Michigan’s First ‘Death Café’ is Now Open in Grand Rapids
There's a new space in Grand Rapids to enjoy coffee and tea while exploring what can be an uncomfortable topic: death.
The Grand Rapids Business Journal reports The Mortals Cafe and Confection, located in Little Space Studio at 111 Division Ave. S, is the first of its kind in Michigan:
Originating in London in 2011, death cafés are not seen as a physical place, but rather a community gathering for individuals to openly and comfortably discuss mortality over coffee.
The Mortals shares on their website,
Death is a grim topic where discussion can get swept under the rug and outside cultures that do it well can become appropriated incorrectly. With creating the right space for community to connect and have discussions, we can bridge these gaps of misunderstanding as well as provide valuable resources for those going through these stages of grief and dealings with death.
Owner of The Mortals, Abbey Hunter, tells GRBJ,
“Familiarizing ourselves with death allows us to live a more fulfilled life... The more we talk about it, the more comfortable we can be with it and find a balance in living.”
Each month, the The Mortals hosts "Cafe Mortel", an event where everyone is welcome to a "no-agenda, casual discussion about all things death and dying" at the space. Guests can enjoy free batch-brew coffee, snacks, and discounted drinks from the menu. The next Cafe Mortel is September 23, 5p.m. to 7p.m.. They also have a growing collection of books on death that guests are welcome to read.
The Mortals' globally inspired menu includes coffee and espresso-based drinks like Americanos, Mochas, and Miels, made with Grandville's Little Foot Roasters' beans. They also serve egg coffee and Phin-style coffee, an alternative slow drip brew popular in Vietnam, made with100% Robusta beans from Vietnam. You'll also find a variety of tea, including The Mortal's "Mortali-Teas" - proprietary blends of herbal tisanes designed to aid certain areas and functions of the body.
The September special is Salvadoran Horchata, made with morro seeds, almond, sesame, pepitas, and spices.
Starting Thursday, September 16, the café is expanding its hours: