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Local News / Business

Sunday, 8 November, 2009 5:10 PM

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf opens two locations inside Detroit Metro Airport

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is now open inside Detroit Metro Airport's McNamara Terminal.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

ROMULUS, Mich. -- Two Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf coffee shops have recently opened inside Detroit Metro Airport (DTW)'s McNamara Terminal. Both locations are franchised and are being operated by Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services. The first location is in the lower level before security near the domestic baggage claim. The second location is on the main level in Concourse A near boarding gate A60. These are the first two Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf coffee shops to open within the state of Michigan.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is a Los Angeles-based privately held chain of specialty coffee and tea stores. It is known for signature coffees, teas and ice blended drinks. Delaware North also operates two other Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf locations at Ontario International Airport in Ontario, Calif. and one in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

"We hand craft all of our drinks, we hand craft our oatmeal, we make it to order," said Bill Best, General Manager of Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services. "You can add all your fresh ingredients into it and the parfaits. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is unique in several different ways. They work with the growers. Each grower, they hand pick all of their tea leaves and their beans. They deal directly with them. It's not through a third party or anything like that. They're very involved in their product."

Both locations feature a digital menu board, which informs customers about new products and help to expedite overall service. The location near the baggage claim is a little bit smaller than the one on the main level.

"We have the fresh oatmeal and the parfaits done to order," Best said about the main level location near gate A60. "Downstairs more of is your drinks and your grab and go when you're on a run."

The general manager of Delaware North said Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will not open a location inside Metro Airport's North Terminal at this time.

"No, we're not looking at the North Terminal," he said. "Obviously, this is a great concept and we'd love to do more business with them. So we are looking into different options. Hopefully, we will have more Coffee Bean & Tea Leafs soon."

Best said Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf may open more coffee shops across metro Detroit but stopped short of confirming it.

"At this time, I'm not aware of any," the general manager said. "But I will assume they will expand in some time."

The two locations inside Metro Airport feature the basic start-up menu. Best said both locations will soon offer limited-time holiday drinks.

"We have a variety of special drinks," he said. "The biggest one is the tea lattes. You can actually get the fresh tea brewed through the machine. It's a great drink. As the new promotions come out, we will definitely be looking at them to add them to our menu."

Best said prices at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf are comparable to other coffee shops in the area.

"The price of the drinks are very reasonable," the general manager said. "We have done market research. We are comparable to any of the coffee shops in town."

Coffees are priced from $1.85 to $3.00, espressos range in price from $1.75 to $4.00, and ice blended coffee drinks start at $4.50 and go up to $5.25. Hot chocolate or vanilla is available from $2.65 to $3.40. No sugar added drinks are also available.

"It's very good, strong, but very good," said Dean Mills, a traveler from Columbia, Mo., who ordered the coffee of the day. "Actually, a couple of days ago, I was at a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Shanghai, China. It looks pretty much the same. It's a great place."

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is very popular with celebrities. It has been featured on the HBO show Entourage as the regular meeting place for Vincent Chase and his associates. It was featured on Jaime Kennedy's MTV show Blowin' Up as his favorite hangout spot. It was featured in the 2005 film version of the TV show Bewitched. Ashley Tisdale mentioned the coffee shop in two of her YouTube videos. It was featured in the Jack Black film The Holiday. Miley Cyrus, Nicole Richie and Vanessa Hudgens are just some of the stars that are regularly seen ordering a drink at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

"I ordered a Chai Tea Latte," said Mary Jo DeJong, a traveler from Grand Rapids, Mich. "It's very good and these are my favorite drinks and this one's excellent. Usually I look for the Starbucks to be honest, but I didn't see one so this is just as good. I like this Chai quite well, it's not quite as spicy. It's just a little more mild so I'd do it again. Service was very helpful."

For more information on The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, visit www.coffeebean.com. For more information on Detroit Metro Airport, visit www.metroairport.com.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

A look inside the coffee and tea shop on the main floor, next to boarding gate A60.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf also sells grab and go beverages, salads and breads.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Mary Jo DeJong of Grand Rapids, Mich. purchases a Chai Tea Latte at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

 

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