From the moment you step inside New Order Coffee Roasters, Detroit’s newest Midtown coffee shop, their mission to “delight and energize your everyday life” is on full display. Waves of natural light, pops of bright colors and upbeat sound waves from the likes of Solange or The Clash flood the space, while apron-clad baristas are all-smiles as they make marshmallow and confetti lattes with precision and efficiency. “We wanted to create an environment that was uplifting, inviting and, most importantly, fun and approachable,” says director of operations Tyler Martin of the new Midtown café.
But beneath the space’s playful, modern surface is a system of smart technology that helps baristas deliver super-fresh coffee with speed and consistency. Several methods of brewing are used, and the café also offers nitro coffee on tap. “The third wave approach to coffee can be slow,” Martin says. “People tend to want their coffee quickly, and we think there’s an opportunity that falls somewhere between the speed and options of a place like Starbucks and the craft and romance of coffee at many craft-focused independents.”
Beans are roasted on site via a customized electric fluid-bed air roaster, which takes up minimal space and produces what Martin calls, “a cleaner, more aromatic, more flavorful cup of coffee” than drum roasters. New Order roasts in small batches, an approach that helped them realize they could democratize the way a bean gets roasted based on customer preference—a program they will ramp up in the coming months. “The idea is that we can walk customers through customizing the darkness of a roast to suit their taste and at-home brewing method and they can walk out of our café with that warm bag of beans to brew at home roasted just for them in less than 10 minutes,” Martin says.
On the brewing side, a Synesso MVP Hydra espresso machine and Modbar’s pour-over system do much of the heavy lifting, in addition to a “microbrew” system that isn’t used in other Detroit coffee shops to make by-the-cup brewed coffee. “Every time customers order a black coffee, we grind and brew it to order in under a minute. No batch brewing, no filter, no press pots. No coffee sitting in a shuttle for an hour,” Martin says, adding that they use customized Franke Evolution brewers, a pressurized method of brewing. “We knew we didn’t want to be a slave to our technology. It had to serve us and be practical to help us make the best product but also balance speed of service with a quality.”
In the coming year, New Order’s original coffee lab in Ferndale will transform into the company’s second location, and additional cafés will open throughout Detroit in the coming years.
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