Restaurants / Small Business Spotlights

Delightful Michigan Coffee You Can Make at Home

The unexpected transition to working from home that so many of us experienced in 2020 was jarring for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons, for a lot of people, was the sudden shift from coffee shop runs before work to making coffee at home every morning. Over a year into the pandemic, our at-home coffee game is stronger than ever. Thanks to some awesome Michigan-based coffee roasters, we can brew cafe-quality bagged beans at home.

When you think of Michigan brews, coffee is probably not the first thing to come to mind. But in addition to our state’s beer culture, we have really great coffee roasted right here in Michigan. 

Most of this coffee is perfect for regular ol’ drip coffee machines, so no need for anything fancy. With one caveat. A lot of these are only sold as whole-bean coffee. If you don’t already have a grinder, you’ll want to invest in one. I have a little Krups hand-me-down that I’m pretty sure is older than me. It works like a dream (you can buy one new for $20). They’re inexpensive and super easy to use, and they’ll take your coffee game to the next level. 

I’m excited to share some of my favorite Michigan-based coffee companies. Order a bag and pour some Mitten magic into your morning routine!

Espresso Elevado (Plymouth, MI) 

The first word that comes to mind with Espresso Elevado (E2) is “cozy,” and the second is probably “quality.” The tiny coffee shop, consistently rated one of the best in Metro Detroit, is one of the first in the area to feature pour-over style coffee. E2 features knowledgeable and friendly baristas in the middle of downtown Plymouth, with a brew bar currently open for walk-up service. They also ship their own blends of whole beans nationwide. With Route 606 as their house blend (nutty, with notes of caramel, cherry, orange rind, and light lemon), this place is a must-try. 

The Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company (Detroit, MI)

For in-person options, this Detroit-based coffee company has an awesome space in Midtown that serves not only coffee but really great food and even some beer and wine. In fact, Joe Biden himself stopped by the cafe a few years ago. But for at-home drinking, you can find a great variety of high-quality and responsibly-sourced coffees. For the truly coffee-committed, there’s a Coffee of the Month Club offering a monthly coffee subscription so you never have to go without.

Kalamazoo Coffee Company (Kalamazoo, MI)

Located on the west side of Michigan in Kalamazoo (home to Bell’s Brewery and Sweetwater’s Donuts), Kalamazoo Coffee Company roasts their coffee on-site. Backpackers Blend is their best-selling coffee which is not at all surprising –  this stuff is good. The caramel-y notes are subtle enough that the star is still the coffee itself, with some added warmth and flavor. You can buy this – and all their coffee – through their website, and I’ve also found it at Meijer.

Madcap Coffee Company (Grand Rapids, MI)

We all know Grand Rapids is Beer City, USA, but don’t sleep on its coffee offerings. Madcap has been around since 2008 and they embody great and ethical business practices – something you don’t always find when it comes to coffee. They roast their coffee in Grand Rapids and that’s where most of their physical presence is, but they also have a cafe in Detroit, and they ship everywhere. I’d recommend the Three One Three to start with.

Populace Coffee (Bay City, MI)

Populace has a roastery and cafe in Bay City, but they supply coffee to restaurants around the state. I love their coffee, but I also love that they are very rooted in the community and really support their partner businesses. During the worst of COVID, they sold bags of coffee branded for all of their restaurant partners, with proceeds supporting those businesses. Their House Blend is one of my favorite coffees of all time, and they also make great seasonal blends, in addition to the new single origin that they recently started producing. 

Qahwah House (Dearborn, MI)

You can’t get more authentic or closer to the source than Yemeni coffee, and Qahwah House offers just that. Yemen’s Port of Mocha is the original source of the world’s coffee, and that’s where Qahwah House gets its beans. A visit to their Dearborn cafe should be on everyone’s Michigan bucket list. There is nothing in the world like freshly and expertly made Yemeni coffee and tea. But they also ship their beans so you can try some at home. The Sana’ani Blend, which is mixed with cardamom, is indescribably good – especially mixed with some cream. 

Strange Matter Coffee (Lansing, MI)

When Strange Matter opened, they were a little cafe in Lansing that had really awesome coffee served in beakers and a really great working space. I spent a lot of time writing here when I was at Michigan State and after, when I was working in Lansing, it was one of my favorite meeting spots. They’ve since expanded and added their own coffee roaster, which means they have beans available to ship. Pour it into a (heatproof) beaker if you want the full effect from the comfort of your home. 

Truck Stop Organics (Traverse City, MI)

Roasted in Traverse City, Truck Stop coffee tastes great and is really affordable. This is another one that I’ve seen at my local Meijer, but you can also buy through their website – especially if you want it at its freshest. The Big Rig Roast is a favorite in our house – it’s dark and bold without being too overwhelming. 

We’re lucky to have lots of great beverage options in our state, and the coffee is no exception! What are we missing?  In the comments, share your favorite made-in-Michigan coffee fix! 

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