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Posted on Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 7:45 a.m.

Upcoming coffee and pastry features: Your input, please

By Jessica Levine


Sweetwaters’ French Vietnamese Au Lait and croissant.

Close By and Well Fed is on the move.

To come in the next few weeks: Coffee, and its prevalence in a working and learning Washtenaw County.

And to hone my food-writing credentials, I recently signed up for Schoolcraft College’s Pastry 101: Skill Development culinary seminar. It will be a two-day cram session at the end of the month focusing on pastry terminology and sanitary baking basics; this time from behind the blender, I will report on local sweet shops and patisseries with a more authoritative edge.

So, java and dessert connoisseurs, any recommendations? Please visit my blog, talk to me on Twitter or shoot me an email at I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Jessica Levine profiles the culture, history and personalities of Washtenaw County restaurants for



Fri, Sep 9, 2011 : 12:49 a.m.

I'm kinda partial to Sweetwaters at Ashley/Washington and Cafe Ambrosia on Maynard. Both have good coffee (Sweetwaters even has milk shakes!) and good atmosphere. And while we're on the topic, what the he__ happened to the Espresso Royale on Main St.? It used to be a beehive of activity, with musical acts on Saturday nights. But the music is gone, and the place, at least the few times I've dropped in, has been dead for years.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 7:28 p.m.

Forget to add earlier that my local favorite is Moonwinks. Great java, great ambience.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 7:02 p.m.

Check out Lab coffee on Liberty. They use Intelligentisia beans and have the individually dripped coffee. Best beans + best method = best coffee. The pastries and frozen yogurt selections are excellent as well. The thing I love is it's the anti-Ann Arbor - sleek, modern, non-hippie, non-midwestern...


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

Coffee is a lot more than just a caffeine jolt. It's a casual, comfortable entree into interacting socially. That being said, it's no surprise that in our time where we become more and more isolated behind our computers that coffee shops are proliferating. It has become a means to actually be in the company of our fellow human beings.