Jump to content

Caffe Aficionado, High-End Independent Coffee House in the CEB/Deloitte Building in Rosslyn - Closed


jondagle
 Share

Recommended Posts

Opened 10/21/2013 - Caffé Aficionado, 1919 N Lynn St, Arlington. A new high-end coffee house opened Monday in the CEB/Deloitte building in Rosslyn.  They serve Handsome Coffee, from Los Angeles using a 2-group La Marzocco GB/5. They do pour overs later in the day and serve amazing pastries.  Not sure who bakes them, but they are delish.  Not everything on the menu is available--like some house made Belgian-style waffles. They also have fresh squeezed orange juice.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Opened 10/21/2013 - Caffé Aficionado, 1919 N Lynn St, Arlington. A new high-end coffee house opened Monday in the CEB/Deloitte building in Rosslyn.  They serve Handsome Coffee, from Los Angeles using a 2-group La Marzocco GB/5. They do pour overs later in the day and serve amazing pastries.  Not sure who bakes them, but they are delish.  Not everything on the menu is available--like some house made Belgian-style waffles. They also have fresh squeezed orange juice.

[sorry, Jon! This merited its own thread. cheezepowder will pick up on it. :)]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Visited this new cafe on opening day (yesterday). There was a large crowd of well trained staff on hand, but only one barista on the 2-group La Marzocco GB/5. Talked at length with one of the owners, Clark, formerly of NYC. They seem dedicated to what I'll call "artisanal coffee" Some roughness in service at high demand from Deloitte or CEB workers.  Hopefully they will appreciate this is not Starbucks.

Clark says they intend to offer pour overs, later in the day as well as drip and espresso drinks. Their pastries (mostly) are made to order elsewhere and they are amazing. A house made Belgian waffle was not yet available. Decor is well thought out: modern, minimalist, but color coordinated throughout.

This looks like a major upgrade to Rosslyn's coffee offerings. Look forward to visit #2.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Made it in this week. This is a very interesting new shop for several reasons.

First, it becomes the only better coffee shop within walking range of the Key Bridge and office building concentration there.

Second is the choice of roaster, Handsome from LA, an excellent smaller roaster along the lines of Denver's Novo, Portland's Heart, KC's PT's, St Louis' Kaldis and Grand Rapids' Mad Cap. Only two other spots in our region carry Handsome (The Coffee Bar and Beucherts) but CA is the only one to carry a full line and is doing so on an exclusive basis (unusual to see an exclusive with a smaller roaster since, unlike the bigger companies (Counter Culture, Stumptown, Ceremony), they don't have the scale to provide the training and equipment support that make those kinds of deals attractive to retailers and thus increasingly common (i.e., Peregrine (CC), Filter (Ceremony), Northside (CC), and now Dolcezza (Stumptown)).

Third, this is a shop really focused on doing something different in an increasingly crowded market. That's evident in many ways ranging from the professional, clean and modern design of the shop (no dark wood and ratty sofas here; seating only for about 8 people), the juicer, and the lavender Marzocco to the pastries (done exclusively for them) and the choice of a small, high-quality roaster as an exclusive.

I had a chance to chat with Adiam Berhane, a co-owner along with Clark Donat. Both great people with real passion for creating a unique and high-quality experience. Adiam is a graduate of the American Barista & Coffee School (Portland, OR).

Hand pour (aka "pourover") coffees aren't available yet; likely next week and that'll be great since only then will customers really be able to appreciate the full range of Handsome coffees on offer.  As jondagle posted, they won't be available at all hours since it's a small shop in a high traffic area. For now, they're just brewing a nice Handsome Guatemalan in smaller pots to ensure freshness.  Also tried a cappuccino which was excellent.

CA is an exciting new addition to a still-underserved coffee scene in Arlington.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Made it in this week. This is a very interesting new shop for several reasons.

First, it becomes the only better coffee shop within walking range of the Key Bridge and office building concentration there.

