Subject: Ugly Mug Cafe and Roastery
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
Rating: 6+ [see key]
I first heard about the glory of Ypsilanti almost ten years ago. Naturally I speak of a time-tested coffee establishment called the Ugly Mug, a local coffeehouse and roastery that's been around as long as I've been writing this blog. Clearly I do not often travel to Michigan, as it took me almost a decade to get to the Ugly Mug, but when I finally arrived one warm afternoon I felt elated, like a pilgrim finishing a long journey.
The Ugly Mug resides in a small grey building with ample parking dotting the front lot. Unlike the slightly bland outside, the interior is warm and bohemian, with a varied collection of furniture, local art and foot-worn rugs. The size of the space is surprising; a herd of at least 70 college students could fit in the space without it upsetting the fire marshall.
Looking to get down to business, I engaged the two baristas behind the counter for recommendations. After some jovial discussion and a few enthusiastic affirmations, I settled upon the Osborne Blend for my espresso and a pourover of their Tanzanian. The espresso, pulled short with brown crema, blasted out notes of chocolate, ginger, blood orange, seaweed and tea cakes, making for a sweet and balanced pull. The Tanzania also tickled my fancy, with deliciously sweet notes of strawberry, wheat, honey pie, miso and light rye in a medium body.
After enjoying my coffee, I bid adieu to the Ugly Muggers and made way to Arbor Brewing Microbrewery for a cosmic dinner in the evening summer air. To say the least, I was thrilled that my years of waiting resulted in a magnanimous Ugly Mug experience. If you happen to be in the vicinity, perhaps visiting Eastern Michigan University or the Michigan Firehouse Museum, definitely make a purposed stop at the Ugly Mug Cafe and Roastery.