It is a truth universally acknowledged that an Australian holidaying anywhere in America is always in search of a good coffee (without much success) and ski towns are no different. Lucky for us times are slowly changing in the land of the bottomless burnt drip filter and baristas are now rivaling ski instructors for ski town kudos.
But not all baristas are created equal as we Aussie coffee snobs know. We’ve done the hard yards to find the best coffee and baristas across the ski towns of America for you. You’ll be pleased to know there are some hidden gems to remind you of home with velvet complex coffee notes served up in a cup.
So if you’re stopping in at any of the resort towns we list below during the upcoming Northern Hemisphere season, rest assured you’ll leave feeling satisfied and pleasantly caffeinated.
Dark Horse Roasters at Truckee, California
Heading to Lake Tahoe? Make Dark Horse Coffee your first stop. This coffee shop was converted from an old saloon, and the stone walls and freshly-roasted, specially brewed coffee combines to make for an environment that’s welcoming and delicious.
Trust us, this coffee is Australian style good. The baristas are obsessed with coffee bloggers and they do a damn fine pour in delicate cups. Bring a laptop on a down day to hang out, or pop in for a quick brew before heading out on the slopes.
Thump in Bend, Oregon
Bend is a cool town, the adventure sister to hipster Portland. The crew at Thump Coffee fits right in, with their production of coffees that are sustainably produced and roasted in small batches for the perfect brew.
The team here really live and breathe coffee, and serve it up alongside handmade chai and artisan pastries – yum.
Big Iron Coffee Company in Steamboat Colorado
There are only seven seats in this intimate cafe obsessed by the humble coffee bean in Steamboat. Big Iron Coffee Company is a great spot to stop in and grab a quick beverage, especially between 12noon and 1pm from Monday through to Friday, when coffees are only $1 and lattes are only $2. It’s delicious, specialty coffee ethically sourced from locations such as Peru, Ecuador, Rwanda and Ethiopia.
Harvest at Park City Utah
Thank goodness for cafes run by Australian coffee lovers that have travelled the world. Park City has three.
The Harvest team prides themselves on having tasted the best coffees around the globe, and they’ve brought back the best fair-trade beans to roast locally and make into delicious espresso. There’s a menu filled with flat whites, lattes and cappucinos – plus you can opt for home style breakfasts to go with it, from smashed avocado to Buddha bowls.
Five 5eeds at Park City Utah
The Five 5eeds team hails from Melbourne, meaning that you’re definitely going to get a decent Aussie-style coffee when you head over here, made with imported Aussie coffee.
Breakfasts here are also about as Instagram-worthy as food can get – there’s another smashed avo on the menu up for grabs, but go for the shakshouska, Moroccan baked eggs topped with goat curd and aromatic dukkah. Drool.
Campos at Park City Utah
Campos Coffee originated in Newtown, Sydney, and has now popped up all over Australia to serve up their delicious blends. They opened their first international cafe in Park City, knowing how much the locals and the visitors appreciate a good coffee – so you can now start your day in the States with your favourite Campos beverage.
If you’re in Salt Lake City and heading to Brighton, Solitude or Alta and Snowbird then they’ve opened a roastery downtown there too.
Victoria + Co in Aspen Colorado
Another great spot to find a flat white, Victoria + Co (commonly known as Victoria’s) was founded by one Aussie and his Canadian wife who brought their love of good coffee from Sydney all the way to Aspen in 2008. Their beautifully roasted brews in the winter pair well with their pot set yogurt, made with nothing but organic whole milk and probiotics – or go for their chiller oats for a healthy, wholesome start to the day or try the Vegemite toast.
The crew here also have handmade Aussie-style sausage rolls with fillings like fennel pork & veal, North African spiced lamb and sweet thai chili chicken. We hear they’re a decent hangover cure.
Persephone Bakery in Jackson Hole Wyoming
No trip to Jackson Hole is complete without a stop at Persephone’s, a French-inspired bakery, where you can pick up an artisan-roasted coffee or a European-style hot chocolate to go with their range of freshly baked breads, croissants, cupcakes and tarts.
You can even grab something from their range of bake-at-home items, such as brioche, cookie dough or ham and cheese croissants – just throw them in the oven at your resort accommodation and have a freshly baked goodie before you get on the slopes.
The Coffee Cowboy in Telluride Colorado
These guys keeps it simple, and that what makes the coffee so good. Stop by their little coffee truck in Telluride and pick up an organic coffee, whether it’s a latte, macchiato or something in between. Channel your inner American with added syrups like the Cinnabliss Latte – latte with a cinnamon sauce, perfect for warming up on a particularly cold day – or the Annie Oakley latte with caramel and cinnamon.
The best part? Their pay it forward board. Buy an extra coffee and pin it to the board and when someone forgets their change or is broke and needs a brew they can grab your pay it forward and warm up thanks to you.
If you’re in Vail head to Yeti’s grind and ask for a single shot six ounce latter, you’ll end up with a decent flat white. In Salt Lake City try Three Pines Coffee and thank us later. Denver? You won’t go wrong at Novo Coffee.