One sure fact about me is that I spend probably 30% of my week at coffee shops. Up that percentage to around 45% during the fall and winter semesters. Whether I’m doing homework or just catching up with friends, I find solace in the places that serve up (sometimes pricey) cups of joe. Since I spend most of my year at school up in Lansing, I never have much of an opportunity to explore the coffeehouses of my original stomping grounds. I figured this should probably change, so I decided to go on a Detroit Coffee Tour Extravaganza, popping by and sipping it up at the most talked about, most popular shops in Detroit. Follow my crazy week of caffeine below, along with some nifty photos I took to illustrate my coffee-spending party with you!
Atomic Coffee— Royal Oak, MI
What I ordered: A soy chai latte
I’m not gonna lie- I’ve been to Atomic more than a handful of times. Enough to have a punch card, even. I couldn’t NOT feature it on this list, though (even though it isn't in Detroit). This coffeehouse, located centrally in downtown Royal Oak, is the most distinguishable of all with a giant coffee cup hanging from the outside. They even have a delish breakfast menu too, with options like avocado egg sandwiches and Belgian waffles. Most importantly, my chai latte was one of the creamiest and spiciest ones I’ve ever had. Can we talk about how it looks like there’s a galaxy floating inside of it?
Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co.— Detroit, MI
What I ordered: An iced soy latte
This is the beginning portion on the list of the list of new places for me. I’ve heard about Great Lakes before, but never had the chance to stop in. However, I was not shocked by how much I loved this place, mainly from the industrial interior. Sorry, but I'm a sucker for exposed brick like no other! The city gal in me thrives upon it! Additionally, the shop had original pieces of art lining its walls, making it a humanistic and welcoming space. Coffee-wise, I stuck with my go-to of an iced soy latte and was far from disappointed. It was strong but creamy, and I drank it on a particularly hot day which probably made it taste even better.
The Bottom Line Coffee House— Detroit, MI
What I ordered: A classic drip coffee
The Bottom Line was easily the one of the coolest spaces I've ever been to. I was slightly confused at first when walking up to the shop, not seeing a clear entrance, but once I kept walking I found that the shop is partially underground. It's a small space, lacking in ample seating, but its quirky charm and aesthetic make it a spot where you'd want to become a regular. They even have a separate room with a turntable surrounded by seemingly endless vinyls, and the moment I saw that— I swooooned. That was the selling point. Because I had just come from Great Lakes, I ordered a plain drip coffee without milk, and I was honestly surprised— in a good way! I never really enjoy plain black coffee, but theirs was strong enough to taste the boldness, yet smooth and fruity. I ended up putting half in the fridge and heating it up the next morn, and it still tasted amazing. BTW, I support any place that provides decent leftovers.
Astro— Detroit, MI
What I ordered: An iced almond-cashew milk latte
The day I went to Astro was boiling hot. Miserable even. I brought my bf along with me (he's a barista, so I trust his opinion on all matters coffee related), which was also an excuse to try more than one drink (sharing is caring). I ordered an iced almond-cashew milk latte, as their only non-dairy options for milk are that and oat milk, and my bf ordered a plain macchiato. My latte was more acidic than I'd normally like, but the creaminess and natural sugars in the milk made it fairly sweet. The bf LOVED his macchiato, for the very reason of how acidic it was (#justbaristathingz). My favorite part of this place? The floral mural on the back wall painted by our girl Ouizi, who's painted inside our very own Brooklyn loft! The vibrant florals and bright colors add some light to an otherwise neutral-colored coffee shop, making it a space that all creatives must stop by.
What I ordered: A latte
Located in Ponyride in Corktown, Anthology was the most minimalist space out of all of the shops I visited. It even has its own roasting plant right across from where you order, so the space itself is pretty tight. Because of this, owner Josh Longsdorf (the friendliest guy) has a Kickstarter campaign running to open up shop at a larger location. While at the current space, with pretty floral detailing on the wall and minimal seating, I ordered a plain latte (surprise). It was one of the best plain lattes I had ever drank, but I think I was convinced by how adorable the latte art was (look at the symmetry of that <3, I mean, c'mon). It was a dark roast as well, which is my favorite as it always packs more flavor in.
Germack Coffee Roasting Co.—Detroit, MI
What I ordered: An iced soy vanilla latte
My last stop on my list was Germack, which is our very neighbor at the Brooklyn loft! The space itself is is cozy and warm, with walls filled with different kinds of coffee beans and tea. Stopping by before work, I ordered an iced soy vanilla latte. Word from the wise— it was veeery sweet, so if you don't need sugar through an IV like myself, do not order this! However, if you opt for the sweet choices, this was delicious. The vanilla didn't taste artificial, and they didn't put a ton of ice in the drink which I love (I'm not paying for frozen water). Right in Eastern Market, it's also a great pitstop before kickin' butt on a busy day.
While my wallet didn't have a blast this week, I sure did! Being able to try out all of the coffeehouses that I'd only previously heard of but hadn't become acquainted with made me feel like a real Detroiter. I'm also one for supporting local businesses, and my self tour was a great way to do this. This Saturday, I'll be checking out New Order and taking a coffee class there with my dad! I'll have a blog post up alllll about that next week, but in the meantime, comment below some of your favorite shops that I haven't visited yet. Even tell me your fav drinks to get there! My wallet will be kicking me (again) for asking this, but I'll just pretend I didn't feel it.