"Metro Detroit is about to become what Seattle, WA was in the '90s," says Eat It Detroit blogger Nicole Rupersburg. What is she talking about? A recent boom in coffee culture during the last year which might just allow our Metro-area to overtake Seattle's position as King of Coffee. (Starbucks was born there.) Explains Rupersburg, "Seattle in the '90s, and Starbucks in particular, revived coffee culture from the freeze-dried death it suffered in the '50s. But places like these, who either roast their own beans or get them from high-quality independent roasters who source from small organic farmers, are part of coffee's 'third wave' and beyond." Two years ago, in Ocotber 2009, Chazzano Coffee Roasters set up shop in Ferndale but the year that followed was just insane in terms of openings.
October 2010: Commonwealth Cafe opens in Birmingham; Co-owners and operators Hubert Yaro and James Hayosh also own Ronin sushi restaurant in Royal Oak.
April 2011: Thistle Coffee House opens as a haven for the super-casual freelancer across the street from the popular Bronx Bar.
June 2011: 14 East expands the Midtown coffee offerings by opening in the Park Shelton Building.
July 2011: Astro Coffee opens in Corktown with husband and wife team Daisuke Hughes and Jessica Hicks running it together. "It seems Detroit hipsters are becoming an increasingly homogenized breed," writes Crain's.
July 2011: Ferndale gets back into the game with Torino Espresso Bar on 9 Mile.
October 2011: Two former Brooklynites open Red Hook (the name of a neighborhood in Brooklyn) which serves Stumptown Coffee Roasters, a specialty coffee brewer founded in Portland.
Future: Expect The Bottom Line Coffee House in Midtown shortly, although they have been saying "opening soon" for months, so who really knows.
Final Tally: From October 2010 to October 2011, we averaged a new coffee shop every two months. Whatever the year ahead holds, it is sure to be caffeinated and delicious. "No more drowning bitter, stale espresso shots in milk and sugary syrups," says Rupersburg. "These coffeehouses are to Starbucks what craft beer is to Budweiser."
· Eat It Detroit [Official]
· Coffee shops help stimulate Detroit economy [The Detroit News]
· The joy of coffee: Commonwealth café opens in Birmingham [Freep]
· Astro Coffee: The new Detroit cool [Crain's]
· Midtown coffee buzz: 14 East cafe opens in Park Shelton, The Bottom Line nears completion on Third [Model D]