Episode 12: NoMi Coffee Shop Lovin’

I was back in NoMi (Northern Michigan for those who don’t know) for a wedding this weekend and I just couldn’t be back up North without stopping at a few of my favorite coffee shops and sharing them on the blog!

This post will feature three local nomi coffee shops: Brew TC, Breakaway Cafe & Coffeehouse and Ursa Major Bistro.

Brew TC

I have been a major fan of Brew TC for years. Growing up outside of Traverse City has made it pretty hard not to enjoy this downtown staple. Anyone who lives in or visits downtown TC has probably heard many things about this lovely place.

I met up with one of my best friends and college roommates, Molly at Brew for some lunch and coffee. We chatted about everything – our college friends, what’s new in our lives, our jobs, you name it – and caught up after a year away from each other.

Brew was packed – as it always is – and we found a booth in the back to enjoy ourselves in and be slightly removed from everyone else – we have a tendency to be the loudest ones in the room.

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We happened to meet up on #Plaidurday, the worldwide celebration of Plaid – and both of our favorite holidays – so it made the outing even more special!

Breakaway Cafe & Coffee Bar

After leaving Brew, Molly took me to her favorite coffee shop in the area. I had never been to Breakaway before because it is on the opposite side of TC and is pretty out of my way. I knew it existed, but just never stopped in. I am so glad that I finally did!

Breakaway has a very fun & unique theme – water, surf, bikes. It’s very outdoorsy and adventurous! I love that Breakaway has a themed link to water. Being very connected to water myself, I find myself drawn to anything lake, ocean, and river themed. Totally my scene. It reminds me of Double Shot Cyclery (read my post about Double Shot here). I also like that it’s tucked into a cute little strip mall and off the main roads.

I filled my mason jar with the house dark roast, bought a scone and a sticker and grabbed a seat by the window. We didn’t stay at Breakaway very long since I had to get back home, but it was so nice to spend my day with Molly and to explore a new coffee shop! I will have to stop by next time I am back in Michigan and write a blog post specifically for Breakaway because they deserve some attention.

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Ursa Major Bistro

Alright y’all. This one holds a special place in my heart. Located downtown Beulah – my hometown – and just three minutes from the house that I grew up in, this small cafe has been home to multiple owners, names, and venues over the years – many of them restaurants and cafes, but the oldest one that I am aware of dates back to a gas station from my grandfather’s early adulthood.

In addition to being right down the road from the place I grew up, I worked at the Ursa for a summer serving tables, running the cash register and having a great time. When I started working here, the Ursa was Blue Caribou Cafe, but shortly after I was hired, we were forced to re-brand after being sued by Caribou Coffee Company (read more here).

I stopped at Ursa Major each day that I was home. They use beans from Roaster Jack (I will write a post about Roaster Jack someday. I promise!) which is one of my favorite local Northern Michigan coffee companies so I had to get my fill. I also can’t stop eating the lemon ginger scones that my former employer bakes every few mornings.

The morning I left Michigan to fly back to Colorado, I walked down to Ursa Major, grabbed my coffee and walked home. It was the perfect end to my quick trip back to my hometown.

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I can’t wait for my next visit – I have quite a few more coffee shops to feature.

This is Episode 12 of The Flannelogues.

-JD

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