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coffee

Jevona Watson, founder of the coffee shop Detroit Sip
Shawn Lee / Motor City Match

Starting a business on your own brings plenty of challenges, but it takes a special kind of courage and vision – and a little bit of help – to set up shop in a struggling neighborhood. Jevona Watson is opening a coffee shop, Detroit Sip, in Northwest Detroit, near the campus of the University of Detroit-Mercy, and has received a helping hand from the Motor City Match program.

What is a true cappuccino?

Dec 22, 2015
Guido Gloor Modjib/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Pour-over method. Water quality. Solid extraction. The world of specialty coffee-making can seem a lot like chemistry class. 

This December some baristas may actually feel like they're in class as the Specialty Coffee Association of America is certifying coffee professionals this month. 

A coffee leaf infected with Hemileia vastatrix, or coffee rust
wikimedia user Smartse / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

For many of us, the day doesn’t really start until we polish off that steaming cup of coffee.

But a fungus called "coffee rust” is putting that luxury in jeopardy. It’s attacking coffee plants across Mexico and Central America, and in recent years has caused more than $1 billion in crop losses and cost thousands of workers their jobs.

Two University of Michigan professors have been studying coffee in Mexico for nearly 20 years. They want to understand just how this fungus spreads and how best to shut it down.

Miranda Bono is on track to open the very first "cat cafe" in Michigan.

"A cat cafe is basically a coffee shop and a cat rescue center in one place," says Bono.

Cat cafes originated in Asia and traveled to the United States, with the first opening in California last fall.

A small glimpse into the world of the Beatles And Beans Coffee Emporium
User: Espresso Express Coffee House presents 'Beatles And Beans Coffee Emporium' / facebook

Most of us are pretty familiar with the sounds of a coffee shop, from the clink of cups and spoons, to the hiss of the steam wand on the espresso machine, and to voices in conversation.

At one coffee shop in downtown Bay City, you'll hear music of the Beatles. Apart from that, Brad Wilderman and his wife Peggy have turned their coffee shop, Beatles and Beans Coffee Emporium, into a shrine to the Fab Four. 

"As soon as you walk in, it literally opens a time portal to 1964, when the greatest music explosion of all took place. You'll never believe from the outside in what you're about to encounter," says Brad Wilderman. 

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

It's pretty tough to imagine an American city that does not have a coffee shop.

For many places, Starbucks blazed the trail, followed by other chains. And, of course, the hip, locally owned coffee shops.

The variety of flavors and roasts has certainly evolved, from the big brands – the Folgers and the Maxwell Houses – to regionally labeled coffees, and now to beans that are sourced from farms, not just from countries.

So, what's in the future for coffee shops, now that so many of us have discovered we can't do without a really fine cup of coffee?

Anya Pomykala is the chief barista at Zingerman's Coffee Company in Ann Arbor. She joined us to share her thoughts.

*Listen to the interview above.

Jonathan Alexander / Facebook

Members of Generation Y---those Americans born in the 1980s and 1990s who are currently in college or cutting their teeth in the working world---have received their share of scrutiny in recent years. But where their parents might be discussed in terms of day-glo paint and ideological revolution, Gen Y-ers tends to garner attention for their inseparable relationship with technology and their bad timing, starting their adult lives in America's worst economic climate since the Great Depression.

Going Nowhere?

Last month, the New York Times ran an op-ed piece co-written by economist Todd Buchholz and his daughter Victoria, a student at Cambridge University. It bore the headline “The Go-Nowhere Generation” and in it the Buchholzs argued that unlike previous generations, Generation Y has "become risk-averse and sedentary," unwilling to leave home in search of "sunnier economic climes."