Ask me the best way to spend a weekend morning and it will absolutely include coffee and good conversation (or good coffee and conversation??) If you want to throw in expertly brewed single origin coffee served in gorgeous mint-colored Acme Co. cups, all the better.
This is how we spent two recent mornings at The Coffee Bar for their special weekend services. The first was at their downtown location, which is normally closed during weekends so the group of us had the place to ourselves. They advertised on social media and opened it especially for the event, and served the same coffee bean brewed three different ways: espresso, Chemex, and a signature cold brew. Coffee Director Matt McGuire showcased the beans that they had not rolled out in their cafes yet, an Ethiopian Hambela Buku, roasted by Onyx Coffee Lab. (Onyx Coffee Lab has been in recent coffee news through Perfect Daily Grind, who interviewed co-counder Andrea Allen on her competition background and the roles of females in coffee competitions).
Matt talked us through the processing of the beans, the origin, and the different notes we could expect to find. He was eager to talk coffee but let us know good naturedly that if we wanted less education and more hang-out time that was ok too. We were all so interested that the event, which typically last an hour, surpassed two hours by the time most of us walked out the door. They served biscuits with honey butter to cleanse our palettes between tastings; the espresso was intense, the pour over bright and fruity, and the signature drink (made with tonic water and lime juice) refreshing.
I ran into Matt not too soon after that perfect Saturday morning and asked him when the next one would be. A thought he had come up with: a cafe within the cafe, for the Shaw location. It would be “table service” with a precise and exquisite menu, and of course more time to talk coffee.
They were pulling espressos on a smaller La Marzocco making for a more intimate experience. The menus were beautifully printed with a wide variety of coffee drinks (and of course their delicious pastries (from Hawthorne). Among a variety of single-origin coffees the same Ethiopian Hambela Buku was available, even for the milk-based espresso drinks.
Matt is still working out the particulars but would like to roll out events like these every other weekend, rotating between the two cafes. It is a great opportunity to showcase a special bean that may get overlooked on a regular menu. It is also a wonderful way for people to ask questions about their coffee, try something they may otherwise not have, and enjoy some specialty coffee in a relaxed atmosphere.
My favorite aspect? Seeing new friends we met at the previous gathering and picking the conversation right up where we left off. Way to go, DC Coffee.
Check on TCB’s social media for their latest happenings.
As always, chime in if there are other coffee events we should know about!