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.

IMG_9322
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.

IMG_9333
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

IMG_9323

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!

IMG_9205
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

Table Service

With Slipstream opening their second location this weekend and Vigilante rolling out “Table Service” full time in their café, we thought it high time to talk about it. What is Table Service and how does it fit into DC coffee?

Screenshot 2017-05-23 13.43.58
Slipstream on 14th Street. Credit: @mrpaulop (Instagram)

Part of the Third Wave of coffee is the concept of offering higher quality everything for customers: coffee, water filtration, food pairing, atmosphere.. The Second Wave was about convenience, but now people want to offer more of a third space for their customers – a place away from home and work where they can commune with others.

DSC_0091
The menu at Vigilante Coffee

In regions like Europe and Australia, table service is seen more often than not – it’s the norm and the anticipated. Leave the hurried life behind for a moment while you enjoy a delicious cup of coffee with a friend and unwind. On a recent trip to New York, in fact, I was reminded of the concept at the Australian café “Citizens of Chelsea,” and time slowed down for a few moments.

IMG_5999
This lovely latte art was brought to my table without a worry

Cafes like Slipstream and the Busboys and Poets on 14th Street NW naturally have table service as their menu is a bit more expansive than a typical coffee shop (I bring up that particular BB&P because it has a large café-type area in addition to their restaurant with couches and coffee tables). Coffee-focused cafes like Tryst and now Vigilante also offer a different coffee shop experience, one that is meant to be relaxing and stress free.

Screenshot 2017-05-23 13.44.55
No waiting around for this avocado toast at Slipstream.                                             Credit: @momentofmeaning (Instagram)

As Austin pointed out in Vigilante’s blog, no more pacing around the drink bar waiting for your coffee, hoping no one else accidentally snatches yours. (Don’t worry – if you’re in a hurry you can still order your drink to-go!). You no longer feel the pressure to blurt out your order as you’re trying to read the tasting notes of the single origins on the menu. Another plus: chat with the barista when they bring you your drink, they will be less rushed than if they were just working on drinks all day.

What do you think about table service in DC? How does it affect your workday or your meet-up with friends?

Stay grounded,

Daniëlle