For over 20 years, Water Street Coffee has been home to a very delicious and popular sweet treat — our handmade Incredible Bars! They are wonderful, natural peanut butter and graham cracker bars, covered with melted dark chocolate and a white chocolate drizzle.
You may not know that the Incredible Bar is not only a Water Street recipe, but a family recipe. Throughout the years, you have enjoyed the exact recipe from Jan Smutek—the mother of Water Street Coffee owner, Mark. As a mother of three, Jan had an arsenal of family-favorite recipes. The Incredible Bar was just too good not to share! So, with her blessing, it became one of Water Street Coffee’s very first dessert offerings.
Recently, our team came together to develop a new and fun way to enjoy this beloved snack. With convenience and snacking at home in mind, INCREDIBLE BAR MINIS were born! This 8 oz. jar contains yummy, frozen, bit-sized versions of the treat you know and love.
Did you say frozen? Yes! We have consumed many, MANY Incredible Bars over the years and couldn’t get over how delicious they are frozen! The best part is, with their resealable jar, you can have one or two individual bites, twist the lid back on and enjoy the rest later. Of course, you are welcome to thaw them in the fridge and snack on them chilled. Just keep in mind the shelf life decreases and you will have to eat them sooner.
Mark’s mother, Jan, was not only the reason we have this longstanding Water Street treat, she is also the inspiration for our newest giving endeavor. Jan spent many years volunteering at a local Detroit children’s hospital in the pediatric unit. In her honor, Water Street Coffee is donating 1% of our Incredible Bar Mini sales to the Bronson Hospital Mother/Baby Unit.
That’s right! When you purchase our Incredible Bar Minis you are helping to give towards this cause. Do you know someone who loves a good chocolate, peanut buttery treat? Buy an extra container to give to them! Or buy some extra containers for yourself.
Would you like to order a large quantity of an item we carry in the store? We can do that! Any of our current food, desserts, baked goods and syrups can be ordered from our very own Water Street Kitchen and picked up from a Water Street Café.
Steps to order:
Below are just a few examples of the items that are available from our current menu. Be sure to ask our kitchen what other food and pricing is available.
Can I purchase a bottle of your Vanilla Syrup? Yes! Any of our current syrups are available to order.
Do you deliver to my event? No, your order must be picked up and paid for at a Water Street Café.
Can I order a full cake or pie? No, we currently do not offer full cakes or pies as a part of this service.
Can I order a large amount of scones for my meeting? Yes! Any baked good that is currently on the menu can be ordered.
Do you offer hot chocolate for a large group? No, however, you are welcome to purchase our Sleeping Bear Hot Chocolate or our Cocoa Del Sol Chocolate and use our Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate Recipe to make a large batch of our hot chocolate.
Matcha, often known for its spiritual and health benefits, has a long history dating back to 9th century Japan. Once only accessible by elite, Zen practitioners and samurai warrior classes, now you can enjoy this revered drink at all of our Café locations.
Matcha is a very pleasant and soothing drink that offers complex distinctively sweet flavor, combined with earthy and rich umami notes. It can be drank as a traditional tea or added to a variety of beverages. Our Roast Master Seth shared, “A hand-crafted matcha latte is a great source of clean, healthy energy.” Since we’ve added matcha to our menu, we love it so much, we’ve come up with a variety of matcha-infused concoctions available at our Café locations.
Matcha Latte (Hot or Iced) – Get the energy boost you need without the crash! A perfect blend of matcha tea and textured milk with a touch of sugar.
Matcha Tea – Get the clean energy boost you need for the day with this traditionally prepared stone ground matcha.
Matcha Lemonade (Seasonal) – A tart, sweet and refreshing drink combining Matcha and our House-made Lemonade.
Vanilla Matcha Shake – We take our house-made vanilla ice cream and blend it with milk and stone ground matcha for this creamy energizing treat!
