The Best Coffee Shops in the Midwest

Source: contusion / Flickr

Archetype Coffee
> Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha-based Archetype’s motto is “Fastidious Roasts. Punctilious Brews. Ridiculous People.” In other words, they pay attention to accuracy and detail while roasting, calculate and care for each cup of coffee brewed and shot of espresso pulled, and don’t take themselves too seriously. They roast a wide variety of coffees from around the world and sell it at their shops and also through a popular monthly subscription service. Offerings include Rossana Emperatiz Zelaya from Honduras, Nduruti AA from Kenya, and Chelbesa Lot #6 from Ethiopia, as well as blends including a “Super Luxury Blend” that retails for $42 per bag, more than double their usual price.

Source: Courtesy of Five Watt Coffee via Facebook

Five Watt Coffee
> Minneapolis, Minnesota

Founded by Lee Carter and Caleb Garn in 2014, Five Watt Coffee has four Minneapolis locations, each of which has become a beloved local gathering place (one location even has what they call “a rent-by-the-hour unicorn stable”). Their lineup of coffee drinks is inspired by craft cocktails. For example, the Busy Beaver is made with maple syrup, blackstrap bitters, espresso, milk, cinnamon, molasses, and black pepper, and the Big Easy has cold-press coffee, chicory nutmeg syrup, black walnut bitters, and cream. They also sell a wide variety of whole bean blends.

Source: Courtesy of Britt M. via Yelp

Foster Coffee
> Owosso, Michigan

Long-time friends Jonathan Moore and Nicholas Pidek chose an appropriate name for the coffee shop they founded in 2014: its mission is to foster its community by partnering with other local businesses, civic leaders, and non-profit organizations and hosting events, concerts, conversations, reading and discussion groups. It’s expanded from Owosso to Flint and East Lansing, bringing a positive impact wherever it goes. They’re roasting their own coffee in-house, and selling a wide variety of blends and single-origins for every taste.

Source: Courtesy of 4LW Coffee

Four Letter Word
> Chicago, Illinois

With parquet floors, elegant leather chairs, and a long copper bar, Chicago’s Four Letter Word more resembles a fine dining restaurant or cocktail bar than a coffee shop, and that elevated approach carries over into their offerings. They partner with growers worldwide and roast beans at their own roastery, and each bag has its own creative label. An example of their coffees include Roberto Figueroa from Honduras, Kesem Aba Gero from Ethiopia, and Sitio Kisbong from the Philippines, and serving them in only a handful of expertly-made styles: drip, pour-over, espresso, Turkish, and iced. Pastries which include goat cheese knots and calamansi meringue tarts, are not-to-miss.

Source: Courtesy of Fox In the Snow Coffee

Fox in the Snow
> Columbus, Ohio

Fox in the Snow is a bakery and coffee shop serving rustic-style baked goods and hand-poured drinks out of three quaint shops in the Italian Village, German Village, and New Albany neighborhoods of Columbus. Founded by a pair of former Blue Bottle baristas in 2014, these cas are large and inviting, with plenty of natural light, and expertly-brewed coffee and espresso drinks including pour-over, mocha, and New Orleans-style iced coffee. The baked goods, which include salted dark chocolate brownies, croissant morning buns, and pecan sticky buns, are also truly exceptional and worth a visit in their own right.