When we lived in Grand Rapids, I did a lot of that living in coffee shops. Through my research for the (now rather neglected) Grand Rapids WiFi site I became a bit of an expert on the different outlets around town. These days—having an office—I spend a lot less time in coffee shops. Except when we’re back visiting the US and I’m crazily trying to fit work into the trip.
This time around I got the chance to check out two new coffee shops in Grand Rapids: Sparrows and Madcap. I’d heard a lot of talk about the former and really enjoyed working there, surrounded by the magazines that it also sells. The United States has an incredible magazine culture with many, many fantastic titles. But most of the country is terribly short of good places to buy them. I would have loved to have a place so near our house to walk to and browse magazines when we lived in GR, and I’m very glad it’s there now.
Since living in London I’ve noticed my coffee tastes changing, influenced by the antipodean trends that have swept the city. I found much of the coffee I drank in my older haunts lacking in body and have really been longing for a good americano or flat white, or something made in a cafetière. Madcap sated that thirst a little with their slow brewed coffees. Standing apart from the drip coffees so standard in US coffee shops, these had real depth and body to them and lots of flavour. I’m very grateful to Karl for suggesting I check the place out.