A traditional Japanese green tea powder, matcha is made by stone milling Tencha leaves into a fine powder. Harvested just once a year between May and June, Tencha is grown almost exclusively to make matcha. For 3-5 weeks prior to harvest, the tea bushes are shaded using a traditional frame-and-hatch technique. This shading inhibits photosynthesis, boosting chlorophyll levels and creating a deep green leaf color. In its struggle to gather more light, the tea bush pulls nutrients from its roots and grows wide, thin, tender tea leaves. This results in boosted levels of natural plant sugars, amino acids and caffeine.
Matcha is often touted for its health benefits, along with its ability to enhance mood and aid in concentration. Unlike other green teas, with matcha the whole leaf is consumed, giving it a much higher concentration of caffeine. A rare amino acid found in the leaves, L-theanine, counteracts many of the negative side effects of the caffeine, typically inhibiting the jitters or crash you may experience. Many have even shared that matcha has a relaxing and calming effect on them.
Matcha tea is packed with antioxidants, which may help to fortify the immune system and prevent disease. The leaf provides a variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium. Matcha has also been known to improve skin complexion and detoxify the body, along with a myriad of other health benefits.
At Water Street, we are always looking for new and exciting areas to expand and respond to what our customers are looking for. When the studying and work has ended for the day, we want our customers to be able to sit back, relax, and catch up with friends. What better way than with a refreshing cocktail, smooth glass of wine, or cool local beer? With that in mind, we are excited to debut our recently acquired liquor license at our Portage cafe with an official Cocktail Launch Party on June 16th, from 6pm-10pm.
We’ll be offering 25% off all cocktails, beer, and wine from our Spring Menu, and 30% off delicious appetizers all evening. Guests can also enjoy live music from Borr+McFerrin from 6pm-8pm, fun giveaways, and a special tasting from One Well Brewing.
Now is your chance to try something cool and refreshing, like our Hibiscus Twist, made with Tito’s Vodka, lemon juice, freshly brewed Hibiscus Rooibos Iced Tea, and Lavender Syrup (made in house using locally grown lavender from Shades of Lavender Farm in Mattawan, MI). Looking for something with a little zip? Try our Irish Coffee with a BANG! We combine Jameson Whiskey, Water Street’s own cold brew (Iced Coffee with a BANG), and simple syrup, then we pour over coffee ice cubes and top with a float of heavy whipping cream.
With such a vibrant local beer scene in Kalamazoo and Portage, we couldn’t help but feature some local beers on our beer list. One of our favorites is One Well Brewing’s Sweet Water Street. An Imperial Porter at 7.1%, this beer highlights our very own Water Street coffee, as well as donuts from another Kalamazoo mainstay: Sweetwater’s Donut Mill. Sweet and smooth, it’s the perfect beer to pair with our summer desserts. Our beer list also features selections from Kalamazoo’s own Bell’s Brewery, as well as Grand Rapids’ Founder’s Brewing Company and Brewery Vivant, and more.
If wine is what you’re looking for, we have a carefully selected list, including a 2016 Barista Coffee Pinotage from Western Cape, South Africa. Rich with coffee, chocolate, and mulberry notes, we recommend pairing a glass with a delicious Spinach and Feta Turnover. Or try a mimosa, featuring the Valdelavia Cava Brut, along with fresh squeezed orange juice.
What else goes well with a cocktail? Live music! We are happy to continue our Water St Live series of free live music at our Portage cafe throughout the summer. Catch Borr+McFerrin at our Cocktail Launch Party on June 16th, then come back to hear The Birdseed Salesmen with Helen Yee on June 28th. Our full event listing can be found on our events page, as well as on Facebook. Each of these events will be free of charge and feature local artists from the Kalamazoo or West Michigan area. With such a lively musical community in Kalamazoo and Portage, we are thrilled to be able to showcase local musicians’ talents and provide a fun, relaxing evening event.
Our cocktail, beer, and wine menu will be changing seasonally, so come in and try these offerings while you can. And we hope to see you on June 16th!
