Coffee Shops Ann Arbor – 10 Amazing Places to Check Out

11 mins read
coffee shops ann arbor
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Welcome to coffee heaven! Ann Arbor, Michigan is the delightful county town of Washtenaw County and most importantly, a caffeine central. Ann Arbor is known as the “City of Trees” and has a plethora of non-chain coffee stores.

This little college town has welcomed the coffee culture and is home to many coffee and tea shops scattered throughout downtown Ann Arbor, Mi. These coffee houses have put their unique twists on the classic cup of joe. Step away from the regular coffee chains like Starbucks and explore one of these special coffee shops Ann Arbor is home to instead.

A coffee bar does so much more than deliver an awakening jolt to a dull mind. A good coffee shop offers a productive place for students to get work done, a social lounge, and an entertainment zone. Luckily, this is exactly what all the coffee shops Ann Arbor is home to offer to their customers.

Since Ann Arbor is an educational hub with several colleges in and around town it makes sense for it to have a variety of coffee shops that dispense caffeine to college students looking for a way to start the day off strong or fuel monotonous study sessions and provide a welcoming atmosphere, attracting customers.

If you are a college student searching for a calming place to study that smells of rich coffee, you’re in luck! There are several coffee shops Ann Arbor has that provide a productive study environment, a place to meet other students just like yourself, and a pit-stop to refuel with some great drinks and food.

Some of these shops even roast their own coffee beans. As the aroma of roasted coffee beans spills out onto the street, you would most definitely find it difficult to resist walking in.

Places like RoosRoast and Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea with a student-friendly environment and the aesthetic Lab Cafe are local favorites. There is a caffeination station for everyone! Each coffee bar has its own theme and twist on coffee and its ambiance, leaving a whole list of must-visit places. So, here’s a compiled list of the 7 best coffee shops Ann Arbor has.

1. RoosRoast Coffee

RoosRoast Coffee has multiple locations: Rosewood Street and Liberty Street. Both locations have a vibrant exterior and interesting interior with video game tables and eclectic decor.

You can also find them regularly at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s market. John Roos, the owner, is a local roaster and his out-of-the-box approach is reflected in the quirky interiors and oddly named coffee beans. They also have outdoor seating if you’d like to get some fresh air while you sip on your coffee.

This place has friendly staff who are well-versed in the coffee world and can provide guidance to their customers. This is one of the larger coffee stores in Ann Arbor so it is quite spacious inside and is inviting to those looking for a productive workspace.

As an added perk to this delightful place, it has been running on solar power since the summer of 2020! It boasts of an eco-friendly, modern roaster that provides customers with possibly the best coffee in the state of Michigan!

Their Lobster Butter Love roast and breakfast burritos and sandwiches have great reviews from customers and are must-tries. Avocado on toast is another great breakfast option that RoosRoast Coffee offers. They are ready for grab-and-go in case you are running late. For more information, you may visit their website as they are always adding new things. They provide the full menu and several pictures of the food on their site: RoosRoast Coffee.

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Image by Alexandra Gorn from unsplash.com / copyright 2017

2. Black Diesel Coffee

This is one of the independent, picturesque coffee shops Ann Arbor has and is located on E. Stadium Boulevard. They sell loose tea leaves and single estate coffees, meaning their coffee flavors are unique. They also offer the service of ordering coffee online ahead of time so that you can just grab it when you are in a rush. Nevertheless, their menu doesn’t just stop at coffee and tea; they also have breakfast, lunch, snacks, and even dessert! Black Diesel Coffee serves excellent gelato seasonally if you are craving some gelato.

This is a student-friendly cafe that runs during student-friendly hours and even has a printer available for students who may want to finish some work while enjoying a caffeine boost or a quick bite. You can enjoy your food and drinks while relaxing to the beat of the good music they play.

They have outdoor seating, although not everyone may not enjoy that since the Black Diesel Coffee store is located on a busy street and has a limited indoor seating area adorned with modern decor.

Skilled baristas run the coffee bar and are always ready to assist. They offer quality training to their baristas. They have their own barista school called BD Barista School, a product of the internal training provided to baristas working at Black Diesel Coffee.

This barista school has successfully completed the SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) Premier Training Campus program, meaning that they teach according to the standards of SCA and produce certified barista, professional graduates. The barista school is located about 15 minutes away from the coffee shop. For more information about the coffee shop or barista school, you can visit Black Diesel Coffee’s main website.

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3. Lab Cafe

Lab Cafe, a Liberty Street coffee shop, is one of the most “Instagrammable” coffee shops Ann Arbor is home to, and this place is often described as “shabby-chic.” With a minimalistic exterior and interior, this light and airy coffee shop offers a wide range of innovative coffee flavors and shows off its brilliant pastries and cakes in artful displays. However, the inside seating is quite limited.

