When you think of the Georgetown neighborhood, you might think of students bustling between streets lined with row houses to get to campus, high-end retailers and restaurants vying for the attention of consumers, and tourists lining up to see if those cupcakes taste just as good as they look on TV. Specialty coffee is not usually one of those first things to come to mind when you think of Georgetown, but Grace Street Coffee just might change that.
Daniëlle and I were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of Grace Street Coffee with a couple of others last week, prior to their grand opening on Monday, August 15. General Manager Angel and Head Barista Sam came ready to wow us, and wow us they did.
First we were presented with two pour-overs: Sumatran and Ethiopian. The Ethiopian, with a lighter, fruitier taste also serves as their cold brew. Then came the espresso drinks. Their milk comes from South Mountain Creamery of Middletown, MD, and it makes for really nice microfoam for your latte. I must admit, I downed mine pretty quickly after taking the obligatory latte art photo. What surprised me most though was how they make their mochas. While most cafes will use a syrup to add the mocha taste, Grace Street simply steams chocolate milk and adds it to the espresso. This ensures their mocha is consistent in flavor and not too sweet.
Speaking of sweet, a quick side note to address their vanilla syrup. Oh. My. Gosh. It is made in house, and I honestly would have taken a growler of the stuff home if I was allowed. But I digress…
Next came their specialty drinks, beginning with the espresso shrub. This unique drink is composed of espresso, balsamic vinegar, and natural sweeteners. We also sampled the espresso tonic and Grace Street mule, both reminiscent of a cocktail. For all you tea fiends out there, Grace Street will provide a number of options for you. We actually rounded out our tasting with the matcha latte and samplings of two baked goods from Pie Sisters that will be sold upon opening.
While the drink offerings are important, let us not forget about the space itself. Grace Street Coffee will operate under the same roof as the forthcoming Sundevich and South Block Co. There will be plenty of seating inside, but for those craving some sunshine, a dog-friendly patio will also be available.
A shiny gold roaster sits out in the open. All coffee beans will be roasted on site 4 or 5 times a week, inviting customers to get a close look at the process. Grace Street sources their single-origin beans from small companies that maintain reputations of working closely with their farmers. When the cafe receives a particular bean, they roast it 6 times, each to a different level of darkness, and then cup the beans to determine which roast brings out the best in each bean.
As we said our “goodbyes” and “good lucks” to Angel and Sam, I walked away impressed and eager for them to open, as I know they are eager to share their product with the public. Their “sophisticated, not snobby” attitude encourages customers to ask questions while inviting them to show off their coffee skills. So get ready to #GraceYoself, because Grace Street Coffee is coming at you August 15th!