Beer and and wine is served from 7am to close Monday through Saturday, and 12pm to close on Sunday. Cocktails are served 4pm to close Monday through Friday, 7am to close Saturday, and 12pm to close Sunday. Stay tuned for news on approval of our full license, which will allow us to serve cocktails with Sunday morning brunch, as well as let guests enjoy their drinks on our outdoor patio.
Sometimes you just need an extra little something to satisfy your sweet tooth. Combining your favorite tea with the perfect treat can be a wonderful sensation for your taste buds. There are so many foods that pair well with tea, so how do you choose? Maybe we can help! Here are five of our favorite tea and dessert pairings.
Craigmore English Breakfast Flowery Orange Pekoe Black tea and Lavender Honey Cupcake
The smooth Craigmore English Breakfast Flowery Orange Pekoe contains tea leaves that are left whole and include the young buds of the tea plant, also known as tips. Uncut tips hold onto all the essential oils needed for a delicate flavorful brew. This smooth tea pairs well with the mouth watering Lavender Honey Cupcake. This sweet cupcake filled with honey and local lavender comes together with the earthy notes from the tea to create a wonderful aroma. Do you like warm earthy flavors with some creamy sweetness? Then you should try this delicious pairing!
Organic Earl Grey Supreme Black Tea and Chocolate Toffee Scone
Our Organic Earl Grey Supreme Black Tea is a classic tea blend that is rich in flavor and pairs well with many foods. The black tea leaves are infused with fine Italian bergamot citrus oil to create this Organic Earl Grey Supreme. This black tea is perfect on its own, but you can always add milk or honey. When you are looking for something to pair with this stronger tea, you do not want to pick something that is too overpowering. That’s why our Chocolate Toffee Scone is a perfect choice. This tasty scone is full of chocolate chips and toffee bites with drizzled chocolate to top it off. The sweet chocolate and toffee flavors in the scone compliment the robust citrus ones in the tea. Love Earl Grey Tea, but don’t know what to eat with it? Try our Chocolate Toffee Scone!
Four Seasons Spring Oolong Tea and Lemon Cream Cookie
The Four Seasons Spring Oolong Tea is admired for its long-lasting aroma. This delightful drink is crafted by oolong tea artisans and highlights the delicate notes of jasmine and lilac. This floral tea pairs well with our sweet Lemon Cream Cookie. The heavenly lemon cream cookie is made with freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest baked in a creamy cookie. This sweet dessert helps emphasize the delicious tropical flavors in the Four Seasons Oolong Tea without overpowering the delicate floral notes. Next time you are looking for a pleasant fruity tea and dessert pairing, come try our Four Seasons Spring Oolong Tea with a lemon cream cookie.
Fair Trade Organic Jade Cloud Green Tea and Almond Biscotti
The Fair Trade Organic Jade Cloud is a bright and fresh green tea, that has been nurtured by the clouds and cool mist of early spring. This lively tea is a classically delicious green tea. The Fair Trade Organic Jade Cloud Green Tea pairs well with our Almond Biscotti. The Almond Biscotti is a crisp treat that contains almonds. Biscottis are baked twice to make them extra crisp, perfect for dunking into a cup of tea. This nutty biscotti is no exception! If you’re looking for a light mid-afternoon snack, enjoy a mild grassy green tea, and want to try something sweet and crunchy, then this is the pairing for you.
Organic Peppermint Rooibos and Chocolate Pretzel Triangle
Refreshingly crisp but not overpowering, the caffeine-free Organic Peppermint Rooibos is candy-sweet with a fresh burst of peppermint. The soothing Organic Peppermint Rooibos pairs well with chocolate, specifically our Chocolate Pretzel Triangle. This tasty triangle is full of crunchy pretzel pieces and dark and white chocolate drizzled with salted caramel. Chocolate and peppermint is a popular combination; the surprising addition of salted caramel perfectly balances this sweet refreshing pairing. If you like peppermint and you like chocolate, this is one you should definitely try!
What’s your favorite tea and dessert pairings? Come stop in at any of our Water Street cafes to give them a try. Check out our menu to create your perfect pairings!
