The next leg on my journey to self-caffeination takes me to Grand Rapids. There are tons of coffeehouses in this up-and-coming city, the most well-known being Madcap Coffee. I chose to venture off the beaten path and discover the hidden gems that the city has to offer. I must admit- I have been to Lantern before. Earlier this summer, I joined a few chums in a G.R. coffee crawl. We explored the famous, and the infamous, and left buzzing like bees with the coffee sweats. In this journey, I discovered my “coffeehouse away from coffeehouse” in Lantern Coffee Bar and Lounge. Lantern was our third stop out of four and I went with the always comforting mocha. Let me tell you, I have been dreaming of going back ever since.
Let’s discuss the interior. When you first walk in the door, you enter into the tiniest of rooms with only a handful of tables barely fit for two. You can’t miss the brewing magic, mostly because patrons stack up like sardines in the little space between the tables and the bar. This room is very hip- the kind of room any 20-year-old would like to live in. Misty purples with a touch of honeycomb tile, mixed with exposed brick and lights that look like they were invented by Tom Edison himself, is the premier sight. Little do you know that there is a tavern-esque lounge lurking quietly in the basement below. If you can successfully make it down the steps without spilling your drink, you can find yourself in an alternate Narnia. The first time I entered, I felt like Alexander Hamilton drafting the Constitution of the United States in the late 18th Century. Think that sounds a little far-fetched? Well for starters, there are actual lanterns hanging from the brick walls, which is pretty darn neat. You can also find long wooden tables, lounge chairs fit for a president, and individual study desks. If this isn’t the coolest coffeehouse you’ve ever been to, then I challenge you to show me better.
Much like my go-to coffee place, Strange Matter Coffee Co., Lantern sells and brews Populace coffee. If you have been searching for a bean that brings you home, look no further. Populace coffee has a warm, welcoming taste that is sure to satisfy your soul. Other coffee bean brands can’t compare to the company based out of Bay City. Tasty and a Michigan company? Now that’s kind of hard to beat.
But on to the actual brew. I decided to order the mocha again, just for the sake of nostalgia. This drink was everything I remembered and more. Maybe it’s the beans, or maybe Lantern just has extremely talented Baristas. Regardless, I was in heaven. The first sip revived my soul. This drink had a black and white kind of effect on my tastebuds. First it was smokey, prancing around in my mouth. Then the sweetness followed as it entered my esophagus, leaving me with a craving for more. This mocha is seriously like a drug. I couldn’t believe how fast I finished it! Lantern’s mocha feels like an old friend; it’s warm, sweet, and will never judge you. If you’re ever feeling a little down (or just need sobering up after attending a concert at the Pyramid Scheme directly across the street) the Lantern will always guide you home.
(P.S. I know I said I was going to “roast” a new coffeehouse every Thursday and I realize that Sunday is not, in fact, Thursday but I was already in the area and was also too excited to wait an entire week. Please forgive me for my flaws.)
Want to check out Lantern Coffee Bar and Lounge for yourself? Visit them to get your coffee fix!
100 Commerce Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 | (616) 920-0209 | www.lanterncoffee.com