The Year in Coffee: 2017

What a year, what a year! Below is a breakdown of some of the big things that took place in the DC coffee community in 2017.

  • Two new roasters emerged on the scene, Small Planes and Southeastern Roastery. You can find Small Planes at Shop Made in DC as well as Peregrine and others, and Southeastern has recently moved into Songbyrd.
  • Flying Fish Coffee & Tea, Filter’s Brookland location, and Bayou Bakery in Eastern Market unfortunately all closed, but they have been replaced by Pear Plum Café, Fox Loves Taco, and Little Pearl, respectively.
  • Shops such as Vigilante rolled out table service, and farmers markets were as popular as ever.
  • Pop-ups Lost Sock and Penny Brew began popping up more often.
  • Bourbon barrel cold brew became really popular during the summer months, and we saw some of our favorite coffee shops collaborating with local distilleries to make this happen. We also saw shops begin to experiment more with coffee cocktails (which we hope to write more about this year).
  • Our first DC Coffee Fest in nearly a decade kept people caffeinated during the last weekend of September. The event centered around the DC Preliminaries for the U.S. Coffee Championships which were the only preliminaries to take place on the East Coast.
  • After years of construction, The Wharf finally opened at the Waterfront, including Velo Café at District Hardware and Bike and a new Dolcezza location. Vigilante is also serving up coffee to concertgoers and musicians at The Anthem.
  • Drip: A DC Coffee Podcast launched in the fall, which is a great treat since DC is such a podcast town. If you want to listen to a 2017 wrap up on the podcast, check out the latest episode here.
  • Hotel Hive in Foggy Bottom and The Line Hotel in Adams Morgan opened with cafés, as did Pod DC Hotel in Chinatown with Crimson Diner, serving Blanchard’s Coffee out of Richmond.
  • Other new coffee shops on the scene include Swing’s at 14th & G, Wheely’s Café, Qualia Eckington, Blue Bottle, Takoma Bev. Co., Portside Coffee and Bakery, Starbucks Reserve, Gregory’s, Slipstream Navy Yard, two new Compass locations, Sadie’s Weekdays, Chillzone Café, Detour Coffee, Colada Shop, Upper West Side Café, Vortex, Pitango AdMo, and Café Chocolat. I’m sure there’s some I missed, so please shout them out in the comments so I can include them!

As you can see, 2017 was a HUGE year for DC coffee, and we are so excited to see what 2018 brings!

Keep caffeinated,

Lauren

Holiday Wish List 2017

Deck the halls with lots of coffee, fa la la la la la la la la!

How did this year go by so fast? It seems like just yesterday we were compiling our 2016 holiday wish lists – one for coffee novices and another for coffee enthusiasts. We had so much fun doing so that we knew we had to bring it back (if nothing else for our loved ones so they know what to get us *wink wink*). This year’s gifts all remain under $80, so you don’t have to break the bank to surprise the caffeine addict in your life.

FRENCH PRESS

Last year we included an Aeropress and personalized Chemex on our wish list. This year, it’s another brewing device that’s easy to use at home. A French press is perfect for those who like their coffee robust as the grounds are steeped instead of filtered, allowing for complete saturation. This one from Crate & Barrel would look super cute on your counter top (eerrrr…I mean their counter top, if you can bear to part with it).

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Price: Varies

Where to buy: Crate & Barrel website for one the pictured or many of your local coffee shops

COLD BREW CUBE

While at the New York Coffee Festival this year, I came across this brilliant new device. It brews a week’s worth of cold brew in less than 24 hours, and you don’t even have to worry about keeping an eye on the clock or straining it. The team behind this idea is still in the Kickstarter phase, so Brew Cubes won’t be delivered until the spring. However, I kind of like this idea; first because the package will arrive as the weather gets warmer, and second, because it’ll be like a surprise gift once it’s received (like those late night online shopping purchases you completely forget about until they show up on your doorstep…). We suggest wrapping up your favorite bag of beans with a note letting your cold brew enthusiast know their Brew Cube will be arriving in 2018!

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Price: $79

Where to buy: sign up for the presale here

COFFEE CUBE ICE TRAY

Nobody likes their coffee watered down, but you also need ice to make iced coffee (duh). So why not use coffee ice cubes? I’ve ruined a couple of my regular ice trays trying to make coffee cubes, and so a special tray for this very purpose is a no-brainer. It’s an inexpensive yet thoughtful gift, perfect for that coworker who drinks iced coffee during all seasons!

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Price: $8

Where to buy: Amazon

HYDRO FLASK

Danielle got me this for Christmas last year, and I swear I use it almost every day! It keeps my coffee piping hot for hours, so no more having to worry about room temperature coffee while at the office. Available in 9 colors, sizes 12, 16, and 20 oz. Check out our Instagram for giveaway details on a 16 oz. Hydro Flask!

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Price: $22-$28

Where to buy: Hydro Flask website

REUSABLE FILTERS

For that eco-friendly person in your life. You might be asking yourself, “What? Reusable coffee filters?” Made of linen, they work just like paper filters, and they’re super easy to clean. It’s also a unique gift, so bonus points!

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Price: $30

Where to buy: Food52 website

AIRSCAPE STORAGE CONTAINER

Who cares if you measure your beans precisely, reach the perfect water temperature, and time your extraction just right if your beans aren’t even fresh to begin with? Proper coffee bean storage is VITAL. This sleek air-tight container is a great gift for the coffee lover who has just about everything else they need to ensure the perfect cup of coffee.

