Cafe Rhema fills the void of 1920’s themed coffee shops in Flint! A want you didn’t even realize you had!

“Can’t repeat the past?… Well, of course you can!”

Cafe Rhema’s slogan is, “A coffee shop where conversations start,” and there’s a lot to talk about this cafe. For starters, the atmosphere is the first thing that strikes you. Jazz music and a colorful interior take you back in time. Even the baristas are dressed like they are in a speakeasy out of The Great Gatsby. Likewise, “rhema,” in Greek, means utterance, and this coffee makes you want to talk.

cafe rhema

Cafe Rhema and their delivery car, carrying the “kegerator.” It is designed to help get their craft cold brew coffee to the masses. Their golf cart and kegerator were seen at Buckham Alley Fest in Flint. Owner Josh Spencer explains, “The kegerator is actually a small fridge that’s designed to hold kegs of our cold brew coffee and then we’re able to infuse it with nitrogen and serve it out of the tap.” Steampunk heaven.   

According to their Facebook, Cafe Rhema is a”1920’s themed, european inspired cafè, specializing in craft coffee & espresso. Also serving artisan sandwiches, bubble tea, fresh baked goods, smoothies.”They have colored Saginaw Street since 2014 (you’ll find them at 432 Saginaw St, Flint, MI 48502), and since then have become as omnipresent Dr. Eckleburg’s eyes.

Cafe Rhema’s menu consists of traditional coffee shop staples such as espressos, macchiatos, americanos, and lattes. But of course, they take these to the next level with their specialty flavors. They also serve bubble tea, Italian soda (soda water with flavor), French soda (soda water with flavor and cream), smoothies, and house-made chai. If you need some food to soak up that caffeine, they serve salads, sandwiches, wraps, and croissants, as well as bagels and baked goods. Try the Lavender Latte with Soy (like a meadow with latte art, I swear) and the Grilled Cheese, which is served with garlic butter, lime pepper seasoning, cheddar & swiss cheese on a butter croissant! Check in daily for specials!

Waves of Coffee

Cafe Rhema is part of the Third-Wave Coffee Movement, which is an effort by coffee enthusiasts to become more involved with the sourcing and distribution of their beans. In order to understand what third-wave coffee is, it is important to understand the first and second waves and how they affect the current market. The first-wave of coffee was the result of mass-producing and mass-marketing that occurred, really through all of our history, but especially post-World War II. This emphasis on commercialism over quality gave us ideas like instant coffee, and prominent brands such as Folgers, Maxwell House, and Mr. Coffee.

Once the novelty of quick grounds-free coffee was worn-out, then came the second-wave. Think the Central Perk in Friends. Consumers still wanted quickly made coffee, but now they wanted it to taste good too. Soon specialty coffee-drinkers were not content just to taste good coffee, they also wanted to know where it came from and what made it unique.

Enter third-wave coffee. Most third-wave coffee shops are independently owned and operated, and this is the case with Rhema Coffee. The owner Josh Spencer, and manager Tiff Sommers, love coffee as much as they love Flint.

cafe rhema

The Color Wheel.

This is the “color wheel” or a tool that Cafe Rhema and other third-wave coffee shops use to map flavor profiles and origins of some of your favorite coffee blends. They feel,

It represents a comprehensive, kaleidoscopic picture of coffee flavor. You might see some words you’re not familiar with. That’s ok. We want you to know what you’re tasting when you drink our coffee. We’ve marked our current coffees available on bar so you know what to look for as you drink it.”

What’s your favorite part of the color wheel? I’ll take all of it, in a trough preferably.

What is your favorite coffee blend? What wave of coffee do you think represents you? How much do you love Cafe Rhema? Let us know in the comments below!

All photos courtesy of: Cafe Rhema’s Facebook.

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