Tag Archives: coffee shop

An Ann Arbor Coffee and A Drive During the Polar Vortex

We just escaped what was deemed the “Polar Vortex” here in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Midwest. Temperatures were brutally cold never getting close to 0 degrees Fahrenheit for two days. You add in the wind and it was pure misery. That didn’t stop me from capturing the scene at dawn during an Ann Arbor coffee and a drive.

A lot of shops and places were closed during this time for good reason, but Roos Roast, a popular Ann Arbor coffee shop and roaster, was open. It was a great thing in that it gave people a place to come in and warm up and have some hot caffeinated beverages.

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Roos Roast coffee shop

You could tell how cold it was based on the ice on the windows which you can normally see right through.

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Roos Roast coffee shop

I absolutely love the Roos Roast coffee mugs. The coffee of choice to put in it on this morning was some basic drip coffee made from their signature Lobster Butter Love coffee beans. I always wanted to capture this mug with a Main Street backdrop. It took -16 degree (actual temperature) conditions for me to do so.

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Roos Roast morning coffee - Main Street

Magical. While I was capturing about a block away from the shop, I directed a couple of police officers that were looking for an open coffee shop. They had wondered where I got this cup of coffee.

No worries as I did not drink any coffee out here. My gloves were also on stand by. I took these shots and I was quickly back inside warming up. The good thing is that the bitter cold lad to a lot less traffic which enabled me to stand right in the middle of Main Street to capture.

Ann Arbor bucket list item, check!!!

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Roos Roast morning coffee - Main Street

After freezing with my cup of coffee, then warming up, it was time for a drive. I headed for quick stroll down Huron River Drive. I’ve mentioned this route on nultiple occassions as it is beautiful no matter what time of year. That certainly holds true in arctic like conditions.

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive - sunrise

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

The sun coming out in full swing did nothing for the temperature. It just magnified the winter beauty that this part of Ann Arbor and Huron River Drive gives off. Again -16 degrees, brrrr.

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

Ann Arbor Polar Vortex 2019 - Huron River Drive

It was a shivering but fun morning doing one of favorite Ann Arbor activities, getting a coffee and going for a drive down Huron River Drive.

Have you ever found yourself in bitter cold conditions in your travels? Ever come into contact with a Polar Vortex?

The 2018 Coffee Moment(s) for Me

Happy Holidays to all! 2018 is almost in the books. It’s been another coffee filled year. Shocking I know! I’ve enjoyed numerous coffees via the AeroPress, French Press and various pour over devices along with an endless number and variety of specialty lattes. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

Ann Arbor coffee in 2018, Michigan coffee experiences

My coffee experiences this year have been confined to mostly the Ann Arbor area in Michigan. Traveling has been infrequent as we got ready for and brought another little future coffee drinker into the world.

2018 in coffee is highlighted by the Pixgram Video below. The background song choice this year is “Waking Up” by Dexter Britain. How fitting since I tend to drink a lot of my coffee in the waking hours of the day!

The cover photo honor and most memorable moment this year goes to a summer experience I had at Comet Coffee. I took part in a Japanese iced coffee tasting as part of Ann Arbor’s first Caffeine Crawl. What a day bouncing between shops, mingling with shop owners, baristas and other fellow coffee lovers. It was also memorable because it increased my interest for learning about cold coffee. In fact you have to love any coffee experience at this shop because it sits right within the architecturally beautiful Nickels Arcade right across from the University of Michigan.

All of the coffee photos in the video came from my Coffee Ann Arbor Instagram account. The memorable experiences in this little part of the world for coffee lovers seems to be endless.

Too many more coffee moments in 2019! I look forward to seeing you all in Ann Arbor and beyond out on the caffeinated open road. Cheers! Aaron

Check out the great coffee moments from last year in The 2017 Coffee Moment(s) for Me.

