Oh yawn… not that quote again. “A yawn is a silent scream for coffee!” That’s better. Now. Where were we? “Coffee has given me unrealistic expectations of productivity.” Yep. I (Daniëlle) recently stumbled upon a… More
I (Lauren) met Candy back in March when she was at Duality Espresso & Whisky Bar officially launching Southeastern Roastery. Talking to her briefly (as she had many supporters in attendance), I was enthralled by her path to coffee and her enthusiasm for this new adventure. I knew her story was one District of Coffee should share, and who better to tell it than the woman herself?
In hindsight, it appears that I have been consciously crafting my coffee quest to create Southeastern Roastery, but this is not quite accurate. The reality is I can only vaguely pinpoint its beginnings let alone any intentional endeavors along the way.
My best guess is that I began preparing to enter the vast world of coffee in the summer of 1995, when I decided, clumsily, to start engineering school. Did I know what I was getting into at the time? No. But, math problems were my past-time jigsaw puzzles, I like chemistry, and I emotionally needed the follow-up security that the degree claimed to afford me. Four and a half years I spent toiling in labs, studying fluid flow theories, and sitting through what seemed like endless group meetings. I came away with a diploma noting my skills and put it to use in pulp and paper, oil, and controls design.
After graduation I came to know rural America well. Though beautiful, I experienced enough to know that I did not want to spent spend my adult youth aging there. Also, during this time, I realized that I lost the creative space allowed in learning engineering to the economically driven and controlled processes of industry. I soon became bored with the field in which I was working and needed a change.
The year was 2006 when I made the decision to enter graduate school. By this point, the industrial environment taught me that fields of engineering, and science in general, needed more human guidance. I had witnessed communities complain of industrial waste in water and soil and listened to companies battle with them for increased profits. I was fed-up with an itch for a switch from life in rural, industrial America. So, I registered for a program geared toward natural resource management with an international focus and moved to Central America. This is when I met Costa Rica.
The “rich coast,” with its mountainous islands and luscious rain forests, unwrapped my joy in sylvan pleasures that my adult self had boxed-up from childhood. In this plush landscape, I encountered coffee. Not just the roasted bean, but also its trees, fruit, growers, terrains, and climates – it’s ecosystem. It reminded me of home. As a child, I spent long hours with various family members plowing, planting, watering, and de-weeding gardens of green beans, cantaloupe, collard greens, kale, green peppers, squash, tomatoes, corn, and pumpkin. Nestled between the warm waters of the Pacific and the Caribbean, among frequent earth tremors, through coffee’s familiar yet foreign vegetative environment, I sensed a wider connection to the world that the U.S. alone did not afford me. What I was able to claim as the comforts of home had extended beyond its borders.
I was content with that notion then, and that emotion has stuck with me. It is in this connectivity of the roots of agriculture that I am drawn to coffee. With it, I am building cross-border relationships through this common ecosystem using what I have gained throughout my life. This opportunity is my gift from the universe, from which I am ever learning and ever growing. And, even at its tumultuous and unpredictable times, I compassionately accept and look forward to sharing its beauty.
If you are in the DC area, you can explore Southeastern Roastery locally crafted coffees at Songbyrd Record Cafe in Adam’s Morgan, Duality Espresso and Whiskey Bar at 1301 U St. NW, and Uptown Arthouse in Cleveland Park. Follow the roastery on Instagram – @southeasternroastery – for cuppings, tastings, and future happenings throughout DC, MD, and VA. Most of all, cup collectively and share lovingly!
Written by Candy Schibli, Head Roaster, Southeastern Roastery
Today’s post is by guest writer Susannah Winters of Wheelys Cafe DC. For those who are unfamiliar with Wheelys, allow Susannah to share her story. She and her husband are the embodiment of the Walt Disney quote “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
Before my husband and I met each other we both separately had dreams of owning a cafe. We wanted it to be a community hub with open mic nights and local art featured on the walls. We loved coffee and loved the idea. What we didn’t love was the idea of having a brick and mortar. Something about it felt like too much and wasn’t for us. Maybe because we both like the freedom to pick up and move on a whim.
Years later, after my husband had been in real estate for years and I worked for Lululemon for almost a decade, we decided it was time to do something different. I was on maternity leave when my husband approached me with the idea of buying a coffee cart bicycle…specifically, a Wheelys Cafe franchise. We have biked together since we met, whether it was beach cruiser pub crawls in San Diego (where we lived) or training for a ½ ironmans…so he sold me on the idea pretty easy. We packed up our toddler and two dogs, sold our house, I got a job transfer, and we made the move from San Diego to DC.
We chose DC because we wanted a densely populated area that loved coffee ✓ and bikes ✓. And boy does DC love their coffee and bikes!
Our mission is to inspire more people to ride bikes while serving the best cup of coffee possible off of a bike. We are committed to supporting local small businesses and creating an engaging and thoughtful experience for our customers.
Being pedal and solar powered makes us one of the most eco friendly cafes in the world. As we expand, our goal is to stay as eco friendly as possible by restocking our cafes by cargo bicycle (yuba El Mundo V5).
We became operational about 6 weeks ago and we’ve found quality partners since our launch. We’ve fallen in love with both Zeke’s Coffee Roasters and Swings Coffee and serve both from our bike. We hand pour every cup which is infused with love, because we believe it makes a difference. We also serve District Doughnuts, our newest partner.
Since our move to DC we’ve fallen hard for DC’s spacious bike lanes and plethora of coffee roasters and micro roasters. The coffee scene here easily rivals San Diego (although the craft beer scene needs work ← our other love).
We’ve been serving on the corner of 9th St. North and North Stuart Street in Arlington (in front of Dunkin Donuts), and we will be moving to another Arlington location in a few weeks. It’s a mini victory for us when we convert a Dunkin Donut’s customer to a fan of locally roasted organic coffee. You can always find our location on our insta @wheelyscafedc.
We also do weddings and events!
We are looking for permanent spots in DC proper. The beauty of being on a bike is we can fit most places! If you or someone you know wants a pedal powered cafe to serve up some deliciousness, shoot us a note on Instagram.
Huge thank you to Lauren for inviting me to write a guest blog on District of Coffee! I’m thrilled for the opportunity to share about Wheelys Cafe DC!
Written by Susannah Winters, Owner & Chief Culture Officer of Wheelys Cafe DC
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.
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.
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!
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!