11 Must Visit Specialty Coffee Shops in Detroit

If you really want to understand a city, just look at its cafe scene. After all, coffee shops are places where communities communicate, collaborate and, of course, drink coffee. In Detroit, the coffee scene has seen an explosion in the last ten years. the city is home to everything from in-house roasters, a cafe and laundry duo, a cafe with technology that roasts beans in seconds, and more. each of these specialty coffee shops serves up a quality cup, but more importantly, provides a space of calm and connection in a fast-paced city.

narrow track coffee

the narrow way cafe, located on detroit’s fashion avenue, is a cafe you should definitely visit. At the narrow gauge cafe, you feel part of the community, even if you’re just visiting. Building community was the goal of this local, minority-owned cafe, founded by brothers David and Jonathon Merritt. The brothers originally operated out of Straight Door International Church, before moving to their current location to connect with the broader Detroit community. the café’s motto is ‘a stress-free environment’, something that becomes apparent the moment you walk in. the sounds of smooth jazz gently fill the cafe, which is small but comfortably packed with locals chatting and working on purple cushioned seats lining one wall. a large front window opens onto the street, giving the cafe an airy feel. Narrow Track Coffee serves quality coffee thanks to its partnership with Zingerman’s, which roasts three unique blends for them. there is also a tempting and extensive milkshake menu. Customers range from local business owners to remote workers and construction workers, and the barista seemed to know all of his names, even remembering mine when he said goodbye to me as I left.

Reading: Best coffee shops in detroit

Monday-Friday 7am-6pm, Saturday 8am-6pm, Sunday closed

popular coffee

populace coffee is one of michigan’s most beloved coffee roasters and a true icon in the state’s third wave coffee movement. Although based in Bay City, Populace Coffee recently opened a small cafe in the lobby of the Siren Hotel in downtown Detroit. as you walk through the hotel lobby, you’ll be greeted by an opulent 1920s atmosphere reminiscent of the days of detroit’s lavish past. complete with writing desks, velvet armchairs, and even an antique divan with cushions, this really is a cozy place to sit (or lie down) and work, or meet up with friends. the populace café menu features a variety of classic beverages with a michigan twist. I ordered the michigan cold brew coffee, complete with maple syrup to sweeten. if you want croissants or pastries, make sure you get there early in the day!

See also: 9 Best Coffee Shops in Oklahoma City to Visit This Weekend

Monday-Sunday 7 am – 4 pm

roasting plant

At first, walking into a roasting plant feels more like walking into a science lab than a cafeteria. this is a very special coffee shop in downtown detroit, where every cup of coffee is roasted not just on the spot, but right when you order it. this is possible with its patented javabot technology. customers simply select the beans and roast style they want. Stored in huge tubes in the center of the cafeteria, selected green beans are shot down convection tubes that run through the ceiling and into the javabot, where they are roasted, ground and prepared. This immersive roastery is definitely a unique experience that cannot be found in any other coffee shop (besides the other roastery locations in New York and London).

Monday-Friday 6am-7pm, Saturday 7am-9pm, Sunday 8am-7pm

crazy coffee

Madcap Coffee opened their doors in downtown Detroit in March 2019. However, they are certainly not new to the coffee scene. Founded in Grand Rapids, Madcap Coffee has been sourcing single-origin beans and creating award-winning roasts for just over a decade. the new detroit location is particularly stylish. it’s light and airy, and not at all sterile like third-wave cafes sometimes feel. the café features tall tables with bag hooks, as well as a large window that opens wide on a hot day for customers to order from outside. Although the madcap pours are impressive, they also have a painstakingly designed menu of drink specials. I chose the nitro float: their Guatemalan hunapu mix served with calder milk ice cream.

See also: 19 Starbucks Caramel Drinks (Including Secret Menu)

Monday-Friday 7am-7pm, Saturday 8am-7pm, Sunday 8am-5pm

urban bean co

urban bean co is truly the embodiment of the phrase “hole in the wall”. This cafe is located on the corner (literally, it’s shaped like a triangle) of the Griswold parking lot in downtown Detroit. . don’t worry though, you won’t miss it due to its bright orange exterior. inside, guests are welcomed into a narrow but cozy space, wafting with the smell of coffee. Of course, it would be difficult to roast your own coffee in this small space, so Urban Bean Co sources its beans from a small, Michigan-based White Pine coffee roaster located on Lake Orion. Following the barista’s recommendation, I ordered the ‘pure evil latte’, an espresso mixed with cherry syrup and steamed milk. it was certainly strong and an example of a small place with a big impact.

Monday-Friday 7am-9pm, Saturday 9am-7pm, Sunday 10am-5pm

photos from: pexels blank space and narrow gauge cafe

See also: Best Coffee Maker for Airbnb 2022


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