Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea offers a one-of-a-kind experience and menu that was created around the idea, “Love Your Day.” We took a moment to speak with owners Wei and Lisa Bee about their special offerings, customer favorites, and what makes Sweetwaters so unique.
What makes Sweetwaters unique?
We offer custom blended and roasted coffees, handcrafted espresso drinks, whole leaf teas, and our own specialty drinks that you won’t find anywhere else. Plus, a delicious assortment of decadent desserts, freshly baked pastries, and sandwiches.
What are some favorite drinks and food items?
- The Dreamy Cold Brew is a student and staff favorite (it gets its smooth flavor and consistency from being brewed for 18 hours!).
- Many guests also enjoy our globally-inspired drinks, like the French Vietnamese au Lait and Thai Iced Tea. My favorite is our fruity, yogurt-based Strawberry Bliss. And Wei loves our bold and slightly sweet Dragon Eye (named after him as he was born in the Year of the Dragon!).
- Our hot sandwiches are also very popular.
- And we have some great desserts and pastries as well! Treat yourself to our lemon bars, chocolate cake, and freshly baked croissants with the choice of chocolate, almond, and butter flavors.
What are your recommendations for special menu items?
- Our globally inspired offerings!
- Sweetwaters originals like the Napali Brew ice cream shake, Ginger Lemon tea, and Ginger Raspberry tea.
- Beautiful whole leaf teas like Dragon Pearl Jasmine, Pomegranate Green, and many, many more! (Choose from over 15 whole leaf teas.)
- Specialty teas like our Matcha Latte (pure, high quality, imported Japanese green tea) and Chai Latte (a custom blend of spices and organic whole leaf black tea, which we brew in-house daily).
Any fun or interesting stories about specific menu items?
Ginger Lemon Tea (a Sweetwaters original): When we first opened our doors in 1993, Wei made our Ginger Lemon Tea in-house by grinding fresh ginger, juicing lemons, and adding just the right amount of honey. In fact, he made and developed the recipe at the Washington Street Sweetwaters, our very first cafe. As a result, the Ginger Lemon Tea continues to be made with real ginger, lemon and honey—an herbal tea infusion full of antioxidants and vitamin C. Over the years, we have had guests call the cafe asking for our recipe. That’s how much our guests love it!
Napali Brew: Inspired by our travels to the Napali coast of Hawaii, we loved the beauty of the landscape of this region and wanted to create a drink inspired by the coast and the ever-present scent of toasted nuts in Hawaii. From this trip, the Napali Brew ice cream shake was created.
Fun fact: U-M students visited Sweetwaters before choosing it for the Michigan Union. Not only did the coffeehouse itself make an impression, the Napali Brew, in particular, was reported back as the group’s favorite.
Does Sweetwaters have any special promotions?
Our SweetRewards program has many perks for our guests! Once you join SweetRewards, you start earning points with every purchase. At 60 points, you earn a free drink. In addition, SweetRewards members have access to exclusive items and offers on our Members Menu, including early access to new or limited-time drinks along with special pricing. We give extra points on Double Points Days and have Happy Hours with BOGO offers. Finally, our mobile app features exclusive promotions and allows guests to skip the line by ordering ahead for convenient pick-up.
Come see us to try one of our favorites and check out other offerings on our diverse menu. There’s something for everyone!
Learn how Sweetwaters went from an idea to a brick-and-morter coffeehouse in eleven states.