I woke up on Wednesday to a very different America. It was then that I decided to venture somewhere new a day early and do what I love. Most of the coffeeshops still on my list are an hour or so away from me, but I thought “what a better time than the present?” A quick jog to Ann Arbor was exactly what I needed to start off this new era.
I haven’t been to Ann Arbor since elementary school, but I was young and didn’t really pay attention to its beauty. I was dumbfounded by how exquisite this town was! I like to imagine it as a mini Boston, but with that good old-fashioned wolverine state feel. The town was overwhelming- it felt like I was in a totally different universe (it could be because I felt like a Spartan outsider [I wore a blue and maize shirt to try to blend in but I think I stood out even more]). When I exited the parking ramp where I left my vehicle, I think I crossed the street six times, trying to figure out where Comet was. I saw a quaint coffeeshop on one side of the street and entered it, hoping it would end my embarrassment. I asked the barista where in the living heck I was and he informed me that it was definitely not the place I was looking for. They did have chai for two dollars, so to save myself from looking like a complete idiot, I walked out with a to-go cup, from which I only took a few sips. Emerging back into the sunlight, I saw a familiar area across the road. So I made it to the other side (for the seventh time) to find myself in an open-ended market called Nickels Arcade. On either side were endless tiny shops ranging from fares like clothing and plants, to alterations and cigars. Towards the end on the left side I finally saw that beacon of light- the sign for Comet Coffee!
Pushing the door open, I can tell that the surface area was quite small, and I was worried that I wouldn’t find a seat to enjoy the brew. The ceilings were high, though, alleviating the claustrophobic feeling. Honeycomb tile covered the floor (my favorite!) and sea foam greens decorated the walls. There were four, two person tables and six bar stools that hugged the windows. It can’t accommodate too many people, but as I sat for an hour, four guests came and went at the table beside me. The room was bustling with undergrads, graduate students, and business professionals alike. I give Comet bonus points for their music choice. They put Solange’s new album, “A Seat at the Table,” on shuffle, a piece of art that I, just days before, became simply enthralled with (I’m even listening to it now as I write this entry.)
As always, I asked the barista what the most popular drink was, to which she replied the Cafe Dulce. I paid for my drink, sticker, and snatched a table to sit at. She asked if I wanted still or sparkling water along with my coffee, which I thought was quite unique. Before I could even think about an answer, my drink was ready. It was presented in the most wonderful brown cup and saucer, accompanied by a small spoon, that reminded me of a coffee cup from a 24-hour diner. The coffee was a beautiful caramel color that suited it’s luxurious, creamy taste. The first sip was overwhelmingly sweet, but mellowed out with every gulp. I was in question as to what the miniature spoon was for, but I noticed one of the many neighbors next to me using it to scrape the bottom of the cup to ensure consumption of every last drop. I decided I needn’t such a tool, every molecule will be devoured by my own measures.
Places like Comet Coffee are exactly the types of coffeeshops that I seek: a hidden gem that knows a thing or two about good coffee, has a welcoming atmosphere, and is a great place to separate yourself from the rest of the world and enjoy time in your own, personal privacy. I guarantee that this will not be my last trip to Comet, and this blog should not be the closest you get either.
Want to check out Comet Coffee for yourself? Visit them to get your coffee fix!
16 Nickels Arcade, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 | (734) 222-0579 | www.mkt.com/comet-coffee