Second is the choice of roaster, Handsome from LA, an excellent smaller roaster along the lines of Denver's Novo, Portland's Heart, KC's PT's, St Louis' Kaldis and Grand Rapids' Mad Cap. Only two other spots in our region carry Handsome (The Coffee Bar and Beucherts) but CA is the only one to carry a full line and is doing so on an exclusive basis (unusual to see an exclusive with a smaller roaster since, unlike the bigger companies (Counter Culture, Stumptown, Ceremony), they don't have the scale to provide the training and equipment support that make those kinds of deals attractive to retailers and thus increasingly common (i.e., Peregrine (CC), Filter (Ceremony), Northside (CC), and now Dolcezza (Stumptown)).

Third, this is a shop really focused on doing something different in an increasingly crowded market. That's evident in many ways ranging from the professional, clean and modern design of the shop (no dark wood and ratty sofas here; seating only for about 8 people), the juicer, and the lavender Marzocco to the pastries (done exclusively for them) and the choice of a small, high-quality roaster as an exclusive.

I had a chance to chat with Adiam Berhane, a co-owner along with Clark Donat. Both great people with real passion for creating a unique and high-quality experience. Adiam is a graduate of the American Barista & Coffee School (Portland, OR).

Hand pour (aka "pourover") coffees aren't available yet; likely next week and that'll be great since only then will customers really be able to appreciate the full range of Handsome coffees on offer.  As jondagle posted, they won't be available at all hours since it's a small shop in a high traffic area. For now, they're just brewing a nice Handsome Guatemalan in smaller pots to ensure freshness.  Also tried a cappuccino which was excellent.

CA is an exciting new addition to a still-underserved coffee scene in Arlington.

Man.  you are an informative aficionado.  And thank you.   I went by there, but after they closed.  It does look handsome/attractive.   It is in a far corner of Roslyn.  suggesting it will be a natural attraction to some and too far away for others.  I wish them well and have to get down there to try it during operating hours.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man.  you are an informative aficionado.  And thank you.   I went by there, but after they closed.  It does look handsome/attractive.   It is in a far corner of Roslyn.  suggesting it will be a natural attraction to some and too far away for others.  I wish them well and have to get down there to try it during operating hours.

Ha! Thanks daveo...I think.  :)

One note on CA's location...not just for daveo but more for anyone not very familiar with Rosslyn who may have interest in this new shop.

The "corner" of Rosslyn in which the shop is located is right by the VA end of the Key Bridge. You could quite easily walk to CA from Georgetown on a nice day.  Also close to the Key Bridge Marriott and, for those who remember where the Newseum was before the new building opened on Constitution close to the Capitol, it's close to that also.

If you live or work in MD or DC, I wouldn't necessarily strongly recommend heading here unless you're a bit of a coffee hound like me and enjoy checking out new shops.  It is very nice and will just improve more as they come more fully online. But it won't be "better" than Qualia, The Coffee Bar, Baked & Wired, Big Bear, Peregrine, Wydown and all the others in the District. With all the places opening all around DC, we're just getting closer to the point when, wherever you are, there will be a high-quality Independent Coffee Shop alternative to the chains nearby. And, of course, each new open like this further burnishes the area's already established brand as one of the better cities in the nation for good coffee.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rosslyn is long overdue for such a gem! Not only is the coffee far superior to anything around that area, the staff is warm and welcoming, the pastries are worth every bite, and the interior is oh so cool- especially that beautiful San Marzocco lilac espresso machine. They take coffee seriously and know of what they speak.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yesterday had what was possibly the best hand-pour of my life at Caffé Aficionado.  While I waited one of the owners brought me some freshly squeezed orange juice and spent a few minutes enthusing about the machine that does it.  Then one of the other owners brought me a small cup with the coffee that wouldn't fit in the to-go cup and spent about ten minutes talking about almost everything, but mostly about coffee.  What a wonderful couple!  And their young daughter is a charming little lady who will do very well in customer service.

The shop is clean and bright but as others have noted, it can be hard to find.  The entrance is behind a pillar of the building, which (the owners said) was designed by I. M. Pei and therefore they are quite limited in what they can do with signs and modifications.

Be warned, for now they close early on Saturdays, though they are planning on extending their hours.

