Qualia Opens Second Location

Today Qualia Coffee opens its second location in The Gale Eckington. We’ve been looking forward to this for a while now. As you know, we are fans of Qualia – they were our first roaster of the month back in August 2016. However, as long as we’ve been looking forward this this, owner Joel Finkelstein has been anticipating opening a second location for many years. It just took some time to find the perfect location.

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No longer coming soon…it’s here!

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Joel yesterday morning and scoping out the new digs. The space is a lot brighter and more open than the Petworth location but with less seating. The Poursteady pour-over machine is the first thing you see when you walk in the doors. Forgoing a typical register and opting for several tablets instead, the experience for each customer is aimed to be a bit more personal.

Qualia specializes in single-origins, and while their espresso drinks are always solid, I’d recommend ordering a pour-over. Yesterday I tried a Nicaraguan that really hit the spot, and they currently offer a special Yemen that is next on my list (if it doesn’t run out!). This location will also provide coffee already brewed for those on the run with batches brewed 1 liter at a time (as opposed to 3 or 5), ensuring the coffee is as fresh as possible.

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Mesmerized by the Poursteady as it prepares my Nicaraguan pour-over

I can’t help but be excited for the neighborhood of Eckington and envy those who reside in The Gale. So you don’t have trouble finding the new shop, it’s not on Q Street which is the address of The Gale, but more on the corner of Eckington Place and Harry Thomas Way. For their first week of operations, they will be open 7am-1pm, extending their hours once all training is complete.

Congratulations to our friends at Qualia! Let us know what you think of their newest adventure!

Keep caffeinated,

Lauren

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Blue Bottle Opens First DC Store

West Coast favorite Blue Bottle Coffee has slowly made its way over to the East Coast, first settling in NYC before embarking on our nation’s capital. DC’s first Blue Bottle location is set to open in Georgetown this Sunday, July 9th. Off the beaten path, this hip new shop is down Potomac, a little beside and behind Dean & DeLuca. Take a look at some pictures from their Friends and Family preview.

This Louisiana girl definitely recommends the New Orleans iced coffee! It’s cold-brewed with roasted chicory and sweetened with organic cane sugar, and I couldn’t drink mine fast enough!

Two more locations are set to open in DC over the next year, Union Market being the next. Blue Bottle also offers coffee subscriptions for those of you who find it just too difficult to make it down to Georgetown right now.

Are you excited to have Blue Bottle in DC? Sound off in the comments!

Keep caffeinated,

Lauren

Three New Cafes in the DMV

June was a very good month to us. That’s because three new cafes have hit the DMV!

In DC we have the Crimson Diner in the newly opened Pod Hotel. Right beneath the Chinatown archway, this hip new spot serves Blanchard’s Coffee exclusively (you might be familiar with them already thanks to Pleasant Pops, Glen’s Garden Market, and Mason Dixie Biscuit Co.). Grab a pour-over and settle in, admiring the beautiful open space and elegant Modbar equipment, or situate yourself in the window for prime people watching.

Long-awaited Takoma Bev. Co. hit the scene in Maryland just a few weeks ago, offering a full cafe menu and a range of beverages from hand-crafted coffee to wine, beer, and cocktails. The coffee side of the business, which serves Counter Culture Coffee, is directed by co-owner Seth Cook who once served as the Director of Coffee for NoVa favorite Northside Social. There is already talk of expanding the space once their neighbor PollySue’s Vintage Shop relocates!

In Virginia, Portside Coffee and Bakery added a new option for coffee-lovers in Leesburg. Serving Cervantes Coffee and pastries imported from all over the world, Portside “is reminiscent of past coffee culture when coffee was sipped, thoughts were formed, and new friends were met.” They also host “Cars & Coffee” every Sunday from 9-11am; stop by for 10% off your entire purchase!

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Kenyan pour-over at the Crimson Diner in Chinatown.

So far I have one of these shops down, two to go! Have you visited any of them yet? Please share your experiences!

Keep caffeinated,

Lauren

The Better the Water, the Better the Coffee

The better the water, the better the coffee. Makes sense right? I mean, nearly 99% of coffee is water. So why have I been using sub-par water to make my coffee all these years?

DC water is not the tastiest. I won’t drink it straight from the tap. Maybe I just got used to my local water system in Louisiana, or maybe my taste buds are super sensitive. Maybe it’s DC’s rough history with the water system… So like so many of you, when I drink a glass of water, I drink filtered water. However, for three of the almost four years I’ve been living in DC, I’ve been using the tap water when brewing my coffee.

That stopped when I attended my first coffee competition, the annual Aeropress Competition that took place last July. Competitors came in with their own water, some filtered in jugs, others particular water bottle brands. And only at this time did I realize I might want to stop using tap water for my coffee. I mean, there’s a reason not one of these coffee pros is using tap water. So that evening as I was programming my drip machine for the next morning, I decided to add filtered water as opposed to tap water. And did it make a difference…?

Absolutely!

I could immediately tell my coffee was cleaner and crisper. And honestly, now it takes longer for residue to build up on my drip machine. Now filtered water is all I use. It’s an added benefit that filtered water is better for your health as it is absent of some unwanted elements that could otherwise be making their way through your body. It can also contribute to nutrient absorption, weight loss, skin hydration, and detoxification.

After reading this, you might be thinking, “No shit, Sherlock,” and that is fine. But if you’re not doing so already, try making your morning coffee with filtered water and let us know if you can taste the difference.

Keep caffeinated,

Lauren

P.S.- Yes, there are cities out there with high quality tap water. Maybe you’re lucky to live in one of these places where filtered water isn’t necessary. If you do, please share with us your thoughts on using your local tap water to brew coffee.