Yeti’s Grind

Community Buzz + the Art of Lattes

Friendly smiles and the warm smells of coffee greet guests at the three locations of Yeti’s Grind in Vail Valley. Sometimes the line for a latte is out the door, like in Vail, or sometimes there are dogs enjoying a pup-accino along with their humans’ sipping drinks, like at the local neighborhood stores of Eagle and Edwards. Throughout each local store the baristas are committed to excellence. Churning out specialty lattes in under three minutes along with serving locally made baked goods, all while keeping cool and positive, makes the team of coffee artists special and unique at Yeti’s.

Yeti's

Photos by Senna Leith

Owner Marci Leith believes what makes Yeti’s unique is their great coffee, good food and friendly vibe. Leith and her husband, Larry, have owned Yeti’s since 2018 after partnering with original owners Tara and Nate Picklo who started the first location in Eagle in 2007, followed shortly after with a second in Vail.

With over nine years of experience as a barista, Schab finds a bit of zen in art of latte making. “I worked at the Vail location for several years. That place gets very busy!” she exclaims. “I constantly have to remind myself, jovially, ‘it’s just coffee, and the earth will continue to spin around the sun,’ and that makes it easier to work at a steady pace while getting the guests their orders in a timely manner,” she adds. Now she helps with training new baristas at the Edwards location and finds teaching helps make her a better barista.

Yeti’s Guide to Coffee Drinks

Ever wonder what the difference between a latte and a cappuccino is? What’s a traditional macchiato verses something found at the coffee shop chain store? Here’s a quick explanation of some popular coffee drinks like the ones found at Yeti’s Grind.

  • Drip Coffee- brewed coffee, ask for it black or add your own cream and sugar
  • Toddy- cold brewed coffee concentrate, made by soaking beans for 12-18 hours resulting in a less acidic and bitter taste
  • Espresso- made by pushing pressurized hot water through finely-ground, tightly-tamped coffee. Single and double shots make up the espresso drinks.
  • Cappuccino- one-third espresso, one-third hot milk, and one-third milk foam. A dry cappuccino has less milk.
  • Latte- one-third espresso, two-thirds hot milk, topped with microfoam made into beautiful hearts
  • Mocha- latte sweetened with chocolate syrup or cocoa powder
  • Specialty Lattes- in-house latte concoctions sweetened with complimentary syrups and sauces
  • Macchiato- “Macchiato” means “stain” in Italian. This drink gets its name from the mark made by a swirl of foamed milk when it’s dropped into an espresso shot.
  • Cortado- equal parts single shot of espresso and steamed milk served in a small glass, a.k.a. mini latte.
  • Americano- hot water added to a single or double shot of espresso. This results in a cup of coffee with a similar strength and caffeine content to a cup of black coffee, though it will have a different flavor and mouthfeel.

The Yeti’s team has the recipe for success, shown by being voted the best coffee shop in the Valley since 2018. “We keep trying to be great,” says Leith.

Partnering with the best roasters in Denver who are committed to high quality products — from the farmers to the coffee shops — the Sweet Bloom team gives Yeti’s Grind that unique taste. Leith believes their passionate coffee provider keeps filling their cup of excellence by sourcing beans from around the world. The Yeti’s Blend, made specifically for high elevation brewing, is served in every espresso shot. Corvus Roastery beans are used in the drip coffee offering a medium bold taste.

Another ingredient in Yeti’s success is the friendly atmosphere, starting with a greeting from every barista. Mariah Schab, who’s been a barista at Yeti’s for over five years, says that Yeti’s is exceptional because they only hire people with a positive attitude. “There will never be a guest experience that doesn’t involve a lovely interaction with their barista,” she adds.

The java buzz and constant sound of espresso grinding might also contribute to the atmosphere at all three of Yeti’s locations. Specialty lattes with Colorado themed names, such as Moose Tracks or Mountain Mint, include a shot of espresso, steamed or alternative milk and a mixture of syrups and sauces to sweeten the drink. Other espresso drinks like cappuccinos, cortados, macchiatos and americanos are popular for those wanting a purer coffee taste. Drip coffee, cold brew, tea, chai, matcha, steamer and cold drinks can also be found on the menu.

Keeping calm and multitasking are needed skills for Yeti’s baristas, along with learning how to properly steam milk and pour magnificent latte art. The baristas at Yeti’s are known for these skills and providing a space for both locals and tourists to gather. Lilly Ames, the manager at the Edwards shop finds coffee shops are a place where all ages are welcomed. She’s inspired to create a comforting atmosphere at the newest location. She believes the personal connections with regulars mixed with a warm mug in your hands creates an inviting space for guests to enjoy.
Yeti’s newest location in Edwards opened their doors in November 2021 with a modern look but the same friendly attitudes. “While the two locations were great, we felt like we should add another right in the middle,” Leith describes when planning for their newest location in the Edwards Village Center across from the post office. “It’s really great being apart of the community here.”

“Since we opened the doors, the community has shown such an appreciation for what our spot offers, which the town was lacking before,” says Ames. “Somewhere with plenty of workspace options mixed with comfortable seating for meetups with good friends.”

Leith believes the design of the space speaks to building community. The accordion style doors and windows will open in the summer allowing a fresh breeze and space for outdoor seating. “We want a place where community can come to have great coffee and connect,” shares Leith.

New editions to the menu at the Edwards location will include summer drinks, bowls, salads and ice cream bars. “All this topped off with some gorgeous art made by our talented Vail manager will be going up; it has me really excited to see what comes of our new location,” says Ames. Ames and Leith are also hoping to offer weekend music to help liven up the community feel over the summer.

When asked about their favorite drinks at Yeti’s, Schab, Leith, and Ames all agree that the Salted Maple latte and cappuccino are some of the best. They also recommend the cold brew, matcha, Cocomel and an iced oat milk latte with honey for the summer. Stop by at one of the three locations in the Valley for your next java high.

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