Fans of Doughnut Plant in NYC, keep your fingers crossed.  If all goes well you might soon be able to buy them in Rosslyn.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yesterday had what was possibly the best hand-pour of my life at Caffé Aficionado.  While I waited one of the owners brought me some freshly squeezed orange juice and spent a few minutes enthusing about the machine that does it.  Then one of the other owners brought me a small cup with the coffee that wouldn't fit in the to-go cup and spent about ten minutes talking about almost everything, but mostly about coffee.  What a wonderful couple!  And their young daughter is a charming little lady who will do very well in customer service.

The shop is clean and bright but as others have noted, it can be hard to find.  The entrance is behind a pillar of the building, which (the owners said) was designed by I. M. Pei and therefore they are quite limited in what they can do with signs and modifications.

Be warned, for now they close early on Saturdays, though they are planning on extending their hours.

Fans of Doughnut Plant in NYC, keep your fingers crossed.  If all goes well you might soon be able to buy them in Rosslyn.

So glad you loved it, Porcupine!  I'd forgotten to post about that OJ upthread.  I also accepted a free sample of the juice and got the download on the machine.  Can't remember most of the specifics now but it really does produce an amazingly balanced, smooth and sweet juice (of course with nothing added) relative to most any other fresh juice device I've seen.

The Doughnut Plant news is/would be big but I'd almost love to see them carry some of the great zeppole now being baked at Palena and at Casa Luca.  Those are great and would pair perfectly with coffee and espressos based on a great roaster like Handsome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...

Hand pour (aka "pourover") coffees aren't available yet; likely next week and that'll be great since only then will customers really be able to appreciate the full range of Handsome coffees on offer.  As jondagle posted, they won't be available at all hours since it's a small shop in a high traffic area. For now, they're just brewing a nice Handsome Guatemalan in smaller pots to ensure freshness.  Also tried a cappuccino which was excellent.

CA is an exciting new addition to a still-underserved coffee scene in Arlington.

I was way overdue visiting an Intelligentsia shop in Chicago last week. I've known and enjoyed their coffee for a few years since they are widely available around DC and nationwide.  I'd wrongly assumed that their shops would be like so many others who, once they grow, revert to a mediocre mean and lose all that was special when they were striving and small.  Starbucks was once a very cool and very high quality independent shop in Seattle, back before anyone anywhere had heard of Starbucks.

But, the reason I'm posting this in the Caffe Aficionado thread is due to the bit I've quoted from my own first-visit report above.  Intelligentsia in Chicago does all coffee orders by handpour. They don't ask. And it's the same brewing approach whether morning rush or slow mid-afternoon.  That was the first time I'd seen that in a shop. And, given how busy their shops are in town, they showed it can be done even with high volume.  Intelligentsia in Chicago isn't the place to get the fastest cup of coffee but it isn't  unreasonably slow and the quality of what's in the cup is very high. I'd love to see CA solve for that given their own dedication to quality and possibly do pourovers even in the morning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I stopped at caffe aficionado for a 2nd time.   Had a rich coffee, which is rich deep and less acidy than most.  Its truly better.  It was morning and I didn't request a handpour.  It could have occurred.   There were two folks in the shop when I walked in and nobody else walked in for a while.  There was infinite time for it as has been referenced above.   I also tried a chocolate croissant.  Scrumptious with significant amts of dark chocolate far more substantive than is available in most places.  Have a chocolate fix or Jones?   CA will meet your expectations.

I sort of lead an ambiguous presence at times.  I asked the folks at the counter if either was a "boss".  Neither was but one was in the back room.  I didn't need for him to come out.   When he did appear later the staffer pointed me out...so  I got to meet Clark, one of two owners.   They are, by his description, passionate foodies.  Passionate sounds appropriate as the design of the store is exquisite and pleasing.   Small but sharp.   As with others he gave me a complementary fresh squeezed OJ.  hmmmm   nicely sweet, not tart...just a hint of pulp and I like pulp.   Very refreshing.  He described the juicer...and while I can't recount the specifics it sounds unique and special.