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Price: $22-28

Where to buy: Williams Sonoma website

POWERED BY COFFEE T-SHIRT

We’ve partnered with Sneekis again this year to offer you a discount on our favorite DC clothing brand! These “Powered by Coffee” t-shirts are incredibly soft and tell everyone where your head is at. I wear mine and my coffee flag tee all. the. time. Use promotional code “coffee” for 15% off your purchase!

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Price: $25 (before your discount!)

Where to buy: Sneekis website

COFFEE BODY SCRUB

For the friend who doesn’t like drinking coffee (we all have one)… I can personally vouch that this body scrub is fantastic, and it lasts a while, too! Don’t worry, your friend won’t be walking around smelling like she just worked a double shift at Starbucks. And it’s really all about the texture of the scrub that truly works exfoliating wonders.

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Price: $18

Where to buy: Anthropologie website

COFFEE SUBSCRIPTION

There are few things more beautiful than having fresh coffee beans delivered straight to your door. Subscriptions allow people to try a variety of coffees to find out what they like. Also, every time your coffee lover receives their subscription, they’ll be reminded of your thoughtfulness. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

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Price: Varies

Where to buy: Check out our previous write up on local cafes offering coffee subscriptions

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What’s on your holiday wish list, coffee fiends?

Keep caffeinated,

Lauren

DC Coffee Podcast Hits the Airwaves

Confession: Before October, I (Lauren) had never listened to a podcast. They honestly intimidated me, and even more honestly, I didn’t know how to access them because I am seriously becoming my mom when it comes to technology… However, I had to get my act together, because a DC coffee podcast was in the works. I eased my way in by first listening to Serial (if anyone is still wanting to talk about it three years later, hit me up). I soon followed with episodes of The Coffee Podcast, 51 First Dates, and Pod Save America. Now, with several podcasts under my belt and a better understanding of the medium, I feel as though I am aptly prepared to fully appreciate Drip: A DC Coffee Podcast.

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Drip is the creation of coffee enthusiast Austen Brower. Austen reached out to us over the summer, expressing interest in conducting an interview for the pod. I met up with him at The Cove in Columbia Heights, nervous and not really knowing what to expect. My first impression was that he is a genuinely nice guy, evidenced by the fact that he offered to drink the decaf cup of coffee I accidentally brewed in the keurig (and they say chivalry is dead). My second impression was that this guy is really energized about coffee and the connection that comes with it.

Austen grew up around coffee – particularly on his father’s side – but it wasn’t until he entered AmeriCorps that he really found himself interested. His service had him teaching in Kansas City, MO, and the local coffee scene “became sort of [his] refuge.” A few of his favorites shops include Thou Mayest, Opera House, and Roasterie. Upon returning to DC where the coffee scene was exploding, Austen was looking for a way to make money while completing an internship, and so he began working as a barista at La Colombe Chinatown (where he still picks up the occasional weekend shift).

Why a podcast? Austen jokes that it’s because he’s horrible at writing, but the truth of it is that he really enjoys talking to people. A fan of podcasts himself, he received a microphone for Christmas last year, and things have been coming together ever since. Informational interviews with Commonwealth Joe and Wydown helped set the stage for his style and questions he wanted to ask, and he enlisted friends to help him with the production side of things. His music comes from local band Broke Royals (their self-titled album drops later this month). His editor is Steve Stewart, creative direction provided by Wesley Stukenbroeker, and Rebecca Silverstein designed the artwork.

The goal of Drip is simple: to brew community. Austen’s favorite aspect of the DC coffee scene is the people – people with incredible passions and incredible stories. He hopes his audience comes away with a deeper understanding of coffee and inspiration to follow their own dreams. In his first three episodes, he talks the relationship between roasters and baristas with Charles and Matt from Qualia, Chris Vigilante’s journey from small roaster in Hawaii to coffee virtuoso in the DMV, and I think I just might be in there somewhere…

Drip: A DC Coffee Podcast is available now on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher! Be sure to tune in and share with your caffeine-addicted friends! Additional episodes will be coming every other week, the first season comprising around one dozen episodes.

Who else is stoked to be celebrating DC coffee in this fresh, new way?!

Keep caffeinated,

Lauren

 

The Rhythm is Gonna Get You

Jamming out to live music is one of my favorite things. And doing so while enjoying a piping hot latte? Even better. Take a look at some of the cafes below that offer live musical performances.

Bakers & Baristas hosts local musicians Wednesday evenings from 7-9pm. Follow them on social media to see what acts are coming up, and take a gander at photos from their previous concerts.

Songbyrd Music House & Record Cafe serves as a record shop, cafe, and live music venue. They have something going on nearly every day of the week, including the occasional Music Trivia on Mondays. Check out their schedule here.

Ebenezers Coffeehouse around Capitol Hill is known for their “Coffee with a Cause,” but they’re also known for hosting concerts and other events on their lower level. Be sure to follow them on social media to see who’s playing next!

Bump ‘n Grind in Silver Spring allows you to dig through their collection of house records while sipping on your cup of joe. They also, of course, host live events. A list of their upcoming shows can be found here.

Jirani Coffeehouse in Manassas largely celebrates the arts, whether its through art shows, writing workshops, or open mic nights. Check out their schedule here.

A Baked Joint will soon be holding live music events, and they’re looking for local bands to perform. If you know of anyone who might be interested, hit them up!

Did I leave your favorite spot off the list? Do you know of any special events coming up? Please share!

Keep caffeinated,

Lauren