DC’s Best Locally Roasted Coffee
From single origin, freshly ground cups of pour over boasting citrus and floral flavor notes, to expertly extracted fair trade espresso, the DC coffee scene is buzzing. While coffee shops can be found around nearly every street corner and vary from cute and neighborhoody to quick and take-outy, local roasters are keeping the fine art in the coffee business and serving up some of the most delicious caffeine fixes to be found. Check out these DC coffee roasters doing it right and add a local twist to your morning ritual.
Filter Coffeehouse & Espresso Bar
The good-coffee, happy-customer bicycle enthusiasts at Filter use specially selected varietal beans roasted by local Ceremony Coffee Roasters in Annapolis, MD. They’re famous for their Flat White (the Australian wonder from down under that combines 2 shots of espresso with 5 ounces of creamy streamed milk) and the local pastry options (delivered daily) are hard to pass up as a co-star to your morning cup. With locations in Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom (no laptops allowed, just unadulterated coffee enjoying at this location) and Brookland, Filter has got your caffeine fix covered wherever you roam in the city.
Harrar Coffee & Roastery
2904 Georgia Ave NW Washington, DC 20001
According to the pros at Harrar Coffee & Roastery, quality coffee roasting is “a little science, a little intuition and a lot of good taste.” Using only the finest all-Ethiopian beans, the team at Harrar aims to bring the special coffee culture of Ethiopia to the DC area in a family-based model that celebrates tradition and excellence in every pour. They also understand that the perfect cup is a personal taste and allow you to sample their coffees before you purchase them, with expert coffee roasters standing by to help you find the bean that makes your heart—and your head, at 6 am—sing.
M.E. Swing Coffee Roasters
1702 G St NW Washington, DC 20006
Born in 1916, M. E. Swing is an old time DC coffee tradition that has truly done its homework in catching up to the new school of everything caffeine. Complete with a cupping lab where experts search for the perfectly flavored sip and a large glass window behind the bar through which customers can watch ethically-sourced beans custom roasted, Swing’s prioritizes transparency at every step of their intricate process. A hop, skip and a steaming cup from the White House, M. E. Swing is frequented by politicians headed for the Hill, local coffee enthusiasts and interested tourists alike. Sip your favorite cup of brew or expertly pulled espresso in house and don’t miss the upcoming Public Coffee Cuppings offered at the Alexandria Cupping Lab.
The caffeine fiends at Sidamo Coffee & Tea travel to the corners of the earth to bring back the highest quality organic, fair trade, shade grown coffee beans, then roast them in house daily for your sniffing and sipping pleasure. Sidamo also offers a variety of carefully selected teas (with available pot service) and a menu of breakfast and lunch goodies to fuel your day. Come in on a Sunday at 2 pm to enjoy the weekly Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony.
Zeke’s Coffee of DC
2300 Rhode Island Ave NE Washington, DC 20018
Family owned and operated since its Baltimore farmers’ market beginnings, Zeke’s uses a high-tech fluid bed coffee roaster to uniformly roast each specially selected bean. Located in the up and coming Woodridge neighborhood, Zeke’s roasts small, ten-pound batches of fair trade and organic coffee beans in single origin and special blend varieties. Join their Coffee Club and try a different variety of expertly roasted beans weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Coffee Club beans come with a card detailing tasting notes and the farm of origin for your coffee drinking and know-how pleasure.
3917 Georgia Ave NW Washington, DC 20011
Home to Fresh Off the Roast small-batch coffee roasters, Qualia Coffee specializes in recently harvested beans collected internationally and roasted to perfection in their shop. Qualia turns off its WIFI access the last weekend of every month to encourage customers to sit back, unplug and sip in peace. Four-legged friends are welcome on the front and back patios at Qualia (complete with water dishes and the occasional treat passed out by a friendly barista), so bring your dog and your appetite for a delicious cup of joe.
Started by a pair of ex-Marines who bonded over a shared love of their coffee ritual while deployed, Compass Coffee operates on the principle that good coffee, like a trustee compass, “helps you get your bearings and points you in the right direction.” Owners Harrison Suarez and Michael Haft combine a passion for coffee with finely tuned technology to ensure each cup is consistently delicious. They import select, fairly traded, seasonal beans then roast up single origin delights and flavorful blends using a self-designed computerized roaster that transmits specific data about each small batch to an online interface where they study the specs before producing larger batches. Check out the Washington Post article about the high-tech, coffee-loving duo then head to the shop for a truly tasty pour.
Based on international traditions of coffee roasting, Java House invites DCers to “enjoy a freshly brewed cup of java in a neighborhood setting.” The coffee house serves up exquisite and international cups of coffee, espresso drinks and a tempting menu of breakfast and lunch treats (complete with an extensive list of espresso milkshake offerings). Stop in for a delicious cup of joe or a banana mocha.
Vigilante Coffee Company
Chris Vigilante developed a love of coffee and a talent for roasting while living in Hawaii. In 2012, Chris brought his passion back to the mainland to start Vigilante Coffee and bring finely selected, directly sourced coffee from around the world to DC. Expertly brewed in the shop or roasted to order to take home, from Colombian to Indonesian, Vigilante’s roasts do not disappoint. When the weather turns hot, the coffee geniuses at Vigilante serve up a mean cold brew to keep you cool and wired all summer long. Check out the upcoming events hosted at the shop and add this DC coffee gem to your summer to-do list.
(All pictures by and copyright Abbott Klar Real Estate)