There are many unique names for all the coffee drinks out there, and it can get confusing. What is a cortado? Or an espresso macchiato, latte, cappuccino, or Americano? Could one of these be your new favorite go-to drink? All of these drinks are made with deliciously roasted espresso, dialed in for the perfect shot every morning. Today, we are going to explain these common coffee drinks and help you decide which of these drinks you will love.
It’s simply a method of preparing coffee. Espresso is a strong, concentrated coffee, brewed by pushing hot water through finely ground coffee beans. To brew the perfect shot of espresso, extraction time is short; the grounds and water are typically in contact for less than thirty seconds. Flavor can be extracted from the coffee quickly because the water temperature is high, the beans are very finely ground, and pressure is exerted throughout the brewing process. The result of this extraction method is a concentrated, more vivid-tasting drink that many coffee drinkers favor.
A cortado and an espresso macchiato may seem similar but they do have important differences. Both of these delightful drinks contain espresso and freshly steamed milk. What sets them apart is the ratio between the espresso and milk in each drink. In addition, an espresso macchiato is traditionally served in a demitasse cup on a saucer with a spoon, whereas a cortado is served in the traditional cortado glass.
Cortado comes from the Spanish word “cortar” which means to cut. This delicious espresso beverage has hot frothed milk which in essence “cuts” the acidity of the espresso.
This creamy drink consists of a 1:1 ratio of frothed milk to a brewed double shot of espresso. Typically, a cortado is served in a small cortado glass with a small layer of froth (as seen in the picture). If you are looking for a great espresso drink that’s a little out of the ordinary, then you should try a cortado.
The birth of the name “macchiato” came from baristas needing to show the difference between an espresso and an espresso with a bit of milk in it. The Italian word macchiato means “stained” or “marked”, hence the espresso macchiato name is translated to “marked coffee”.
This delicious drink is a rich shot (or shots) of espresso marked with a dollop of frothed milk on top. An espresso macchiato is traditionally a 2:1 ratio of espresso to milk, which makes for a stronger espresso taste in the final drink. An espresso macchiato is served in a demitasse cup on a saucer with spoon. This small beverage gives coffee drinkers a little milk in their espresso to soften the sometimes strong or acidic flavor.
Some of the most commonly ordered espresso drinks are a latte and a cappuccino. Once you try them, it’s easy to see why! They are both made with fresh espresso and creamy frothed milk, and are easily customizable by adding flavor or choosing an alternative milk. The difference between them lies in the ratio of froth and weight of each drink.
The name latte is a shortened form of the Italian name caffè latte, which means “milk coffee”. Since the 17th century, both coffee and milk have been a part of European meals.
Many coffee drinkers like this drink if they enjoy the flavorful taste of espresso when it is tempered with a generous amount of milk. When steamed, the natural sugars in the milk make this drink sweet and tasty. A latte is made by pulling the perfect shot of espresso and then topping with steamed milk. Then, the barista expertly finishes the pour with textured milk (usually topped with a design such as a rosetta, tulip, or heart).
A traditional Italian cappuccino is a coffee drink that is prepared with shots of espresso and steamed milk. A cappuccino is rich in flavor and texture. If you like some sweetness to your coffee drink without losing the coffee flavor, then you will love a cappuccino.
A cappuccino is similar to a latte in that it consists of the same ingredients. Tasty cappuccinos are made by pouring the espresso and then milk, but the technique for frothing milk for a cappuccino is slightly different than for a latte. Baristas integrate more air into the milk, resulting in a light whipped consistency to the cappuccino’s foam. A properly made cappuccino will be significantly lighter in weight than a latte.
Still haven’t found the next drink for you? The Americano and café au lait are also popular drinks commonly ordered. The Americano is fresh espresso shots with hot water resulting in a drink comparable to brewed coffee. If you like brewed coffee but want to try something a little different then you should definitely try an Americano. Alternatively, the tasty café au lait is freshly brewed coffee and frothed milk. If you are looking for a mild, sweeter coffee drink, you should consider getting the café au lait.
