New Eastside Coffee Shop Brews Up Some Strange Matter

Something strange is brewing on Lansing’s Eastside. The newest specialty coffee shop in town is serving up cups of java that even the most selective of palates can enjoy. According to entrepreneur barista, Cara Nader, brewing a good cup of coffee is not just about taste, it’s also about the experience. A genuine coffee experience is what you’ll get when you walk through the doors of Strange Matter Coffee. Nader refers to what she does as “third wave” coffee. Unlike “second wave” coffee chains like Starbucks that have brought production of lattes and cappuccinos to the masses, third wave coffee artisans consider coffee more like fine wine, aspiring toward a higher culinary appreciation of coffee. These third wave baristas focus on how coffee is grown, harvested, roasted, ground and brewed. The name, “Strange Matter,” speaks to Nader’s passion for science and coffee. “It is a scientific term that is a theoretical form of quark matter, which is thought to be a liquid,” says Nader. “What we do is kind of strange to some people. Also, we take a very scientific approach to what we do.” What makes Strange Matter Coffee so unique is the attention to detail and how they prepare beverages. Each cup is made to order, with carefully weighed water and coffee portions and precisely managed water temperature. “The process of brewing a cup of coffee is much more complicated than just putting hot water on ground coffee. Currently, our coffee is brewed using a pour over brewing device called the Kalita Wave. This is our preferred method of brewing, because in my opinion, it produces a consistent, high-quality extraction,” said Nader. Nader also favors other brewing methods, like the Chemex, which she uses to brew their iced coffee, and larger quantities of pour over coffee. According to Nader, the Chemex produces a really clean, bright cup of coffee due to its specially designed filters. The shop features coffees from top roasters from around the country, such as Bay City-based Populace Coffee, in order to always feature in-season, freshly harvested coffee. Nader rotates roasters every two months. She will soon feature Supersonic Coffee out of Berkley, Calif. that is known for its uniquely special coffee that most U.S. roasters don’t have access to, says Nader. If you’re a coffee connoisseur with a discriminating palate or you’re just looking for a good cup of java, you’ll find that Strange Matter Coffee offers a coffee experience like no other. Take a seat at the bar and see your coffee prepared right before your eyes, chat with customers about their unique tastes or ask staff questions, all for the fun of learning. “If you like coffee, I don’t expect everyone to know the farm and really even care too much, but sometimes people recognize that they like coffee that is fruitier, or coffee that is more acidic or coffee that is really chocolate-y and sweet. It’s good to recognize that and learn what your palate likes,” said Nader. Strange Matter Coffee offers a simple traditional espresso beverage menu and hand-brewed coffee, while also offering high quality specialty teas. Their limited selection of syrups, sauces and chai are all made in-house. You’ll also find pastries delivered fresh from Whipped in Old Town. Nader says business has been booming since she opened the shop in August. “We’ve been open close to two months now, and I never expected it to be this busy. We are doing over double the volume that I ever anticipated,” said Nader. “There are a lot of things I had to adjust, I had to hire extra staff and train people.” When asked if she plans to open another location in the future, Nader adds, “I envision a second location at some point. I don’t want to be giant. My goal is just to make good coffee for people, and if I can make it for more people that’s great.” Strange Matter Coffee is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The shop is located at 2001 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, MI 48912. For more information, visit their Facebook page or their website

Tags: Business Profile, coffee, Shop, Strange Matter

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