Although on the pricier end, their lattes are sure to fire up your taste buds. The ginger turmeric latte is a unique one that they offer, and it comes with splendid latte art done by their very talented baristas. Their lavender honey latte might be the tastiest latte you’ve ever had, and if you have a sweet tooth, the brown sugar latte is highly recommended. Visit their Instagram page for an idea of the aesthetic nature of this mighty good coffee shop and the treats they offer.

4. Comet Coffee

Where coffee meets arcade, Comet Coffee shop is located in the Nickels Arcade with a glass roof and vintage atmosphere, providing a great vibe though it is a tiny, intimate space. Although this is not much work-friendly space since they tend to discourage laptops, it is a great place to read a book or chat over a cup of coffee if you have company. It is a great place to take pictures as well.

They offer exquisite coffee blends, and every cup is brewed to utmost perfection. This is one of the only coffee shops Ann Arbor has that specializes in pour-over coffees, and their pour-over selection changes frequently, so there is always something new to try. For those new to this term, a pour-over coffee involves scalding water over coffee grounds that sit in a filter over the cup. Most coffee lovers prefer this as this method gives the customer greater control over the taste and strength of the brew. The drip coffees are also great here.

This area often gets busy as it is right near a college campus, making it difficult to find parking here. You will often find college students swarming in and around this coffee shop.

Comet Coffee also offers pastries, baked goods like croissants, and coffee-making equipment that you can purchase if you want to make your own coffee. Visit their website to purchase gift cards or other merchandise: Comet Coffee. Check out their Instagram page for information on their opening and closing hours.

pour over coffee
Image by Emma Smith from unsplash.com / copyright 2018

5. Zingerman’s Coffee Company

Zingerman’s Coffee Company of Ann Arbor, Mi, is a wholesale roaster that supplies local businesses and cafes with amazing coffees and is a top choice for all coffee lovers. This hidden gem of Ann Arbor offers small-batch coffees at their local coffee store on Plaza Drive.

Their baristas have carefully crafted a menu of espresso drinks and drip coffees from freshly roasted beans. They use various hand brewing methods, each with its trademark taste, like pour-over, French press, and siphon. There is also a window through which you can watch and enjoy the coffee-making process, making the experience fun and memorable.

Each and every type of bean and blend has a unique flavor profile based on the type of hand brewing method it undergoes, leaving customers with a plethora of new flavors to try each time they visit – it’s impossible to get bored of this place! And the knowledgeable baristas guide you through all the coffees they serve. Their Tree Town Blend is a local favorite.

If you’re looking for a non-caffeinated drink, they offer herbal teas, fruit smoothies, hot cocoa, and decaf coffees (their most popular one is called Detroit Street Decaf).

Apart from the drinks, they serve cheese, spices, roasted nuts, candy bars, and pastries from Zingerman’s Bakehouse. Zingerman’s Coffee Company is located right near Zingerman’s Bakehouse, Zingerman’s Candy Manufactory, and Zingerman’s Creamery, leaving plenty of food options for customers to choose from based on personal cravings. Even better, they are located in the same area, so you can get all you need in one convenient spot instead of traveling back and forth.

There is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, which is a great environment for those who want to get some work done. Parking is not a problem either in this area. For more information on their coffees, cafe, and any upcoming events, visit their website: Zingerman’s Coffee Company.

6. 19 Drips Coffee

19 Drips Coffee shop is your local third-wave caffeine pit-stop located on Liberty Street and is one of the locally owned coffee shops in Ann Arbor. This place is run by a friendly, local father and son duo and is top-rated amongst all the coffee shops. Ann Arbor has proven by the several 5-star reviews satisfied customers have given it. You will likely receive a warm greeting from this family right as you walk in, making your coffee experience merrier!

19 Drips offers Ethiopian artisan coffee, making it stand out from the other coffee houses. Their specialty drinks are 19’s Tea, mocha latte, and classic latte. Both of their signature lattes come with beautiful latte art. Their chai tea has gained quite a few positive reviews as well. In contrast to other coffee shops, the coffee beans here are lightly roasted, reflecting the owners’ Yemenese roots.

Stop by this small but delightful coffee shop that serves impeccable coffee and tea with a welcoming atmosphere. Visit their website for news and detailed reviews about the cafe: 19 Drips Coffee.

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7. Vertex Coffee Roasters

Vertex Coffee Roasters is located on South University Ave. and offers all customers a welcoming and inclusive environment. It is typically a busy area, and you will find several people from town and university.

Their cafe menu features great coffees at reasonable prices, like their drip coffee, house-made chai, and canned flash-chilled coffee to take on the go. Apart from coffee, they also serve teas and other specialty drinks like a honey lavender latte. They also have a separate roasts menu providing a detailed list of the tasting notes, roast level, and farm source on their website.

