The Ann Arbor area takes no sip for granted. Microbreweries and distilleries are dominating Ann Arbor’s nightlife, while craft cocktails and wine bars grow in popularity. Now, the most important beverage of all, coffee, is viewed not only as a caffeine-fix, but an opportunity to create something special, unique, and delicious.
Let’s start with Mighty Good Coffee. What began as an up and coming study spot, has now evolved into a beloved brand in the community. Mighty Good has expanded to a total of three locations throughout Ann Arbor, and you can find their products being used in various restaurants and cafés (or at home)! The beans are selected from specific farms, roasted in small batches, and packaged quickly to preserve freshness. Founders, David Myers and Jim Levinsohn, say the deliciousness begins with their relationships with farmers, mills and importers. They believe coffee to be a means of togetherness and community building. Mighty Good’s Sea Salt Cocoa Latte is a popular option mixing espresso, sea salt, and the creamiest of chocolate milk from the Michigan-based Calder’s Dairy.
Just outside of Ann Arbor is a small and quaint city, Milan. Here, you will find a close-knit community, expansive farmlands, and a downtown area undergoing a revitalization. Milan Coffee Works has played a pivotal role in Milan’s renaissance, giving students, creatives, and entrepreneurs a place to gather and discuss ideas. They may be best known for their Bourbon Barrel Aged Natural Sumatra, which tastes as though your Irish cream has already been added to your cup of joe!
Now let’s head over to Ypsilanti, a vibrant city 4 miles east of Ann Arbor that has an intense love for coffee. Ypsilanti (or “Ypsi” as the locals call it) is home to three artisanal cafés and roasteries in the walkable downtown area. The Ugly Mug Café has been a staple for students, locals, and visitors for over a decade. The quirky artwork throughout the café, and delicious lattes make The Ugly Mug a must-see in Ypsilanti. Hyperion Coffee Co. primarily operates as a distributor of hand-crafted coffee beans, but stop by their café to sip on the most delicious pour-overs you can imagine. Across the street is Cultivate Coffee & TapHouse – a non-profit organization that works to showcase Michigan-made coffee and beer, while raising funds for local hunger organizations! Cultivate is housed in an old auto-garage, and has quickly become the new hot-spot for meetings, events, and afternoon getaways with friends.
Book lovers are a part of the equation when it comes to coffee in Ann Arbor. Espresso Bar sits atop a delightful independent bookstore in Downtown Ann Arbor called Literatti. Find a unique book by reading the hand-written and detailed staff reviews, then walk upstairs, order a delicious latte, and delve into the first chapter of your new treasure! Just around the corner is Roos Roast, a boldly flavored roastery and cafe that prides itself on their use of ethically sourced beans. Roos Roast is also home to Michigan’s only Loring Roaster – which has a specialized “Flavor Lock Roasting system”, meaning their coffee tastes delicious and takes 80% less energy to produce than other roasters of its size.
Of course, no food-focused article about Ann Arbor could exist without mention of Zingerman’s. Widely known for their mountainous sandwiches, Zingerman’s also dominates the tastebuds of coffee lovers. With rotating specials every month, Zingerman’s calls attention to its Dirty Sheed which is made of two shots of espresso, a shot of Mexican vanilla, ice, and cream. Coffee purists may scoff at the sweetness, because the Mexican vanilla is the true star of this tasty beverage!
Plan your coffee excursion to Ann Arbor today by checking out visitannarbor.org.