The coffee I had was way way above norm and far superior...and it was a brew not a hand pour.   Pastry was superb.  I wish them the best.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I stopped at caffe aficionado for a 2nd time.   Had a rich coffee, which is rich deep and less acidy than most.  Its truly better.  It was morning and I didn't request a handpour.  It could have occurred.   There were two folks in the shop when I walked in and nobody else walked in for a while.  There was infinite time for it as has been referenced above.   I also tried a chocolate croissant.  Scrumptious with significant amts of dark chocolate far more substantive than is available in most places.  Have a chocolate fix or Jones?   CA will meet your expectations.

I sort of lead an ambiguous presence at times.  I asked the folks at the counter if either was a "boss".  Neither was but one was in the back room.  I didn't need for him to come out.   When he did appear later the staffer pointed me out...so  I got to meet Clark, one of two owners.   They are, by his description, passionate foodies.  Passionate sounds appropriate as the design of the store is exquisite and pleasing.   Small but sharp.   As with others he gave me a complementary fresh squeezed OJ.  hmmmm   nicely sweet, not tart...just a hint of pulp and I like pulp.   Very refreshing.  He described the juicer...and while I can't recount the specifics it sounds unique and special.

The coffee I had was way way above norm and far superior...and it was a brew not a hand pour.   Pastry was superb.  I wish them the best.

Clark's a rock star in terms of his sincerity and passion for customer service as well as the product and his staff.  Likewise Adiame, his partner.  Did you know that part of the reason their shop is so small with such limited seating is because they devoted much more space than usual to the employee are in the back where each staff person gets a full locker and area?

I was a bit taken by Porcupine's declaration a day or two ago (upthread) of a pour over here being the best she'd ever had. She has a high bar as I do. So I stopped in again today and ordered a Columbian that Clark made for me himself.  Best I've ever had? No. As good as any other I've had? Maybe. But I've had a ton of pour overs in this and many other cities.  Handsome (their exclusive provider) is also a very passionate roaster making a very fine product. I'd promoted them on this site over the past year or two as they sporadically appeared in spots like Dolcezza (briefly and more than a year ago before they switched over to Stumptown) and Cait Lowry's The Coffee Bar. But, I don't seem them as head and shoulders above PT's, Novo (CO-not so available here), Ritual, Qualia, Verve, Ceremony, Panther (FL-not available 'round these parts), and even select roasts from the biggies (Stumptown, Counter Culture, Blue Bottle, Intelligentsia). While I'm not a fan of the new Palena Coffee Shop's coffee, Aggie Chin's baked goods there are the obvious choice for me as best in the city at a coffee shop (and relative to most bakeries).  CA's baked goods selection is also excellent but much more limited.

CA is getting a ton of positive buzz here and elsewhere and it's entirely deserved.  Clark and Adiame are truly wonderful people and deserve our support and deserve to succeed.  Just don't forget that we have a robust and growing coffee scene here in DC and the entrepreneurs behind shops like Filter, Peregrine, The Coffee Bar, Qualia and Wydown also deserve that support.  It's becoming an embarrassment of riches.

Long live Caffe Aficionado and our other hard-working coffee entrepreneurs who are truly focused on providing very high quality and experience to discerning customers.  With the holiday fast approaching, I'm thankful for all of them.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I work in the building that houses CA, and let me just say I'm spending waaay too much money here. :D  So happy to have it close at hand, and I echo the comments about the enthusiasm and ambition of the owners.  They clearly want to make this someplace special, and are delighted to share what they've put in place so far as well as their vision with anyone who shows an interest.

For what it's worth, pour-overs are available any time, not just afternoons.  I don't think they've experienced the morning crowds they were expecting, or hoping for, unfortunately.  Maybe some people just find it hard to break that Starbucks habit.

I always get coffee here, brewed if I'm in a hurry, a pour-over if I'm not.  I have to say the one time I got an espresso it was mind-blowingly bitter and acidic.  I almost couldn't drink it.  Could just be my taste...I don't purport to be a coffee expert of any sort.

Adiame has told me they are looking into having sandwiches on a regular basis for lunch, and the names she's mentioned as potential partners (for the bread and the meats) are really, really exciting.  I'll leave it at that, but I've got my fingers crossed they work something out.

