A critical guide to Detroit's best coffee shops

Java supreme

Feb 18, 2015 at 1:00 am

Whether you want to hang out for seven hours on your laptop uninterrupted, or grab the most amazing third wave, single origin, fair trade Yrgacheff varietal you've ever had in your life and then take off, we've got you covered. All these spots offer free wi-fi, though expect it to not work as well when a shop is crammed with dozens of others huddled over their laptops. Don't forget to tip! Seriously.

Anthology Coffee

1401 Vermont St Detroit MI; 313-355-4040; open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday and Saturday.

Beans: Single origin, roasted in-house.

Brew: Pour-over and espresso, pour-over preferred.

Space: Tucked away in a corner of the Ponyride building, it's rarely crowded; great place to read a book.

Vibe: A little bit like the Seinfeld Soup Nazi, but for coffee.

Food: Very limited but tasty treats.

Pro Tip: The bottles of cold brew are sublime, and stay fresh for a few weeks.

Astro Coffee

2124 Michigan Ave, Detroit; 313-638-2989; Open 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday.

Beans: Stellar selection of single origins from best roasters in the U.S.

Brew: Espresso and pour-overs, with espresso-based drinks reigning.

Space: Packed in tight, so maybe not the best place to work on your novel.

Vibe: Depends greatly on the time of day, but it's friendly and fun.

Food: Small selection of tasty vegetarian food and snacks.

Pro Tip: Don't try to park on that block (Slows!), and by all means get an espresso. They pull the best shots in town, hands down.

Cafe 1923

2287 Holbrook St., Hamtramck; 313-319-8766; Open 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 7 pm. Saturday – Sunday.

Beans: Local blend (Coffee Express Co. in Plymouth, Mich.)

Brew: Espresso drinks.

Space: Superb for visiting with friends or getting some work done. The building itself is a former corner store and features many original elements.

Vibe: Unpretentious, friendly, and open late (like Hamtramck itself).

Food: Limited fare, but inexpensive and generous.

Chazzano Coffee

1737 E. Nine Mile Rd, Ferndale; 248-691-4256; open 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday - Thursday, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday, closed Saturday.

Beans: Roasted on-site, super large variety of fair trade single origins.

Brew: Every single method known to man for brewing coffee is available.

Space: Super small, cozy.

Vibe: You can learn so much about coffee here. It's like a free class on the science of coffee every time you enter.

Food: No food, none.

Pro Tip: Don't ask for a drink with milk in it! Ever. Also, the downside of so many methods and varietals is that the coffee itself is not always "dialed in," especially for espresso. Order a Turkish coffee or French press.

Great Lakes Midtown

3965 Woodward Avenue, Detroit; 313-831-9627; Open 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. Monday – Thursday, 7 a.m. – midnight Friday, 9 a.m. – midnight Saturday, and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday.

Beans: Roasted there, and with an emphasis on single origin.

Brew: Many methods employed expertly, but the big hit is the flat white (sort of a cross between a latte and a cappuccino).

Space: Such an impressive and large spot, it's easy to see why so many tourists flock here.

Vibe: A slightly weird mix of snobby and like they want to be a giant coffee chain.

Food: Tasty, moderately priced.

Pro Tip: Yes, you can get a tasty coffee after 10 p.m. in Detroit (except for Sundays).

Roasting Plant

660 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-782-4291; Open 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday – Sunday.

Beans: Roasted on-site, with four different blends available.

Brew: Espresso, French press.

Space: Tall ceilings, crazy amount of tubes all over the place.

Vibe: Pneumatic tubes shoot roasted beans from the grinder (via a "proprietary system" they call the "Javabot") to their hybrid espresso and French press machines. So, it's like the movie Brazil meets Disneyland.

Food: Treats.

Pro Tip: Try the City Roast.


1464 Gratiot, Detroit; 313-737-6606; Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday.

Beans: Single-origin from local and national roasters.

Brew: There's an espresso machine there, but one rarely hears it sputter to life, as the pour-overs are psychedelically good.

Space: Giant, open, welcoming.

Vibe: Super friendly, relaxed, with strangely excellent music being played at low volume.

Food: A bit pricey, but awesome.

Urban Bean Co.

200 Grand River Ave., Detroit, MI; 313-496-1010; Open 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday.

Beans: Local blend (Great Lakes).

Brew: Pour-over, Drip.

Space: Very cool mid-century modern space that's two stories tall.

Vibe: There's often a DJ on hand mixing live, right there.

Food: Treats (Dutch Girl donuts, almond croissants).

Pro Tip: Head to the upper deck for instant privacy and a cool view.