Atlanta Coffee Time in the Airport at Cafe Intermezzo

Lots of people have favorite spots to hang out at in airports they frequent. Of course with me it would be a place that serves and knows coffee. Café Intermezzo is my Atlanta coffee spot in an airport I have been in hundreds of times, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Atlanta coffee at Cafe Intermezzo, Concourse B, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport

Whether I’m coming or going or just passing through, you’ll find me sitting at the bar staring at the larger than life old-school Italian espresso machine.

Cafe Intermezzo, Concourse B, Atlanta airport, Italian espresso machine

I became familiar with Café Intermezzo years ago from visiting their Midtown Atlanta location.

On that visit to Midtown it was a coffee cocktail. That holds firm every time I run to their airport shop in Concourse B. Of course I never take off or arrive in that concourse, but that never stops me.

An Irish coffee is the way I roll asking for Jameson whiskey. Copious amounts of whipped cream sits on top of the whiskey and coffee deliciousness. The drink always takes the edge off, especially before a flight.

Cafe Intermezzo, Concourse B, Atlanta airport - Irish coffee

Atlanta coffee at Cafe Intermezzo, Concourse B, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport

Cafe Intermezzo, Concourse B, Atlanta airport, Irish coffee

Besides the espresso machine, its fun just hanging out and engaging with the baristas or random fellow traveler.

Cafe Intermezzo, Concourse B, Atlanta airport, Irish coffee with Jameson whiskey

Sitting in Cafe Intermezzo gives off the feeling of being in a coffee shop, bakery, restaurant and book store all in one. Besides coffee and cocktails, a full food menu awaits with endless cheesecake and dessert options.

Cafe Intermezzo, Concourse B, Atlanta airport

Cafe Intermezzo, Concourse B, Atlanta airport

Cafe Intermezzo, Concourse B, Atlanta airport

Atlanta coffee at Cafe Intermezzo, Concourse B, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport

Atlanta coffee at Cafe Intermezzo, Concourse B, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport

At some point I will indulge in their other offerings, which I’ve heard great things about. Until then just look for someone hanging out by the espresso machine sipping coffee next time you are in Atlanta’s airport.

Cafe Intermezzo, Concourse B, Atlanta airport, Irish coffee

Do you have a favorite spot to hang out at in an airport you frequent?

A True Fort Myers Coffee Experience Awaits at Rebel Coffee Roastery

While back in Southwest Florida recently visiting family, I came to the realization that I had never been to an indie coffee shop in my times down there. Wait how did that happen?! Well my family and I happen to be in Downtown Fort Myers one day and my wife asked if I wanted to stop at a local shop. Right then and there I decided to put an end to the madness and did a Google search for “coffee shops near me”.

A few minutes later we were parking on the red brick of Broadway street right in front of Rebel Coffee Roastery & Tea Lounge. This was the shop that immediately peaked my interest from the search results. “In-house roasted beans” and “roastery” were the key terms.

Rebel Coffee Roastery & Tea Lounge - Downtown Fort Myers

Upon entering the well-designed light blue outside storefront, there lied the roaster and large burlap bags of coffee beans. I knew they meant business.

Rebel Coffee Roastery & Tea Lounge - Ft. Myers, Florida

Rebel Coffee Roastery & Tea Lounge - Ft. Myers, Florida

After looking at the extensive coffee offerings hand-written on the chalk menu, as well as their large bean selection, I went with a pour over. Ethiopian Yirgacheefe was the bean choice. I’m on kick recently of using beans from this Ethiopian region, known to many as the birthplace of coffee.

Rebel Coffee Roastery & Tea Lounge - Ft. Myers, Florida

Rebel Coffee Roastery & Tea Lounge, pour over coffee

Rebel Coffee Roastery & Tea Lounge, pour over coffee

Espresso and handcrafted drinks, lattes, hot and iced coffee all filled up the menu.

Rebel Coffee Roastery & Tea Lounge - Ft. Myers, Florida

Tea is also in their name. Rebel Coffee Roastery & Tea Lounge has 600 loose leaf tea options awaiting.

