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Thursday April 24, 2014
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Caffeine meets terroir

 

continued

citrus." Coffee, like wine, also gets compared to chocolate, flowers, and minerals. It has an aroma and a finish. Terroir and processing methods are debated.

Everyone at the tasting appeared to be under forty. Coffee, even at the high end of connoisseurship, is considerably cheaper than wine, and attracts a younger audience.

Comet Coffee is just steps away from Espresso Royale Caffe at one end of the arcade and Cafe Ambrosia at the other, not to mention Biggby Coffee, Starbucks, and Seattle's Best Coffee inside Borders nearby. "That shows the market is healthy" is Saborio's response to what a less assured person might call daunting competition.

Saborio says that, after the initial bloom of espresso shops, Ann Arbor cafes have been slow to respond to America's increasingly sophisticated taste in coffee. "If your gas sta-tion or fast-food place is serving better coffee, what are the coffee shops going to do? They have to keep head and shoulders above them." And while he declines to trash the local competition, he says that no one has yet jumped in to fill the niche for truly super-premium coffee-and that Comet Coffee will.

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