Cranked Up Coffee is a morning person’s dream

Claire Oliver

man pours coffee
Owner of Cranked Up Coffee Larry Conlon prepares one of his unique coffee drinks inside Scrumpy’s Hard Cider in Old Town, Fort Collins. Conlon recently moved his specialty coffee-bike-serving-business into a tap set up inside the bar. (Brooke Buchan | Collegian)

Coffee can be more than just a pick me up in the morning. It can be an experience. 

Cranked Up Coffee offers that experience with in-house, nitro brewed coffee made from locally sourced ingredients. 

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Larry Conlon started the business on a bike, driving around town with his own creation called a “Kegerator,” which is a keg filled with cold brew coffee inside of a small dorm sized refrigerator. Although the Cranked Up bike can be seen around town, Conlon has settled down to a fixed location in Scrumpy’s Cider Bar. Cranked Up occupies the bar from 7:30-11 a.m., and if the weather is nice after, Conlon heads out on his bike. 

Scrumpy’s stands out for its raw brick walls and pine table top bar. The chairs and lights were all salvaged from an old church and give a warm, comforting vibe to the whole place. The friendly atmosphere paired with the fresh smell of brewed coffee and cider makes it a good place to go in the morning to just sit and watch the sun climb in the sky. Sunlight permeates the bar through the huge east facing windows. 

coffee in a glass
One of Larry Conlon’s unique coffee drinks is prepared inside Scrumpy’s Hard Cider Bar and Pub in Old Town, Fort Collins. (Brooke Buchan | Collegian)

Sitting down at the bar, Conlon serves coffee cocktails of his own invention. When we got there, the bar was beautifully lit, and the coffee was sitting there ready to be poured. It was like walking into a morning person’s dream. We got there at around 8 a.m., and I was already in desperate need for a morning cup of caffeine. Conlon went above and beyond with beautiful drinks poured into cocktail glasses. 

1. Chocolate Shakerato:  First was a double espresso shaken with chocolate called a “chocolate shakerato.” Conlon used a cocktail shaker to mix the espresso and chocolate. The drink was fabulous. It was the perfect blend of chocolate and fresh coffee; I drank the whole thing in five seconds. A double shot of espresso can be really hard to swallow, especially if you drink more cream than coffee usually, but this was smooth and easy to drink. 

matcha coldbrew coffee in a glass
Larry Conlon’s matcha green tea nitro cold-brew is prepared inside Scrumpy’s Hard Cider Bar and Pub in Old Town, Fort Collins. (Brooke Buchan | Collegian)

2.  Italian cream soda: The cream soda for this drink was created using an original recipe. The drink becomes Italian when fresh milk is added, which Conlon delivered fresh from a local Colorado dairy. It was topped with fresh whipped cream and a maraschino cherry, making it look like a morning sundae. There was a small amount of nitro brewed coffee in the mix as well. It was dessert for breakfast, perfect for those who like something on the sweeter side. 

3. No name: The next drink was the most interesting drink and the most creative way to serve coffee I have ever seen.  It doesn’t have a name yet, but it’s like a coffee Manhattan. It is a mixture of grenadine, seltzer, orange and a single cold brew ice cube. It was subtle, intricate and well-balanced. 

4. Nitro Brewed Matcha: Next was my personal favorite: the nitro brewed matcha. I haven’t really had just a shot of matcha, but this was amazing. Conlon mixes the matcha with a secret chia tea recipe, which enhances the flavor of the green drink.

“The matcha green tea is probably our most popular drink right now,” Conlon said. “I make my own chai flavoring and then I add that to the matcha in a special way to make it smooth. There is a special, secret way I do it.”

It is easy to see why this tea is so popular. The drink was smooth and delightful. Other matcha drinks I’ve had can be really sweet, and the real flavor is hidden behind those artificial sweeteners and syrups, but this was pure and naturally

man prepares coffee
Owner of Cranked Up Coffee Larry Conlon prepares one of his unique coffee drinks inside Scrumpy’s Hard Cider in Old Town, Fort Collins. Conlon recently moved his specialty coffee-bike-serving-business into a tap set up inside the bar. (Brooke Buchan | Collegian)

sweetened. It was amazing. 

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Conlon also made a matcha latte with a specialized cinnamon that was also locally sourced. Again, the flavor was bold, naturally sweet and mixed with fresh milk, which made it all the more enjoyable. 

5. Nitro Brewed Coffee: To finish off the morning we had a small glass of pure nitro brewed coffee. It was, in a word, perfect. It was easy to drink and just enjoyable.

“I try and base the recipes off of a particular ingredient that I find interesting and just build the drink around that,” Conlon said.

We took cappuccinos to go, which were delicious, and I was actually sad to leave the place. I will definitely be coming back to sit down and do my homework in one of the sunlit booths. 

Cranked Up Coffee’s Social Media:

Instagram: @crankedupcoffee

Facebook: facebook.com/Cranked-Up-Coffee

Collegian reporter Claire Oliver can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @claire_oliver21.