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 ($2.76), which they’ll serve you with a glass of still or sparkling water. If you’re not in the mood for a flaky croissant or a plate-sized oatmeal cookie studded with dried fruit, coconut, pecans, and chocolate chunks, you can order one of the bite-sized Ossi da Mordere ($.50) 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.