Oh, one other thing.  They serve something called "Eritrean Tea."  It's black tea spiced with cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves, one of which (can't recall) is roasted with honey, which imparts a light sweetness on the drink overall.  Kind of like a lighter version of chai (there's no milk) and it's delicious. If should be a big hit served iced in the summer.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Small Local Businesses Don't Get a Lot of Help on the Web

(in this case I think Google has it wrong)

In that I do a lot of web work/web marketing for local type businesses I had noticed a week ago that one couldn't find CA's hours of operation on the web.  When I went in there last week I made some suggestions to get the hours up on the FB page, Yelp and google.

Clark got the info up in yelp in a day.  It took google a longer time to get hours up.  I didn't check back w/ FB.

I was checking today:   12/3/13

Here are CA's hrs of operation per google:  7AM to 1PM monday thru Friday:  Not open on Weekends

Here are CA's hrs of operation per yelp:   7AM to 6 PM monday thru Friday:  Open on Saturdays 8 AM to 3 PM

Here are CA's hrs of operation on their FB page:  Same as Yelp above.   Caffe Aficionado directly controls its FB page.

I'd tend to believe the info on FB and Yelp in this case.

...and the coffee is still danged great!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stopped by this morning.  Just a superb rich tasty columbian brew.  hmmm.   Plus a liege.  I've never been a waffle person...but this is so tasty.  It doesn't require a topping.  Its delightful...a far more substantive body than a "traditional" waffle or any I'm accustomed to...and then its glazed with a sweet topping.  Its a wonderful treat.

...and as to the hours.   The Good News is that CA is now  open on Weekdays from 7 AM to 6 PM and open on Saturdays from 8 AM to 3 PM.

I'm trying to help by getting google to update and correct that information.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, one other thing.  They serve something called "Eritrean Tea."  It's black tea spiced with cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves, one of which (can't recall) is roasted with honey, which imparts a light sweetness on the drink overall.  Kind of like a lighter version of chai (there's no milk) and it's delicious. If should be a big hit served iced in the summer.

I tried that last weekend, and the only thing I could taste was cinnamon.  Couldn't even taste the tea.  My tongue was numb after a third of the cup.

In other news, they're now using (and selling) beans from Nagadi Coffee, a small roaster in Silver Spring that also supplies Kefa Cafe.  Just had a pour-over made with Sumatran beans roasted by Nagadi.  Fantastic.  I wish it were easier to find parking in Rosslyn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried that last weekend, and the only thing I could taste was cinnamon.  Couldn't even taste the tea.  My tongue was numb after a third of the cup.

Interesting. I've had this a few times since I wrote the note, and have found it inconsistent, but usually too weak not too strong. I've never had the overwhelming cinnamon taste you mention.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried that last weekend, and the only thing I could taste was cinnamon.  Couldn't even taste the tea.  My tongue was numb after a third of the cup.

Interesting. I've had this a few times since I wrote the note, and have found it inconsistent, but usually too weak not too strong. I've never had the overwhelming cinnamon taste you mention.

This sounds like a consistency problem that should be very fixable with 1-2 training sessions for the staff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On Monday, I jumped in my car and headed over to Caffe Aficionado, computer in tow - they have WiFi. Even though the streets were nearly devoid of traffic pre-Christmas, parking in Rosslyn was still nearly impossible. After about ten minutes of driving around, a car pulled out, just one block away - perfect! I paid for one hour forty-five minutes of parking, thinking that was going to be way too much time; I was wrong.

I was taken back by just how small Caffe Aficionado is. It's a tiny little pillbox, but with the most perfect, minimalist decor you could hope for. It has several tables, and a bar running along the front window. Given the lack of (inexpensive) parking, and lack of seating, this can probably never be a "destination" coffee shop.

Unless, of course, you're me because I plan on making Caffe Aficionado part of my regular routine, and I don't care how much trouble it takes to get here. I'm going by memory on these prices which are close, but may not be exact.

I walked into an empty shop, dazzled by the interior design - the design of subtraction - and ordered a Cappuccino ($3.75). Gathered around the register was what might have been a family, with the most charming, polite young child helping the register. I gave a $10, and only took $5 back, wishing the child Happy Holidays.

