At least once a week, I stop by Ann Arbor’s Comet Coffee. A short, pleasant walk from my office can have me there in five minutes. This is not a place I visit for quotidian caffeine supplements; rather, it is somewhere I go for pleasure- a brief escape from my workday.
Admittedly, I was pre-disposed to like this place. It is nearby. It is aesthetically pleasing. It has a limited menu of coffee drinks and locally made pastries (some from Pastry Peddler, on occasion some from Miette). And, perhaps most importantly, the baristas make consistently good macchiatos, which they’ll serve you with a glass of still or sparkling water. If you’re not in the mood for a flaky croissant or a plate-sized oatmeal cookie studded with dried fruit, coconut, pecans, and chocolate chunks, you can order one of the bite-sized Ossi da Mordere to sit on the edge of your saucer.
So, how is it that this coffee shop gets alternately lauded (by even the New York Times) and derided (as in this worth-reading coffee roundup from A2Gastroboy)? I believe it is a matter of customer expectations and coffee rituals. Not everyone wants the same thing. Here is my quick take on people who do and don’t like Comet:
If you’ve never been there before, try visiting during a less-busy time (avoid beginning of workday and lunch hour). And if you’re getting something to go, consider bringing your own mug (you’ll get a nominal discount, and your beverage will stay much hotter than it will in the takeaway cups).
For a little more about the business, try this article from the Michigan Daily.