most days, it’s the small things || steam espresso bar, denver

“enjoy the little things in life, because one day you will look back, and realize they were the big things.”

i’ve been sitting at steam all morning: thinking, drawing, researching, and planning. getting excited about this creative journey i’m embarking on.

steam, a new coffee shop that opened in denver just a couple months ago has found a special place in my heart. and not only in my heart, but the hearts of many other locals, it seems.

hani, the owner of thisphoto studio turned espresso bar himself is a character transformed; an international starbucks barista turned coffee aficionado. he really has made this place a gem. the brick walls, wood floors, beautiful wood community table, elegant but not over-zealous chandeliers, handled kerr jar mugs, and outdoor patio make this place irresistible to platt park’s local hispters, businessmen, entrepreneurs, and socialites.

next to me this morning, two men chat about their companies database and account management system, across the shop, a mom and daughter catch up over an iced tea. in the back corner, three veteran businessmen plan their next venture. outside on the patio two twenty-somethings giggle and gossip about their weeks and weekend plans. a man in suspenders and a crisp button up fills a silver tray with macaroons that were just delivered from a local bakery. and it all happens so seamlessly, so naturally. it is no wonder people love this place.

it is all of the little details of this place that make it what it is.

and that is the perfect reminder that in life, it is the little things that matter. it is the little details, the small gestures, and the simple words that have the potential to make a difference.

i say this for two reasons, for two experiences i have had here today.

ONE: the men seated next to me this morning [the one’s who were working on the database], asked if i would like the piece of cake that they had been eyeing all morning. i asked hesitantly why they weren’t going to eat it. “we’ve already had breakfast and we’re on our way out. hani gave this to us because he messed up our coffee order.” after accepting the slice of almond cake and taking a bite, i realized quickly another reason why people come here, stay here, and c

ome back here day after day. hani takes care of his customers. the almond cake was spongy with a sweet but not-too-sweet layer of sugared almonds on top. definitely worth a try.

an hour later, hani approached my table with a beautiful latte adorned with latte art. ‘i’m just practicing’, he said, ‘would you like a latte?’. i may be shaking from caffeine overload, but i’m totally okay with it. hani’s personal customer service and that of his suspender wearing-staff do not go unnoticed here at steam.



SO – wandering down pearl street? in the wash park-ish area? make a special trip here. you’ll be very happy you did. and while you’re here, take a moment to notice all of the little details, all of the little things that make this place an incredible addition to the neighborhood.



NEVER suggest the playa.

They say patience is a virtue, right?

Today I went downtown with my host mom to run a couple of errands; she needed to stop in the bank and I needed to make a couple photocopies. There are countless busses that pass by our house and go right into the center of downtown, but she insisted that we drive. So I hopped in the car and we headed downtown. Let me just start by saying she is not the best driver that ever got behind the wheel (nor is she the worst). Regardless, she honked her horn and cursed constantly inside the car; the blue Audi ahead of us was a ‘peligro‘ and shouldn’t have been allowed on the road. After forgetting (personally I think she was just too distracted by all of the traffic around us) to turn at the correct street, we meandered the traffic filled streets of the city, hoping to find a parking spot on the side of the road. We drove around for at least a half an hour but could not seem to find a spot anywhere near the bank. We had passed by at least 6 ‘playas‘ or parking lots and so I suggested we pull into one if we go around one more time and can’t find a spot. Lesson learned. I should have kept my mouth shut. After my proposal I got a lecture about how expensive the playas are (6 pesos an hour; $US1.40/hr) and how they are a scam, and how the convenience is not worth it, yada yada yada. So, I bit my lip and tried not to laugh as Susy started getting more and more flustered with the fact that she couldn’t find a parallel spot. A painful 10 minutes later, we finally found a spot somewhat close to the bank. Breathing heavily, cursing, and throwing off her coat, she struggled to fit her auto (sans power steering) into a little parallel spot on a busy downtown street.

After another hysterical experience at the bank and a quick stop at the fotocopiadora, we stopped for a quick coffee and then headed back to find our car. You would think that for all of the effort and time we wasted looking for a spot on the street, it would have been free to park, right? Nope, we both thought wrong. It cost us 4 pesos ( US$0.95) to park for the hour we were downtown. It’s funny what people will do to save 2 pesos. I’m 100% SURE that money we saved in parking, we wasted during our 6 trips around the city. But hey, what do I know.