Taking a seat along the window bar, a couple minutes later, the barrista walked over and handed me the most *beautiful* Cappuccino. I walked up to the "fixin's bar" - tiny, but well-equipped with everything from organic sugar to simple syrup - sprinkled a little sugar atop my Cappuccino, and nursed it for a good thirty minutes.

At cup bottom, there remained some froth which I quietly put to my mouth and skimmed off (the sugar was still on top of it), then decided I didn't want to leave yet. So I went back up and ordered an Iced Chai ($3.75), handing them my $5, and putting the $1.25 into the tip jar (if I'm going to use their WiFi, I'm going to tip).

Again, the barrista came over with the most delicious iced beverage I've had in quite some time. It was so good that it scared me because it certainly wasn't calorie-free, and I could drink about ten of these things. I forced myself to sip it s-l-o-w-l-y, again over the course of probably thirty minutes, as I worked and wrote. Wow did this drink hit the spot.

I'd been there a good hour, and still wasn't ready to leave, so I went back again and ordered an Iced Tea ($2.75), this time adding a little simple syrup. Somewhere in this drink - either from the tea itself, or possibly from an infused simple syrup - there were some chai-like spices which added a nice undertone, and eliminated any bitterness from the drink.

After about ninety minutes, I decided it was time to move on, so took the rest of my tea with me. I should add that during this time, the staff came over and checked on me probably three or four times - making sure I was comfortable, pointing out the condiments, asking me if I needed anything - these are some of the friendliest people I've met in a coffee shop, or for that matter, anywhere else.

In the Dining Guide, restaurants are ranked by geographical location according to one very simple criterion: "If someone else was paying (i.e., if money were not an object), where would I want to be?" It's a given that initial coverage of Caffe Aficionado is in Italic (this is not a close call), but can I really say I'd rather be here than Guajillo, or Ray's To The Third? Can I rightfully place this at the very top of all Rosslyn restaurants when "all it is" is a coffee shop?

Well, I may change my mind after thinking about this some more (after all, it is *much* easier to run a coffee shop than it is a restaurant), but for now, Caffe Aficionado sits all alone, atop Rosslyn. Even if this ranking is temporary, hopefully it will draw attention to what is one of the finest coffee shops in the area. I love this place, and you will, too.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I may change my mind after thinking about this some more (after all, it is *much* easier to run a coffee shop than it is a restaurant), but for now, Caffe Aficionado sits all alone, atop Rosslyn. Even if this ranking is temporary, hopefully it will draw attention to what is one of the finest coffee shops in the area. I love this place, and you will, too.

If it's so easy to run a coffee shop, then how come there are so few that merit special attention?  :)

Of course this is true--there's so much less complexity and less staff than a restaurant--but I've not been to a coffee house in this area where they attend to the customers so well, and only a few in NYC and SFO are in similar league. I would put CA on the short (but growing) list of DC metro coffee houses worth a special visit.

And the do make Belgian waffles at CA, so maybe that counts as a restaurant? :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Starting last week I think, CA started offering sandwiches for lunch.  They had two the last few times I was in there: an Italian tuna sandwich (good quality tuna with capers...I really enjoyed it) and a French ham and cheese, which I didn't try.  Both are served on decent but I wouldn't say great baguettes, and I believe the ham comes from Stachowski.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To those jam-packed into the Rosslyn Cosi less than one block away from here: I'm sorry you've chosen not to spend the extra couple dollars and live.

Actually, I'm paying $6 an hour for the parking garage just to be here, and I'm perfectly happy. One thing's for sure: I'm having the best coffee on N. Lynn St. - me and the others here in Caffe Aficionado, that is.

And I'm supporting a family-run business owned by some of the nicest people you'll come across.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This has to be the most interesting coffee shop in the DC area.  Being in the bottom of an office building at the very end of a neighborhood that has hardly any residences and serving really amazing stuff.  They are not going to be using Handsome Coffee any longer since it was purchased by Blue Bottle.  For the pourovers, they had a selection of Nordic roasters that I'm not familiar with, but the one I had was among the best cups of coffee I've ever had.  I don't live far away but the hours and the hill have kept me away before last Saturday.  I will return soon.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This has to be the most interesting coffee shop in the DC area.  Being in the bottom of an office building at the very end of a neighborhood that has hardly any residences and serving really amazing stuff.  They are not going to be using Handsome Coffee any longer since it was purchased by Blue Bottle.  For the pourovers, they had a selection of Nordic roasters that I'm not familiar with, but the one I had was among the best cups of coffee I've ever had.  I don't live far away but the hours and the hill have kept me away before last Saturday.  I will return soon.  