There’s a popular belief that the Americano name originated during World War II. American G.I.s (when in Italy) would modify espresso with hot water to make it more like the brewed coffee that they had back home. Americano is short for the Italian name café Americano, which literally translates to American coffee.
The Americano is prepared by adding hot water to espresso shots, giving it a similar strength to brewed coffee, but with a bold, velvety smooth taste. This makes it a good alternative if you like coffee, but want to branch out. The strength of an Americano varies with the amount of water added to the drink and the number of shots of espresso. This delightful drink lets you enjoy the flavorful espresso taste without the intensity of a straight shot of espresso.
In American coffee houses, a café au lait is brewed coffee mixed with steamed milk. This coffee drink is different than a café latte, which contains espresso. The French name café au lait is translated to “coffee with milk”. For a café au lait at Water Street, you can choose what type of brewed coffee you would like: light roast, dark roast, or decaf roast. If you prefer a mild, creamy coffee drink, then a café au lait would be perfect for you!
Don’t forget that at Water Street, you can always customize your favorite drinks! You can add any of our flavored syrups to get a unique new flavor in your drink. Water Street Coffee makes our own syrups, and we’re always expanding our homemade syrup offerings. To read more about Water Street Coffee’s house-made syrups and what makes them so delicious, check out our house-made syrup blog. You can also always add an extra shot of espresso to your drinks for a little extra pick-me-up. When you are ordering a drink that has milk in it, you can replace 2% or skim milk with soy milk, almond milk, or breve (half-and-half). Or for a sweeter treat to top your drink, add whipped cream and our homemade dolce (caramel) sauce. Yum!
To see the full Water Street Coffee drink menu, and pick out the next drink you might try, click here!
We promise that you can still look forward to many of your favorites this fall. The Spinach and Feta Turnover has returned along with the Chicken Pesto Melt, Classic Grilled Cheese, and your favorite breakfast burritos. We’re excited to bring back the popular Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Turnover, flaky pastry crust stuffed with sweet potato, pumpkin, swiss cheese, and plenty of garlic and spices. And for true cozy comfort, try the Autumn Squash Empanada: oven roasted chicken, squash, onion, provolone cheese, and plenty of herbs and spices stuffed inside our house-made bierock dough.
For lighter options, we always have Water Street favorite Chicken Pecan Salad and we’re happy to continue our vegan hit Quinoa Sweet Potato Salad. Other delicious vegan options this fall include the Butternut Squash and Cranberry Salad, as well as the zesty Kung Pao Tofu and Vegetable entree. And due to popular demand, we have brought back the delectable Smoky Kale Salad, overflowing with fresh kale, lima beans, gouda cheese, kalamata olives, and sundried tomatoes, all tossed in our house-made smoky vinaigrette.
Breakfast lovers will love our new vegan Fiesta Tofu and Potato Burrito, served hot out of the oven and filled with seasoned tofu, crispy red potatoes, onions, carrots, spices, and a touch of hot sauce. Other new breakfast favorites include the Chorizo and Pepper Jack Spanish Toritlla, as well as the cheesy Denver Omelette Strata. For a full look at our breakfast and savory menu, click here.
No coffee or meal is quite complete unless you have that perfect sweet treat to round everything out. As usual, our expert pastry chefs and bakers have been hard at work. Get your pumpkin fix with a slice of Pumpkin Cheesecake, or try the tasty Pumpkin Tartlet, available through Thanksgiving. Not a pumpkin fan? Try the brand new Margarita Salted Lime Cupcake, vanilla and lime zest combined into a delicious cupcake batter, baked to perfection and topped with vanilla frosting and a light sprinkle of sea salt. It’s a new kind of happy hour!
We’re also excited to introduce the Toffee Pecan Tea Cake, a perfect choice to pair with a hot pot of tea on a blustery day. And no fall season would be complete without a pumpkin donut, new this year and baked fresh every morning!
Now let’s be honest. Nothing quite says fall at Water Street like hot cider, maple pecan lattes, and pumpkin spice, right? What we think is even better is making all of these favorites with local and handmade products.
