Photo courtesy of Sonder Coffee & Tea

Just east of campus on Iliff, tucked between Quebec and Havanna, is a coffee shop that offers a fresh space to sip and chat or sit and work with a great cup of coffee. White painted exposed brick, contrasted by wooden tables each topped with a small succulent, Sonder Coffee & Tea creates an aesthetic that may remind patrons of their local Anthropologie, or a set off of Portlandia.

“Sonder”, is defined as “the realization that each random passerby has a life just as valid and complex as your own.” This name is appropriate and comes through in the location through a large community work table and friendly staff who make this coffee shop feel more like a collective environment than a destination to come to independently.

Sonder is serving up much more than good vibes. Their menu board includes classic espresso beverages with the option of classic syrup flavorings such as caramel and vanilla that can be added to any drink. As for food, Sonder has a healthy selection of classic and extravagant pastries to pair with your white-mug drink. On my visit, I sampled their classic cappuccino as well as a European chocolate layer cake that was almost, almost, too pretty to eat. Prices were very fair, especially for receiving a pastry I felt was more worthy of a gallery space than a place on my plate ($5) and a drink with a perfectly made white leaf ($3.50).

I was pleasantly surprised by Sonder coffee. Making my visit on a snowy day in May, I found the bright design of their interior to be refreshing and a welcome surprise from the monotonous deep mahogany of most hip coffee pop-ups. Sonder creates a welcoming space with clean design and bright natural light, the perfect spot to come crank out some work or pull a little creative inspiration.

Sonder is a participant in the FIKA passport, a one-time purchase that gets you two for one coffee at 28 Denver craft coffee shops, a fun way to explore Denver and an excuse to give Sonder a try. Other cool merchandise items the Sonder shop offers up include hydroflasks branded with the Sonder rooted butterfly logo, as well as t-shirts and stickers.

There is nothing especially unique about Sonder coffee, but they are doing craft coffee and they are doing it well, all in a space that feels so welcoming you may never want to leave.