Rebel Coffee Roastery & Tea Lounge - Ft. Myers, Florida

Rebel Coffee Roastery & Tea Lounge - Ft. Myers, Florida

It was a typical hot and humid Southwest Florida day. Nevertheless, hot coffee is how I roll, especially when at a shop for the first time. My coffee choice definitely didn’t disappoint. My wife ordered a more sensible iced vanilla latte considering the weather ha-ha. She said it was good and very refreshing. Our little one took to some of their pastry offerings. I didn’t experience, but they do offer a full breakfast, lunch and dinner assortment as well.

Rebel Coffee, Fort Myers, Florida, refreshing iced coffee

After hanging out in the expansive shop which opened in late 2016, I took the time to admire the coffee, and outside storefront alongside the brick and palm tree-lined road. What you don’t see is that there is a Starbucks literally right next store off to the right. This shop you could say is being a coffee “rebel”, which is where their idea for the shop name came from.

Rebel Coffee Roastery & Tea Lounge - Ft. Myers, Florida

Rebel Coffee Roastery & Tea Lounge - Ft. Myers, Florida

Downtown Ft. Myers, Florida

The fact that they roast their green coffee beans gourmet-style and very slowly was very refreshing to see. You can tell the great care they take all the way to the pouring of coffee in the cup. The baristas were very knowledgeable and easy to talk to.

Rebel Coffee Roastery & Tea Lounge - Ft. Myers, Florida

Sometimes the best shops I experience are ones I visit unplanned. Rebel Coffee Roastery & Tea Lounge is no exception. Whenever you are in the heart of Downtown Fort Myers and need some fuel or tea, I highly recommend stopping in.

Rebel Coffee Roastery & Tea Lounge - Ft. Myers, Florida

Do you recommend any other independent coffee shops in Fort Myers and Southwest Florida?

Chicago’s Sawada Coffee and Its Military Latte

Chicago and its coffee scene has been on the mind a lot lately. Its been a minute since I last experienced. A coffee drink that is near the forefront of my thoughts is the Instagram friendly and visually appealing Military Latte.

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop, Military Latte

The Military Latte is the creation of Sawada Coffee. I got my first experience of the West Loop neighborhood coffee gem on my most recent personal Chicago coffee crawl.

On an early morning I entered Sawada Coffee off North Green Street. I headed up a darken set of stairs that sat in the back of Hogsalt Hospitality’s Green Street Smoked Meats, for which this coffee shop is a part of. It’s kind of ironic that green is in the name of the restaurant.

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop

It was a happening West Loop scene as I waited my time to order from the true Americana themed counter. Sawada offers a variety of pour overs, other lattes, chais and espresso drinks. Those things hardly registered with me at the time though as it was going to be the Military Latte all the way.

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop

Tea-based latte? Coffee-based latte? How about both. Espresso and matcha working together. Add some vanilla syrup for sweetness, cocoa powder and with the green tea sitting amongst the foam you had a coffee presentation unmatched in the city. Back to the word green it is!

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop, Military Latte

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop, Military Latte

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop, Military Latte

I enjoyed the unique goodness amongst all the twinkling lights hanging from the ceiling in the aesthetically pleasing coffee shop.

Sawada is named after its founder Hiroshi Sawada who also owns five coffee chops in Japan (making note) and is a World Champion Latte artist. I can easily see why. The Military Latte is not all looks though. It has all the substance and the unique flavor one could only want in a latte. I sipped slowly after my photo shoot. No worries I did drink it hot!

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop, Military Latte

I look forward to getting back to Sawada Coffee, other favorite spots and exploring more of the Chicago coffee scene again soon. Military Latte cheers to all!

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop, Military Latte

You can find Sawada Coffee on Instagram.

Which Chicago coffee shops do you have fond memories of and would recommend checking out?