Print Your Best Artwork on Your Morning Latte at This Birmingham Cafe

From intricate latte art to unexpected flavors and a unique setup, Birmingham Roast is worth a visit


Photograph by Hayden Stinebaugh

Discussing the future of a relationship over coffee isn’t too out of the ordinary — cafés are accustomed to this sort of meetup. But a marriage proposal etched in latte foam art? Well, that’s a different story.

“They loved it,” says Andy Vickers, front of house manager at Birmingham Roast, about a customer who proposed to his then girlfriend (now fiancé) with the help of a customized image in the coffee shop’s crème brûlée-infused milk ‘Kuppa Joy’ latte. “He wanted his picture — a photo of the couple — with ‘will you marry me?’ written under it, and then he slid it over to her as his way of asking.”

The specialty coffee shop, which features copper accents, quartz countertops, leather seating, and rows of glowing lights in its interior, opened in downtown Birmingham in June and has been racking up social media likes for its latte foam art, created using a Ripple Maker machine.

Vickers says Birmingham Roast is the only coffee shop in Michigan that owns the countertop device, which connects to a mobile app over Wi-Fi to process designs and images before printing them in foam. To Vickers, the machine complements the coffee shop’s drink and food lineup, including pour-over and latte options, avocado toast, panini and bagel sandwiches, vegan bakery treats, and more.

“It makes everything that we do Instagramable,” he says. “It’s a fun tool that adds that extra touch of personalization.”

The Ripple Maker, which has found popularity in New York and Los Angeles, can crank out famous quotes, selfies, an image of someone’s pet, a corporate logo, and of course, text and photos to accompany a proposal, in as little as 15 seconds.

“You give me an image, and I’m going to give you that exact image,” Vickers says. “We can get incredibly detailed.”

So far, customers are drinking it up.

25 E. Brown St, Birmingham; 248-530-4314;

// More Hot Spots 

A semi-recent addition to Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood, New Order Coffee specializes in imaginative coffee concoctions and bakery treats. Chomp on revamped childhood favorites, like an oversized Crunch Berries cereal bar or a slice of homemade confetti cake, while sipping on a flavorful latte. Some of their more popular coffee-beverage “add-its” include cereal milk, M&M ganache, and marshmallow toppers. 3100 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-784-9164;

From honey lavender to brown sugar and sea salt, turmeric agave, green tea, and more, Ann Arbor-based Lab is constantly offering new, inventive latte flavors. Aside from that, the café has a local approach when it comes to food, and often carries brownies from Tasty Footprints, macarons from Cecilia’s Pastries, and vegan cookies from The Lunch Room. 505 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-827-2233;

Housed in a quaint storefront with black and white awnings and a sunny yellow interior, Espresso Elevado is an artisanal coffee roaster and brew bar with a lot of charm. The main attraction, though? Seasonal lattes. Crafted by the shop’s baristas, Espresso Elevado will be offering its Calabaza Latte made with pure pumpkin, a Candied Clove Cappuccino, and a Campfire Cappuccino this fall. 606 S. Main St., Plymouth; 734-904-8323;


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