I've kept this place a secret for far too long.
Out of all the little local coffee shop's I've ever been to, this one is by far the best. It gets a gold star in all key areas - food, convenience, friendly staff, atmosphere, and, of course, coffee.
Let me put it this way - I've been buying bags of their house roast coffee from this place for the past two years, despite the fact that it's several hours away from where I live.
Situated amongst student and adult housing near downtown Kalamazoo, Fourth Coast Cafe is a little corner coffee shop that packs personality and taste into a delightful and memorable package.
And yes, you read that correctly. This coffee shop is open 24 hours a day. A college student's dream come true, eh? Couple that with their bottomless coffee deal (unlimited refills for $7.50) and anyone can tackle finals week.
On top of Fourth Coast is a delightful cafe called The Crow's Nest, which serves breakfast all day and is open continuously from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon. This town knows how to cater to nocturnals.
Inside, Fourth Coast is a personality-filled shop with plenty of tables and outlets, corner booths to nestle into, and a long espresso bar in the back.
There's also a bakery in the back, so the coffee shop is always churning out fresh pastries and cookies. Much better than the cardboard-y plastic-wrapped scones that the chain coffee shops dole out.
A sampling of the day's fresh goodies:
Despite my continuing addiction to their muffins, I elected not to purchase a sweet that day and went with my usual coffee order: the Sweet Coast Capp. A classic cappuccino topped off with fresh whipped cream.
Since the coffee here is undeniably delicious, all of their lattes and capps are similarly tasty. You can even buy bags of their beans to take home with you if you're as obsessed as I am. And while they only have one or two types of beans available on sale per day, the store purchases from an enormous bean catalog and will order any bag of coffee a customer wants for in-store pickup. GENIUS!
In keeping with the nautical theme of the shop's name, Fourth Coast Cafe names all their specialty drinks after ship parts. One of my boyfriend's favorites is the Walk the Plank - a shaker full of espresso.
Fortunately for his cardiac system, he chose a less caffeinated cappuccino.
His sweet tooth was a little stronger than mine that day, so he also grabbed a vegan brownie.
I was also pleasantly surprised to see that Fourth Coast has begun selling merchandise. As an avid fan, I couldn't resist without grabbing something to take home with me....
For only $4? How could I not?
If you liked what you saw here, or if you're just a fan of coffee in general, you should follow this link to vote for Fourth Coast to win the Celebrated Service Award (the shop is listed under Portage, MI).
Getting first prize would earn this shop a well-deserved $5,000 bonus, and you'd get karma points. It's that simple.