Whether you like your cider hot, cold, caramel, or spiced with chai tea, at Water Street it’s always fresh from Schultz Fruitridge Farms in Mattawan, MI. We look forward every year to getting their amazing cider back on our shelves. The maple syrup in our signature Maple Pecan Latte also comes straight from local Jack and Jill’s Maple Hill Farm in Paw Paw. They are part of the Michigan Maple Syrup Association and tap the maple trees the old fashioned way – no vacuums or tubing in sight!
And last but not least, tastier than ever is our Housemade Pumpkin Spice syrup. Cooked up by our own Anne Mills in the Water Street Kitchen, it is good in everything! Latte, steamer, coffee, or chai, you really can’t go wrong!
If you’ve been in our cafes lately you might have noticed that it isn’t only our fall drinks that we are serving up local! At each shop we provide a weekly updated chalkboard that tells you where in Michigan our local products came from that week. While we do not source every product we use locally, we believe that doing so as much as possible is not only good for our customer but great for our community. Eating and buying from local farms supports local economy and job growth by keeping our hard earned dollars closer to home and also provides healthier, fresher foods due to less travel and processing time. Check out what farm and producers you are supporting by eating local at Water Street and ask a barista to tell you what ingredients came from each farm the next time you stop in!
Sometimes the day just isn’t complete without a touch of something sweet. A successful marriage of dessert and drink can deliver unexpected and delicious experiences for the palate. Here are some of our very favorite pairings of our homemade sweet treats and smooth coffee picks. Stop by any of our Water Street cafes to give them a try. Or check out our menus to create your own perfect pairing!
Do breakfast the Italian way… with a crunchy biscotti, dipped in a frothy fresh cappuccino. Our biscotti, meaning twice-baked in Italian, are expertly baked in our Water Street kitchen. Our favorites include the Pistachio Chocolate Chip Biscotti and the ever popular Almond Biscotti. Paired with the natural sweetness of the textured froth and the smooth espresso in the cappuccino, this is a combination that will leave you dreaming of the rolling hills of Tuscany!
For the true coffee connoisseur, a contrast in sharp tartness with smooth earthiness is a real treat. Water Street’s luscious lemon bars have been a staple for years, and it’s easy to taste why! We make a rich filling with freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest, then bake to perfection in a shortbread cookie crust. Balancing the delicate flavors of the lemon bar with our popular Sumatra Mandheling roast creates the perfect balanced refreshment. Grown by the Mandheling tribe of west-central Sumatra, Indonesia, near the port of Padang, the Sumatra Mandheling has a heavy, concentrated body, very low acidity, and a rich flavor with hints of dark chocolate. From its rich, sweet aroma to its earthy finish, this brew is deliciously complex. We love it brewed in a Chemex to bring out the full body of this coffee.
We think cheesecake goes well with almost anything, but it especially stands out alongside the creaminess of the cortado. We make our cortados with a 1:1 ratio of frothed milk to fresh espresso, which cuts down on the acidity. Popular in Spain and Portugal, the cortado is commonly ordered in the afternoon, for a delicious pick-me-up. We recommend trying a cortado with our own featured espresso, which gives you a brighter, more complex flavor. Water Street’s famous vanilla cheesecake is a dessert lover’s dream, with made-from-scratch creamy filling baked in a graham cracker crust. Together, these two can help you solve any problem that comes your way.
For the true sweet tooth, there’s nothing better than a freshly-baked cupcake and the caramely goodness of a hot Dolce de Leche. We love so many of our cupcake flavors, but we’re recently very excited about our new Margarita Salted Lime: a vanilla cupcake made with fresh lime zest, topped with vanilla frosting and a light sprinkle of sea salt. Or for a vegan twist, try our vegan dark chocolate or orange mango cupcakes – both rich and delicious! We mix our house-made caramel sauce with our brewed coffee and add steamed milk to create our popular Dolce de Leche drink. Topped with whipped cream and caramel drizzle, it’s a decadent dessert all by itself. Paired with a cupcake, it’s perfection!