Zingerman’s Next Door Café is a favorite place to get coffee and study— you can see students there all through the week and the weekend. It has excellent study spaces upstairs, is located in the heart of Kerrytown, and plays amazing coffee shop music (Hozier, anyone?). About 6 months ago, I embarked on a journey to try every caffeinated beverage they offer, and I would now confidently say that I know the menu inside and out. To save you time (and money) when you go there in the future, I now present my (totally unbiased) list of the top 5 drinks on the menu:
*note: all of these drinks have dairy, but Zingerman’s carries all common dairy substitutes*
5. Mayan Mocha— latte with Chocolat Moderne spicy drinking chocolate
Some may put this drink higher on the list, but, as someone who feels pretty neutral to mochas, I think it belongs here. I acknowledge that, for a mocha, it is pretty good— it is a good balance of chocolate and coffee, and doesn’t have the normal mocha problem of being too rich. It is only #5 because I think that it’s not as special as some of the other drinks later on this list. If you are a mocha fan, you will definitely enjoy it. If you are not, I would skip it for a later drink.
4. Honey Halvah Latte— toasted sesame, Michigan honey, espresso, steamed milk
Simply put, this latte is yummy. There’s no other word for it. It’s sweet, milky, and caffeinated, which are, in my opinion, all keys to a delicious drink. The only reason it is not higher is because it is not something that I crave very often. It has very summery flavors, and Michigan doesn't exactly have very summery weather very often. That being said, I still think everyone should try it, and it earns a solid 4th place on this list.
3. Vanilla Cream Cold Brew— cold brew, Mexican vanilla syrup, cream
We’re not getting into the well-known drinks category. Having spent an embarrassingly large amount of time (and money) on Zingerman's Next Door, I can confidently say the Vanilla Cream Cold Brew accounts for approximately ⅓ of all the drinks ordered. If you’re a cold brew addict, this is the drink for you: it’s everything you love about a cold brew with cream, but also has Mexican vanilla syrup added. That subtle, extra vanilla-y taste makes all the difference, and I can assure you that you’ll consider it a step-up from a regular creamy cold brew. Consume with caution though: trying this cold brew might make all future cold brews pale in comparison.
2. Dirty Sheed— espresso, Mexican vanilla syrup, cream, ice
This drink is well-known, but, from what I have seen, not as popular amongst the general crowd as the Vanilla Cream Cold Brew. It has two shots of espresso (you can get a double with 4 shots if you really need caffeine), a shot of that Mexican vanilla syrup everyone loves, cream, and lots of ice. I haven’t been ordering this drink much lately simply because it is too cold, but this is my go-to hot weather drink. It’s refreshing, very caffeinated, and yummy— once again, that Mexican vanilla syrup is simply delicious. This is definitely a must-try.
1. Lumberjack Latte— Jo Snow Lumberjack Syrup, espresso, milk
Finally, we have reached the most underrated and delicious drink at Zingerman’s Next Door: the Lumberjack Latte. I cannot say enough good things about this drink, and I would argue that it is objectively the best drink on the menu, hot or cold (you can order it both ways). The Jo Snow Lumberjack Syrup is what makes the drink so great. It brings in a slightly smoky flavor of cinnamon and maple, and pretty much tastes like eating-pancakes-in-a-cozy-armchair-on-a-lazy-morning (because that’s totally a flavor). Basically, if you want to feel good, get this drink. I have recommended it to so many people and have never had any complaints. I suppose if you are dead set against sweet drinks, the lumberjack is not for you, but that’s the only reason you should not be drinking it.
There you have it folks, the totally objective top 5 list of Zingerman’s Next Door caffeinated drinks. Next time you’re at Zingerman’s Next Door, get something from this list - you won’t regret it!