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Coffee and Coffee Shops

I really enjoyed Tim Carmen’s column in last week’s City Paper about coffee shops around Greater DC. Since I moved, I’ve made it a goal to visit all of the local shops in Arlington and DC. I’ve actually been to quite a few, although fortunately DC has so many local coffee shops that I still have a lot of places to go.

(from Mr. T in DC on Flickr)

What makes a coffee shop great? Is it about the drink? Or is it about the experience? It’s definitely about both. Unfortunately, it’s hard for a lot of coffee shops to pull-off both.

When it comes to coffee itself, the best cup in town is up at Qualia Coffee in Petworth. What makes this place unique is the attention to detail they keep at every step in the process, from the moment the beans are roasted until brewing process is complete. I’m also a big fan of Peregrine Espresso on the Hill and I’ve enjoyed the coffee I drank at Mid City Caffe on 14th Street.

Unfortunately, I’m yet to find a coffee shop in DC that I can definitively say offers a great experience. Northside Social has a lot of space, but it’s not particularly comfortable to me. Java Shack in Arlington has a really nice outdoor patio, although the number of patio days left this year is getting smaller and smaller. And for what it’s worth, I like the interior design Mid City Caffe has utilized, as far as making efficient use of its limited space.

I’m not sure if DC will ever have the “perfect coffee shop” – it’s not easy to pull off in any city where the cost of doing business is very high. I’ll keep looking for it though, and enjoying DC’s many good coffee shops in the meantime.


Peter Smith said…
coffay vid from sf:
Anonymous said…
although I tend to avoid H street NE, check out Sova. I bet you'll find that perfect combination of great coffee and great sense of place. My favorite coffee shop in the city.
M.V. Jantzen said…
Don't forget about Big BEar Cafe and Tryst!

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