14 toasty beverages around Ann Arbor to make the most of your fall
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ANN ARBOR – Fall has finally settled in, and what better way to celebrate than with a toasty beverage?
The Ann Arbor area has tons of options. Read on to find where to get a cup of craft coffee or freshly brewed hot tea, as well as some more unusual hot drink options that will keep you warm this season.
1. Butterfly Pea Flower Latte - Lab
The steel-blue Butterfly Pea Flower Latte at lab café in the State Street District is prime #nofilter material. Coffee comes together with lavender, butterfly pea flower powder, a dollop of honey, and the milk of your choice to make an escape in a cup. Approved by honeybees and Luke Skywalker alike, this blue milky drink is a delightful way to enjoy a little summer with your fall.
2. Espresso - Comet Coffee
Often the best things really do come in small packages, and that’s true twice over at Comet Coffee. Step up to the bar in the petit Nickels Arcade café and ask for a small but mighty shot of espresso - or a double shot if your day really needs a kick in the pants. The small space is perfect for enjoying an espresso in the traditional Italian way. Start with exceptional espresso beans pulled on-demand at the counter into a tiny demitasse cup. Don’t bother to sit down, Italians drink this on-the-go staple fast while the crema - the emulsion of coffee oils that locks in the divine espresso scents - is still at the top. Grab a pastry, tip the barista, and head on your way.
3. Pour-over - Hyperion Coffee Co.
When they want to find the true essence of a coffee, purists turn to the pour-over. This method of serving coffee allows for the most control - perfectly hot water poured over beans ground to just the right thickness makes for the ultimate tasting experience. The folks at Hyperion personally travel the world to find the freshest, most flavorful beans farmed with love and care. When you want to absorb intense coffee flavor, swing by their Ypsilanti tasting room, share your coffee likes and dislikes, and stand by for your bespoke pour-over. They’ll even get nerdy about tasting notes if that’s your jam. True coffee-lovers, rejoice!
4. Selfieccino - Beanberry Cafe
Some days, you just need to become one with your coffee - and, at long last, we have the technology. At BeanBerry Café in downtown Ann Arbor, there is a whiz-bang of a gadget that will print your face right onto your toasty beverage. Order a cappuccino, latte, or anything with a layer of foam on top, and the futuristic Selfieccino machine will print any photo you like right onto the froth. You can get a Cup o’ Joe, a Cup o’ Susan, a Cup o’ Floyd... Whatever your name is, your face can be on coffee. Don’t say Ann Arbor isn’t extra.
5. Campfire Latte - Cultivate
It’s not possible to literally drink in the delightful smells of the campfire, so let’s turn our attention to the best available facsimile, the Campfire Latte at Cultivate: hot coffee and milk served in a tall collins glass with black tea, maple syrup, and smoked sea salt. With this latte, you can drink pure, distilled fall. Step aside, Pumpkin Spice, the Campfire Latte is here to steal your crown in a puff of smoke.
6. Chocolate Chaud - Le Bon Macaron
BREAKING NEWS: It turns out that hot chocolate really can be improved upon! The chocolat chaud at Le Bon Macaron is regular hot chocolate’s classier older sibling. Rich and meant to be enjoyed slowly, this French sipping chocolate is as close as you can get to actually having all of your blood replaced with chocolate. You’re essentially drinking straight melted chocolate, but in a cute little socially acceptable cup. If you’re having trouble restraining yourself from drinking it all in one gulp, get six or twelve colorful macaron cookies to help you pace yourself. Moderation is overrated.
7. Tea Latte - Teaspressa
Feeling a latte or a mocha, but not in a coffee mood? Anything you can do with coffee, Teaspressa can do with tea. With their patent-pending process, the folks at Teaspressa make tea just like espresso is made, and turn these tea shots into lattes, cappuccinos, americanos, etc. Choose from their signature tea lattes or menu of specials, or build your own. Please your eyes as well as your tastebuds: top off your drink with a “beau-tea shot” - a sprinkling of fragrant, vividly-colored tea leaves and flower petals.
8. Cappuccino - Literati Coffee
At Literati Coffee, you will reach peak hygge. You remember, that Danish ideal of cozy perfection we were all nuts about in 2018? Pronounced hoo-ga? Well, it’s staying. Anyhow, put on your chunkiest sweater, select a tempting new novel from the bookshop downstairs - they definitely have the Hygge book - and order a delightful cappuccino - but not after 11 am, or the Italians we so impressed with our refined espresso drinking technique above will surely disown us. A cappuccino is best savored on a slow, snowy morning, both hands wrapped around your steaming cup as you watch the chilly passers-by on Washington Street below. Don’t forget to smell your new book.
9. Golden Milk - RoosRoast
A drink of dazzling gold, the turmeric-laden Golden Milk at RoosRoast packs a healthy punch. Golden Milk is a lesser-known yet dangerously underrated hot (or cold, but that’s not what we are here for), spiced beverage available year-round at RoosRoast. They start with local milk or an alternative milk of your choosing, and simmer it with turmeric root, cardamom, ashwagandha root, vanilla beans, black pepper, and dates for sweetness (and local honey for more sweetness, if you’re a sweetie pie).
10. Matcha Latte - Wilma’s
The folks at Wilma’s are serious about their aesthetically-pleasing food and beverage, and the soft green Matcha Latte is no exception. Featuring ceremonial-grade matcha, a concentrated Japanese tea powder high in chlorophyll and nutrients, this latte is a unique way to drink your greens. Order yours sweetened, or try it straight up to enjoy the rich, vegetal taste and be soothed.
11. Earl Grey - TeaHaus
For a traditional tea experience, visit TeaHaus in downtown Ann Arbor. They’re so into tea, coffee isn’t even offered here -- so don’t ask. Taste an assortment of loose leaf teas, or luxuriate in a pot of freshly steeped Earl Grey, accompanied by a warm scone with fresh clotted cream. (Is a scone truly a scone without clotted cream?) Elevate your childhood tea party dreams and make a reservation for the Full English Tea, served formally with assorted finger sandwiches, a soup of the day, desserts, the aforementioned scones, and, most importantly, all the tea you could hope to drink. A bonus - TeaHaus is home to a certified Tea Sommelier. Go on, stick your pinky out. See how it feels.
12. Black Bear Mocha - Bearclaw Coffee Co.
For an on-the-go kind of day, pull into the drive-thru at Bearclaw Coffee Co. and grab a Black Bear Mocha for the road. Come for the classic mocha with vanilla and blackberry syrup, stay for the generous pile of whipped cream on top. You can walk in if you like, but winter is coming, and wrestling with jackets and hats is a hassle - you really can’t beat a toasty beverage delivered straight to your vehicle.
13. Turkish coffee - Ayse’s Turkish Cafe
If you have yet to experience the joy that is Turkish coffee, stop by Ayse’s Turkish Café and enjoy the traditional preparation. Authentic Turkish coffee is extra finely ground and prepared in an ibrik or a cezve, a small coffee pot. Sugar and cardamom are added during the brewing process, and it is served topped with foam in a beautifully patterned demitasse cup. The coffee is allowed to sit for a few minutes before it is served so that the grounds can sink to the bottom. Sip it alongside a Turkish dessert, and ideally after a full, house-made Turkish feast.
14. Café Miel - Vertex Coffee Roasters
Café Miel is a Spanish - or French, depending on who you ask - preparation of coffee, milk, spices, vanilla, and sweet honey. The folks at Vertex Coffee Roasters offer this sweet concoction for you to enjoy. It can also be ordered in The Sweetie Flight, a sampler including a Café Miel, a spiced mocha, and a regular mocha. The shop prioritizes zero-waste, providing options for re-usable takeaway containers as well as bulk coffee beans - fill your own container or pay a small deposit for the use of one of theirs.
This story was sponsored by Destination Ann Arbor.
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