REO Town 1149 Washington Ave., Lansing Michigan
Old Town 1236 Turner St., Lansing Michigan
East Lansing 213 Ann Street, East Lansing Michigan
Concoction: Espresso, honey, vanilla, topped with rose petals.
Concoction: Americano with bourbon honey, cinnamon bark essential oil and lemon.
Concoction: celebrating Michigan in the fall: the Cap City Crisp! Espresso shaken with bourbon honey, cinnamon oil, strained over ice and topped off with apple soda!
Getting the picture? The coffee here isn’t normal. Yes you can get a cup of black coffee. Or sweeten it up. You can even get a basic latte. But why?
The good news: the Blue Owl empire is now made up of three locations: REO Town (the original), Old Town (my fave) and East Lansing (one block north of Michigan State University’s campus). This place started as a coffee cart in 2016 and in 2017 opened their doors in REO Town. I cannot believe it hasn’t been here longer, it’s such a staple in the community.
The original REO Town location and the one in East Lansing both have outside seating options when the weather permits. I absolutely love the bright-colored Adirondack chairs and local art at the REO Town location. Vintage mix and match chairs give the place a cool, eclectic vibe inside.
But my favorite location is in Old Town. It is super tiny with a few bar stools facing the window, one “large” conference-style table and a small table across from the register, where I’ve been known to hyper-focus at my laptop and produce brilliance over a coffee cocktail, matcha tea treat or iced blueberry tea.
At all locations, “seasonal” is a thing. As mentioned earlier they use essential oils in their recipes, as well as local ingredients so matching them up to the season is the brilliance that becomes your drink. Obviously, Blue Owl is locally owned, and the baristas know their ingredients and are not only outstanding with their recommendations but always supportive for those of us who might get a little indecisive.
If you’re looking for a simple strong black coffee, they have a menu for you to select a pour-over. Slow-poured in individual servings, the beans are excellent quality and range from rich and bold to soft and mild. But if you just want straight coffee, I recommend ordering a nitro. They never ask if you want ice (LOL I’ve been asked that before!) and do a slow pour. Just like pulling a Guinness from the tap. It’s clear the baristas there were trained properly.
Naturally, you won’t get bagged tea out of a cardboard box at Blue Owl. My favorite blend is the blueberry. Brewed to order then poured over ice. It takes longer this way but is so incredibly worth the wait.
And it isn’t just your straight coffee and tea at Blue Owl. One example of going off the regular coffee-shop menu: Moscowl Mule, a cold brew with mint and ginger beer. Another thing to note: ice cream drinks! You can get a Shakerato which is espresso topped with ice cream or the reverse Con Panna which is espresso over ice cream. Both are under $4, affordable to enjoy sitting in one of those Adirondack chairs on Washington Avenue.
Food is not the focus here but if you get a bit hungry, you can find something to ease your pain. Bagels, sandwiches, or a sweet treat. In fact, if you’ve heard of DeWitt, Michigan’s Sweetie-licious pies (Food Network award-winning!), you’ll be excited to find Linda Hundt’s confections are sold at Blue Owl. My favorite: the lemon cookie. But I guarantee it is all delicious. And if you have the time, drive north on US 27 and head into downtown DeWitt to grab a pie!
Parking for all three locations is street parking. If you are in East Lansing, you can also park under the Marriott across M.A.C. Avenue to the east.