Monday, July 16, 2012

[HOT LIST] Coffee (redux)

Anthology at MoCAD.

In EID's first-ever Hot List (June 20, 2011), we took a look at our favorite coffee spots in and around Detroit. This simultaneously prompted a more in-depth piece for Metromode on some of our local roasters, and later a shout-out from yours truly on Curbed Detroit christening Detroit as the new Seattle. (For the record, I said it FIRST.) But so much has changed just in the last year, it's already time to re-visit.

Alas, metro Detroit's growing coffee culture has taken a recent hit with the closing of Thistle Coffeehouse, but the seeds have spread and already two more cafes are positioned to take its place: the Bottom Line in Midtown (opening July 23) and the Roasting Plant in the CBD coming this fall. What many of these places have in common is that they are of the next wave of coffeehouses -- the third wave and beyond. Many roast their own beans in-house and are exquisitely conscious of sourcing; the others may not roast themselves but source beans from some of the top roasters in the country (Stumptown, Intelligentsia) who are themselves known for their exquisite sourcing. What you can take away from all of this is that we sure do brew some good java in this here food desert.

#1 Anthology Coffee (Midtown/Corktown)
They sprung onto the scene as a finalist of the first-ever Hatch Detroit seed funding competition last fall, and are now featured in a regular pop-up at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit as they work on the build-out of their very own permanent location in Corktown. Yes Corktown, where Astro Coffee resides, but one can hardly call it competition when Astro uses Anthology's coffee. Given the ample seating, ease of parking and wholly accessible WiFi at the MoCAD space, if it's Anthology's coffee you seek you should probably just go there, the end. Roaster Josh Longsdorff, who still roasts for Birmingham's Commonwealth as well, is a master craftsman and his coffee is probably the best in Detroit. If you'd like to show your support, they're currently crowd-funding for their new roaster and you can pitch in a few bucks in exchange for some goodies here.

#2 The Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co. Institute for Advanced Drinking (Midtown) / Torino Espresso + Bar (Ferndale)
How to choose between two places that serve both coffee AND booze??? You don't. Therefore, tie. The IFAD is newly-opened in Midtown and is already my new favorite place ever, which isn't to say I love my old favorite place ever (Torino) any less. The two establishments might both focus on coffee, cocktails and cheese + charcuterie platters, but the similarities end there. The vibes of each space are entirely different: Great Lakes is a little more rustic-modern, like Brooklyn and LA had a baby in Detroit, where Torino is more urban contemporary, Miami by way of the Midwest. Both have great patios. Be sure to check out the IFAD and if you find you can't decide between coffee or beer, they have the perfect daytime transition beverage: the 50/50, half Short's ControversiALE and half cold brew. As for Torino, they're celebrating their one-year anniversary on Sunday, July 29 with a pork party.

Summer galette from Pinwheel.
#3 The Red Hook (Ferndale)
Stumptown Coffee and Pinwheel Bakery. That they ever close is a source of continual sadness, as is the fact I don't live inside. One of the best pour-overs you'll find in all of greater metro Detroit, and also one of the best bakeries with both sweet and savory treats for every craving. And for realsies, all of it is outstanding.

#4 Commonwealth (Birmingham)
Don't let the fancy Birmingham hausfraus fool you, this place is legit. Outstanding coffee (DUH) and exceptional sustainably-sourced food make this pretty much one of the only places worth ever going to Birmingham for. And I also don't hate that parking in the nearby garage is free for the first two hours. If only there were more places worth visiting in that time ... but screw it, Commonwealth FTW.

#5 Germack Coffee Roasting Co. (Eastern Market)
It might sound ridiculous, but until Germack Coffee Roasting Co. opened in Germack's snazzy new digs in Eastern Market, the market had no coffee roaster to call its own. Now Germack, best known for those pink pistachios, has an adorbs cafe (with WiFi!) and store selling items from local producers like Slow Jams Jam and McClure's Pickles, as well as a variety of looseleaf teas and their own house-roasted coffees. The coffee still has a way to go while they hone their skills, but it definitely shows promise and hey, I can walk there, which on certain days makes it the best place in the whole entire world.

Bubbling under Courage Coffee (Hamtramck), Chazzano Coffee Roasters (Ferndale), Cafe Con Leche (SW Detroit), Astro Coffee (Corktown), the Ugly Mug Cafe (Ypsilanti), Comet Coffee (Ann Arbor), Chez Zara (Detroit), 14 East (Midtown), the (espresso) bar (Ann Arbor), the Lab Cafe (Ann Arbor), Zingerman's Coffee (Ann Arbor), HenriettaHaus Coffee Roasters (Ferndale), Renaissance Roastery (Detroit)

 Pinwheel Bakery on Urbanspoon