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Madcap Starts Brewing Coffee in Downtown Detroit This Weekend

The Grand Rapids-based coffee roaster is opening at the Shinola Hotel

Michelle Gerard
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Grand Rapids-based coffee roastery Madcap Coffee are preparing to impress coffee nerds this weekend with the opening of the company’s first Detroit cafe. The shop is slated to debut this Saturday, March 23, owner Trevor Corlett confirms to Eater.

Madcap is located in the Shinola Hotel complex, which is expected to debut the last of its anticipated food and beverage lineup on Monday. The coffee bar — the fourth location for Madcap in Michigan — is located at 1412 Farmer St. between Queens Bar and retailers the Velvet Tower and Good Neighbor.

Madcap was founded in Grand Rapids in 2008 by Corlett and partner Ryan Knapp. The roaster specializes in seasonal coffees named after the farmer who produces the beans. Corlett tells Eater that the cafes are focused on the science of coffee brewing. Everything from the mineral content in the water to the brewing temperatures is carefully controlled. To keep this consistent, Madcap baristas undergo an extensive training process to learn the coffee menu including up to nine months of supervision before getting to operate an espresso machine.

The Detroit cafe features a minimalist white interior with big windows, a small amount of bar seating, and two long, standing tables. In the warmer months, the business will be able to open its Nana Wall at the front of the coffee bar for an open-air feel and additional coffee bar seating. There will also be plenty of patio seating.

Michelle Gerard

The Detroit shop will offer Madcap’s standard menu with options like pour-overs brewed using an automated Modbar system as well as espresso drinks. Madcap also sources seasonal teas from Song Tea in San Francisco. Detroit’s coffee bar will include two taps for nitro cold-brewed coffee and nitro tea.

Before founding Madcap, Corlett was a regular competitor in national barista competitions and frequently ranked in the top three contestants. Although the drink recipes were popular with judges, they rarely ever made it in front of customers. Corlett says he wanted to change that by working those one-off recipes onto the menu as a quarterly rotating menu of “signature drinks.” Customers can expect options like the Bridesmaid — a reference to Corlett always coming in second or third in competition — espresso, carrot puree, blood orange juice, and a brûléed grapefruit garnish.

The cafe also plans to unveil a new Detroit-only 313 coffee blend of two Ethiopian coffees next week to mark the opening of the new location. “It’s intended to be dynamic and delicious and something that will only be available here,” he says. As for food, Madcap doesn’t have any immediately plans to serve fancy toast or sourdough liege waffles at its Detroit location. Corlett says he’s in talks with NoHo Hospitality (the group in charge of the Shinola Hotel’s food and beverage program) to possibly bring in a few items to complement the coffee.

Madcap Coffee is located at 1412 Farmer St.; the cafe will open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday through Thursday; official hours beginning Friday, March 29 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Grand Rapids’ Madcap Coffee Is Expanding to Detroit [ED]
All the Vital Updates on Restaurants and Bars at Detroit’s Shinola Hotel [ED]
All Coffee Coverage [ED]

Madcap Coffee

1413 Farmer Street, , MI 48226 (888) 866-9091 Visit Website

Shinola Hotel

1400 Woodward Avenue, , MI 48226 (313) 356-1400 Visit Website