Tag Archives: latte

Watching a Detroit Neighborhood Coffee Shop Fill Up.

On this early Saturday morning I started hanging out in Astro Coffee in Detroit right after it opened its doors. Quite empty.

Astro Coffee, Corktown, Detroit, Michigan

Barely a few minutes later all the seats were taken and there was a line out the door at this Corktown neighborhood hot spot. So great to see’

Astro Coffee, Corktown, Detroit, Michigan

The latte was enjoying the morning at the counter…

Astro Coffee, Corktown, Detroit, Michigan, latte

…and on a stool waiting for what’s about to happen.

Astro Coffee, Corktown, Detroit, Michigan, latte

What’s about to happen is lots of people enjoying the neighborhood,  conversation, atmosphere, treats and service that Astro Coffee provides. Oh yeah and delicious, hand-crafted lattes and other coffee drinks.

Astro Coffee, Corktown, Detroit, Michigan, latte

Checkout #ElCafeDe2013 Coffee tip of the week: Choose Your Clothes Wisely for more of the great times I’ve had at Astro Coffee. Back to the latte drinking and people watching!

#ElCafeDe2013: The Coffee of Ann Arbor.

I’ve had lots of coffee in the big city. I’ve had java experiences in small-towns, suburbia and the sticks. More recently though I’ve taken a liking to having coffee in a college town. Ann Arbor in southeastern lower Michigan is home to the prestigious University of Michigan and a thriving independent coffee shop scene.

Your bound to find lots of locals, MacBooks, students and coffee lovers at each. Well without further ado:

Mighty Good Coffee
Right in the heart of town on Main Street, I’ve been known to hang out in the main room there and crank out some work while enjoying a Brown Sugar Sea Salt Latte or two. It’s a bright, open and spacious atmosphere. At the same time towards the back and at right at the entrance there are tables more conducive for conversation and hanging out. The coffee by the way is indeed “Mighty Good!”. Tip: All the lattes, even a basic one are worth a look.

Mighty Good Coffee, Brown Sugar Sea Salt Latte, Ann Arbor

Comet Coffee
This hidden gem, tucked away in the scenic Nickels Arcade caught the eye when I saw they serve Ritual Coffee. I went with a basic latte made with the San Francisco-based coffee beans. It’s in a small space and the latte or coffee drink you’ll get will be smaller than your used too, but worth every penny. The baristas are friendly and extremely knowledgable. They were excited when I told them the coffee hit the spot. Tip: Stay for a few minutes and sit on their outside seating within the arcade and people watch!

Comet Coffee, Latte, Ann Arbor

Comet Coffee, Latte, Ann Arbor

Right on Liberty Street, near the well-known Michigan Theater, is this non-assuming coffee spot. On the way there I actually walked right by it. Once inside I immediately noticed the deserts, rotating yogurt bar and the care they take in handcrafting each individual coffee. From their small coffee menu, I went with a Blue Bottle Roast (another San Francisco-based coffee, score) Bell Donovan Blend pour over.

lab cafe, pour over, Ann Arbor Michigan coffee

I sat on a bar stool alongside, soaking in the urban atmosphere. They set up the space with the point of promoting interaction amongst their customers. I wound up staying a lot longer, striking up a length conversation with another visitor. Tip: Visit more than once to experience some of the best coffee around from Anthology, Handsome Coffee, Intelligentsia, Madcap and more as their menu changes frequently.

lab coffee, Ann Arbor coffee shop pour over

Well it’s time to get back out on the open road to more coffee delicious in Ann Arbor! 🙂

Are there any college towns you would recommend coffee shop hopping in?

Checkout the coffee and breakfast experience I had at Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor.

#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.

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! 🙂

#ElCafeDe2013 Coffee tip of the week: Checkout the Entrance!

I was hanging out at Groove Coffee House in Covington, Kentucky on a day road trip, enjoying a good latte. Part of my routine while enjoying a coffee is to check out the signage, entrance and surrounding area (neighborhood) out front.

In this case Groove Coffee House sat right along Main Street. I got the coffeehouse signage and colorful looking downtown street in one shot. Beautiful!

Groove Coffee House, Covington, Kentucky

It gave me goosebumps and made the coffee that much better. I’m in a scenic town, in a state I hadn’t been in a while, on a day road trip and enjoying a new coffee spot. What could better?! By looking around out front you also might spot somewhere else to go and explore.

Tip #8: When enjoying your coffee make sure to checkout the entrance.

The aforementioned latte.

Groove Coffee House, Covington, Kentucky, latte

Another photo from the entrance, looking straight down the sidewalk.

Groove Coffee House, Covington, Kentucky

#ElCafeDe2013 Coffee tip of the week: A Unique Mug? Do it!

Going to lot’s of coffeehouses and cafés, I’ve had my coffee served in all kinds of cups and mugs. If it’s a mug, a lot of the time, it’s of the generic white or glass variety.

Tip #7: If you can get your coffee served in a colorful, unique, individualized mug from somewhere, do it!

At that moment, your drinking your coffee in something completely different to anyone else there. Checkout this mug that my latte was poured into at Common Grounds Coffee Shoppe in Flowery Branch, Georgia.

Latte, Common Grounds Coffee Shoppe, Flowery Branch, Georgia

Another unique mug I thought I’d share from a while back at Brewtopia in Bay City, Michigan. A perfect compliment to a Peppermint Latte. 🙂

Peppermint Latte, Brewtopia, Bay City, Michigan

I don’t know what it is. I just feel more like at home with unique mug.