Vertex Coffee Roasters follow a zero-waste lifestyle and provide opportunities for the community to participate in giving back to the environment. It is one of the most environmentally friendly coffee shops Ann Arbor has. Most of the products they use in the coffee shop are compostable. For example, their coffee bags, to-go cups, straws, and food waste are all compostable items. Anything that cannot be composted is recycled instead. They also reuse and reduce by utilizing bins to store coffee instead of one-time-use bags. Customers can participate by bringing their own travel mugs for their coffee drinks.

Apart from serving amazing coffee and going out on a zero-waste lifestyle, they even host social events at their place, bringing the Ann Arbor community together. On the third Saturday of each month, they host board game afternoons where you can select from a range of board games. Their friendly staff, who you can meet on their website, are around to assist if needed. This perfect opportunity to relax, socialize, play, and drink coffee. They also rent out their place to anyone who would like to host a community event. Visit their site for details: Vertex Coffee Roasters.

8. Drip House Coffee

Located on South Main Street right by the Michigan Stadium, Drip House Coffee serves organic and vegan pastries, desserts, and great coffee. It is in a great location with a nice view and ample outdoor seating.

It is one of the only coffee shops in Ann Arbor; Mi offers hand-crafted green matcha products (calling all matcha lovers!) and blue butterfly pea-flower lattes, which provide many health benefits and are delicious. They also have a special section of seasonal drinks on their menu which you can try.

Unlike most other coffee shops, Drip House Coffee provides a wide variety of food options, making it an optimal destination for a quick snack, brunch, or breakfast. It is one of the only coffee shops Ann Arbor has with various things to eat. They have sweet and savory crepes, toasts, some grilled sandwich options, and bagel sandwiches which you can enjoy on the side of a warm cup of joe on a typical cold winter day in Ann Arbor.

Visit their website for their menu: Drip House Coffee.

matcha latte
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9. Hyperion Coffee Company

Hyperion Coffee Company is a coffee shop originally based in Ypsilanti, Mi. It opened its much-awaited new branch in Ann Arbor on Liberty Street less than a year ago, adding competition to the other coffee shops on the downtown street. They are a wholesale bulk coffee business that has expanded to brewing coffee for the coffee-lovers and is one of the best in the midwest.

Though their interior is small, the minimalistic interior designs make it welcoming. It is not much of a sit-and-work place; rather, it is a grab-and-go type of coffee bar. After all, it is in the middle of the downtown rush.

Their new cafe in Ann Arbor features single-estate brews and espresso drinks. Customers love their cold brews, lattes, and bean selection which is rotated often throughout the year. Their 12-ounce-bags are very popular in the area as well. Try the nitro brew if you need a strong drink to wake you up. You can also buy great coffee brewing equipment and supplies here. It is a splendid coffee paradise!

Are you craving something to munch on? Well, Hyperion Coffee shop offers eatables too! They serve baked goods from nearby bakeries and cafes like Bird Dog Baking, Botanical Bake Shop, and Songbird Cafe.

Visit their website for more information: Hyperion Coffee Company.

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10. Ann Arbor Coffee Roasting Company

Last but not least, we have the Ann Arbor Coffee Roasting Company, which opened its location in downtown Ann Arbor less than a year ago on South State Street in the place of Espresso Royale, which closed down permanently. They are a coffee roasting and retailing company with a great menu.

With a modern interior that is light and airy, it welcomes all customers with a lot of natural light in the front area of the store that faces the bustling downtown street. There are several tables indoors with ample lighting, making a lovely workspace with the pleasant backdrop of downtown Ann Arbor.

Their coffees and house-made masala chai are must-tries. Also, munch on one of the many assortments of delicious baked goods on display in the store or a sandwich.

masala chai
Image by Korie Cull from unsplash.com / copyright 2019

If you’re interested in learning more about the other coffee shops Ann Arbor has, you may visit this spectacular Facebook blog run by Aaron Cruz. This coffeeholic lives in the village of Pinckney, Michigan: Coffee Ann Arbor.

If you’ve picked up a bag of coffee beans instead from one of the amazing coffee shops Ann Arbor is home to, here is a guide on making your own French press coffee and cold brew coffee at home that will guide you through the process step by step. All you will need is a bag of your favorite coffee beans and some coffee-making equipment from one of the wonderful coffee shops Ann Arbor has.

Comet Coffee shop and Hyperion Coffee Company sell brilliant equipment and supplies to customers who want to make coffee at home. Also, many of these coffee shops sell a great variety of coffee blends, so find which works best for you and purchase one! Hyperion Coffee Company, RoosRoast Coffee, and Zingerman’s Coffee Company have delicious blends, and it is recommended that you try some of these out. The friendly baristas always provide extra assistance if you’re confused about which bag to take home. Additionally, here is a helpful guide for choosing the right bean.

We hope you enjoyed the compiled list of the 10 best coffee shops Ann Arbor has! Explore these diverse coffee shops Ann Arbor is home to on your next coffee run. Residents, visitors, and students alike must try these places for the authentic coffee experience in one of the greatest coffee towns.

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