Ypsilanti, Michigan-based Hyperion Coffee Co. has opened its first outpost in neighboring Ann Arbor, offering a cozy, coffee-forward downtown cafe featuring single-origin batch brews and espresso drinks.
The shop is the second retail outpost for the six-year-old roasting company, which recently relocated its roastery to a dedicated production facility in Ypsi while maintaining its original Depot Town tasting room.
“Our goal since opening is to represent the coffee producers’ intentions with how we serve our coffee,” Hyperion Coffee Co-Owner Eric Mullins said of the new shop. “So the menu is single-origin drip coffees brewed on a Fetco, espresso drinks prepared on a La Marzocco Linea PB ABR and Mahlkonig grind-by-weight grinders. [We] weigh everything all of the time.”
Syrups and other drink ingredients are made in house or carefully sourced to include only natural ingredients, while the focus remains on clean brewed coffee roasted just down the road in Ypsilanti.
Said Mullins, “It’s our opinion that, if done right, batch brew is by far the best and most consistent method to brew amazing coffee, as opposed to pour overs and alt brewing methods.”
The prime retail space at 111 W. Liberty in downtown Ann Arbor, one block west of Main St., was formerly occupied by Ann Arbor-based Thrive Juicery, which opened just prior to the pandemic onset and struggled through two years of retail disruptions. The juice bar was also one of Hyperion’s wholesale clients.
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“I happened to be driving by the day they hung up the ‘for rent’ sign in the window and instantly contacted the owners of the former business and the building owners,” Mullins told DCN. “We were able to work out a lease within the week.”
The Hyperion crew contacted the designer of the juice bar, Ann Arbor’s own Synecdoche Design, and the firm helped tweak the interior for its new life as a craft coffee bar. Hyperion then added walnut accent shelves, a custom walnut bake case, midcentury-modern and leather furnishings, new cabinetry, coffee equipment and a plethora of succulents sprinkled throughout the shop.
Beyond the Ann Arbor cafe, the pandemic era has ushered in plenty of change for Hyperion, according to Mullins. The company, whose founders have deep experience in both coffee and coffee machinery, relocated the roastery to accommodate additional wholesale business, upgraded the equipment at its Ypsilanti shop, and transitioned to offer employees health insurance and benefits packages, according to Mullins.
“We have had pretty much two years of straight growth, adding two locations, and have been constantly under construction in some form or another,” Mullins said. “I don’t know that we will be actively looking to open any more cafes, but if the right situation were to arise with all the pieces falling into place, I could see it happening.”
In the meantime, said Mullins, “We are looking forward to some normalcy, honestly.”