coffee shops, including beloved multi-roaster, Fix Coffee (RIP), then spent years in coffee sales & training for highly esteemed roasters. But of course, all roads seem to lead back to Boulder, and John came back to his hometown with his cup now overflowing with knowledge and experience in the coffee industry. 

At January Coffee, they are extremely proud to serve Onyx Coffee Lab—a powerhouse leader in the industry and the most decorated, award-winning specialty coffee roaster in the country—as the ongoing house roaster, while having two additional rotating roasters on the lineup, making them a multi-roaster coffee shop. Most coffee enthusiasts probably know what that is, but as a begrudgingly coffee avoider, John broke it down for me:  “Being a multi-roaster concept means that we don’t serve just one roaster here, rather we offer three different roasters, each with their own unique approach to sourcing and roasting,” he explains. “Some roast to maximize the natural sweetness in coffee, some accentuate the sparkling natural fruit acids that make a cup pop. One roaster may source coffees that are more chocolatey, nutty and approachable while another may seek out fruity, floral or funky offerings.” 

With the “farm to cup” idea in mind, January Coffee is unique in its specific and curated selection of the producers, roasters and baristas involved that impact the experience of the people who drink their coffee. “With hundreds of amazing roasters spread out all over the world it can be difficult to find a place to experience all that the coffee industry has to offer,” says John. “January Coffee’s goal is to curate the best of these roasters and consistently cycle through their coffee lineups so that there is always a new coffee to try, a new taste adventure to embark on.” The space itself in Boulder is designed to be bright with a modern style but to feel comfortable and cozy. John describes how the downstairs has a bustling big city cafe feel while the loft seating area has more of a homey feel, like you’re sitting in your best friend's living room.

The thing that makes January Coffee unique is not just one thing but the full equation of all the little things that make up a great experience. “The greatest compliment we receive is that people love the 'vibe'—an intangible thing that can’t be pinpointed but is clearly felt,” says John. “We aim to serve the highest quality coffees and delicious brunch foods served in a welcoming and unpretentious environment.” 

“We put a big focus on making the work environment fun and our staff excels at fun,” says John. “When the folks behind the bar are having fun, it rubs off on our customers. One of our core values is ‘if we’re not having fun, we’re doing it wrong’ and that can be felt at January.” 

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