Subject: The Espresso Bar
Rating: 6+ [see key]
It's hard to imagine bookstores without a coffee presence. Though some would say the cafe element can ruin the bookstore experience, that it turns a shop into a library where coffee stains abound on new books, I personally love the idea of a having coffee amidst prospective literary acquisitions. Sadly there exist few book purveyors that host quality coffee establishments, so I tend to make few adventures to such places. Yet rest assured, worthy coffee does exist in certain bookstores, and if I had to pick my favorite to date, I would likely choose Ann Arbor's Espresso Bar.
Located in the upper floor of the beautiful Literati Bookstore, the Espresso Bar runs in a sleek, minimal space right next to the steps. They put every inch of counter space to work, making a nice arrangement of their espresso machine, grinders and workspace. The remainder of the floor is divided amongst oodles of seating, childrens' books and animated patrons.
As for coffee, they roast their own beans and also carry Detroit's Anthology Coffee. That particular day of my visit, they were serving two of their own: a Papua New Guinea on drip and their Brazil Fazendas Dutra via espresso. The drip made for a full, buttery coffee full of honey, oats, cherry and buttered cracker. The espresso, pulled short/medium with brown crema, conveyed dates, cocoa, lemon, cabbage and almonds, proving sweet, deep and easy.
I unashamedly admit that I took my sweet time finishing my coffee, not wanting to leave. I got to engage in story time, check out some new books and delight in my coffee. The next time you blow into Ann Arbor, make sure you check out the great shop that is the Espresso Bar.
These wonderful folks made this visit possible in part. Make sure to check them out!