#ElCafeDe2013: The Coffee of Grand Rapids.

Those that know me know I spend a lot of time at coffee shops. I’m usually working while enjoying the coffee and atmosphere at various establishments. On a weekday morning recently I decided to make an enjoyable day of working and enjoying coffee from various places, while at the same time be out on the open road. I got up before the crack of dawn and made the 2+ hour trek over to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Upon arriving in town at day break, I headed over to my first stop of day Wealthy Street Bakery. I started at a place I knew would serve a great latte. One of their homemade cinnamon rolls sat alongside. The work day was rolling now in style! Checkout my previous post for more on this popular neighborhood bakery.

Wealthy Street Bakery, Grand Rapids, Michigan

After a couple of hours I moved a few blocks down the old-school red bricked Wealthy Street to The Sparrow Coffee Tea & Newstand.

The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand, Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Their name says it all with an expansive offering of coffees, teas, magazines and newspapers along with pastries. The artsy and fun atmosphere inside definitely would help to get the juices flowing as I was going to be in web design mode. To help the cause, I was Looking for something a look stronger at this stop. Their signature “Betemoth”, a shot of espresso deliciousness, was the choice.

The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand, Grand Rapids, Michigan

The cream and sugar stand at Sparrows caught the eye as well as…

The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand, Grand Rapids, Michigan

…their outdoor seating area. A great spot this time of year to enjoy a caffeinated beverage and the Autumn leaves of the neighborhood.

The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Morning became afternoon so I decided to leave the Wealthy Street neighborhood area and head through downtown and across the Grand River to The Bitter End Coffee House.

The Bitter End, coffee, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Upon entering I immediately noticed the old-school art covering the walls of the 100-year-old building. It had the immediate feel of being in a college town as it was filled with students from the nearby Grand Rapids campus of Grand Valley State University. An aspect I don’t come across very often with independent coffee shops is that they are open 24/7. If you have that middle of the night craving in western Michigan, you know where to go now.

The Bitter End, coffee, Grand Rapids, Michigan

I went the specialty coffee route this time, getting one of their signature lattes, the Macaroon Carabella. It definitely hit the spot.

The Bitter End, coffee, Grand Rapids, Michigan

The best was saved for last. I jumped back across the river in the late afternoon into the heart of downtown and came up upon Mad Cap Coffee.

Mad Cap Coffee, Grand Rapids, Michigan

I had been there before, but just to grab a coffee to-go. It was time to enjoy their coffee experience and finish my day of work. I poured over (no pun intended) their pour over offerings and decided on the Luis Reinoso. All the words in its description “delicate, citrus, stone fruit, chocolate” caught the eye. I wandered over to the counter to watch my drink and someone else’s come to life. Can I have them all I said to myself haha.

Lots of #pourover action at @madcapcoffee! #experiencegr #PureMichigan #coffee #travel

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My coffee arrived in a beaker reminding me of chemistry class back in high school. I appreciated the coffee even more after watching it up close be made.

Mad Cap Coffee, Grand Rapids, Michigan, pour over

Mad Cap’s coffee is roasted on site and great care is taken into making each individual coffee. The award-winning knowledge of the baristas also enhances the coffee experience. The open, modern and minimalistic atmosphere, with people working and engaging in conversation made for a great environment to get what I needed done. Being on a corner and with lots of windows, it was great watching people come-and-go through downtown too.

Mad Cap Coffee, Grand Rapids, Michigan, pour over

What a great day! I got to be out on the open road. I got to experience some coffee shops for the first time and got to know others better. I got a lot of work done while consuming a lot of caffeine, meeting lots of new people along the way.

Another working day like this will be in the cards soon I’m sure. The fun part is who knows where that will be! 🙂

4 responses to “#ElCafeDe2013: The Coffee of Grand Rapids.

  1. You sure cover territory in the name of discovering good coffee places!

  2. Haha, “Bitter End” – great name! Let’s just say you’re putting a lot of Midwestern coffee shops on my list. I might have to do some road trips this fall…

    • Yeah, it is a cool name. Definitely. GR is not too far from you. Lots of caffeine and scenic spots to check out, esp. downtown. Will talk about some of the coffee spots right along nearby Lake Michigan soon. 🙂

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