There’s nothing else in the world quite like an efficient, easy to manage coffee bar. But in the right hands—with the right dedication—taking a more manual, hands-on approach to coffee service can be immensely rewarding. Such is the vibe at R&R Coffee Cafe in Colorado Springs, where espresso service is anchored by a lever machine. Once popular, and now perhaps due for a revival, the lever machine demands total devotion and concentration from the barista, and is capable of producing outstanding shots of espresso. Let’s learn more.

The 2022 Build-Outs of Coffee is presented by DriposDona, and Mill City Roasters. Build-Outs of Coffee 2022 is sponsored by La MarzoccoPacific Barista SeriesAcaia, and Marco Beverage Systems.

As told to Sprudge by Ryan Wanner.

For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?

We opened in 2008 with the goal of serving great coffee to the community of Black Forest, Colorado. We roast our own coffee under the Golden Pine Coffee label. Over the years we have grown to include a from-scratch bakery and a full breakfast cafe. We have become the community hub and continue to support Black Forest and Colorado Springs by sponsoring events, hosting community forums, and just being that place where everyone gathers.

Can you tell us a bit about the new space?

We stumbled across this former coffee shop earlier this year, and we feel it is a good time to expand. It’s 1,700 square feet, seats about 40, and we’re installing a full kitchen. We are redoing the bar to better suit our flow, but otherwise buildout is relatively minor—once we get past the hood system. We will roast and bake in our Black Forest location, but our food and coffee menus will be available in the new space.

What’s your approach to coffee?

Every coffee we serve needs to tell a story. I always look for the green offerings that I can see pictures of the farm and know a little about the farmer and their community. In the past I have had a few direct trade connections as well. When I sample roast, I always look for the roast profile that allows the natural flavors of the coffee to shine. My bar staff are fully trained to know how much work it takes to get the coffee from seed to cup and how they can ruin a lot of hard work by serving a mediocre cup. I believe in a very hands-on style of coffee preparation so we use a lot of manual preparations for our cups.

Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?

Our pride and joy is a three-group hammered chrome Victoria Arduino Athena Leva paired with a couple of Anfim and Mahlkönig grinders. We have syphon brewers at the ready plus a few other pour-over devices. Batch will be done on a Bunn brewer that was already in the shop when we signed the lease.

How is your project considering sustainability?

I know we can definitely do more, but we are focused on local vendors and tradespeople to complete the task. Our wood trim is all reclaimed lumber from burned areas in local forests. On the business side, we focus on in-store service to reduce waste, and are using recycled paper goods for to go orders. Our Black Forest location often has composting buckets available for local farmers, our coffee grounds are collected by gardeners, and we always focus on buying local.

What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?

October 2022

Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?

Our muralist for the Black Forest location is back and going crazy in our new store! Her artwork adds tremendously to the “sit and forget about life for a while” concept we have built. Her website is

Thank you!

R&R Coffee Cafe is located at 124 E Cheyenne Mountain Blvd, Colorado Springs. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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