Yeah, I have to go to a great deal of trouble and expense to be here and use their WiFi for awhile, but it's something I decided to do on an occasional basis. The "path of least resistance" would mean I never come here again (2-3 drinks + parking > $20 for me), but I don't want to live like that. Let me know if anyone learns about their new roasters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Investigated my memory banks and remembered the two roasters that were featured.  Drop Coffee and Tim Wendelboe.  I've never seen or heard of either anywhere else but the one I had from Drop here was really great.  

Yes, they had Drop Roasters coffee yesterday, and said they'd been using them a couple of weeks (so these must be fairly short-term memory banks!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The above posts got me to stop by here again.  Its been a while.  Again excellent drinks, pastry and service.  The owners are extremely nice.

I wish them luck.  I think that is a remote corner of a site.  Not conducive to great traffic...and lord knows it merits the traffic.   One other thing;  On a wide screen inside they have the most fabulous food photos/coffee photos.  Entirely compelling.  Gorgeous.  Caffe Aficionado needs a website to highlight these fantastic shots.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's been 8 months since the last post on Caffe Aficionado but that's not why I'm posting.

I did stop in today.  The shop is now roughly a year and half old and going as strong as ever, with very good reasons, mostly documented above.  But, that's not why I'm posting either.

Had a pourover, a shot and a cortado during a maybe 30 minute visit (yeah, I know, that's a lot of caffeine). Not what I normally do at all. Just worked out that way. And, this isn't why I'm posting either though all were superb. Ryan (the barista driving the espresso machine is a true craftsman), just as an FYI.

Nope, none of those reasons explain the reason for the post.  It has to do with the RiR (Roaster in Residence).  CA tends to rotate among very high-quality roasters from time to time and I LOVE that they do this. Always new things to discover. New flavors and nuances.  Since they opened with Handsome, a fine LA roaster, they've offered a number of others, mostly covered upthread.

Today, I was introduced to a roaster I'd never before encountered and that's just a bit notable because I do travel a fair bit and always seek out the better shops wherever I am and have the interest so always ask and learn about small and superregional roasters.  I probably know more US based roasters than the average bear, which isn't necessarily exceptional or anything, it just is.  So, the new RiR, based in Berkeley, CA is called Supersonic Coffee.  And, it's good. Very good.

Did you know the best known 'Supersonics" were the pro team that won the NBA Championship in 1979 and then left to become the Oklahoma City Thunder?  And, that the Supersonics (shortened later to just "Sonics") were named for an ill-fated Boeing supersonic jet program?

Not sure that has anything to do with this newer Berkeley roaster but the name intrigues me a bit.

Anyway, I had this one as a pourover.  From Burundi, the flavor notes for the "Sehe" varietal mention "peach," "orange blossom" and "delicate."  I got more orange than blossom. Not highly acidic but bright, interesting and maybe notes of tea.  Even an elderly, Starbucks-loving relative I had with me, expressed his distaste for it as due to it "tasting like tea" which I took as a very good sign.

For other coffee hounds on the board, I'd encourage you to swing by and give these coffees a try.  They're interesting and delicious.  And, only available at two shops in the northeast.  CA and another in Astoria, Queens.

All the other praise and other positive commentary about this shop above still very much applies.  I just continue to be impressed with what they're doing with the coffee program and this was news in that vein.

P.S., The people here are still incredibly nice and the WiFi still fast and reliable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Had a meeting here and went to see what the fuss was about.  I forget what I ordered but I do know that I:

1. Finished it quickly

2. Loved it

3. Ordered another one

4. Started planning next meeting in Rosslyn

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Desperate for Starbucks??   Arlington is getting 3 in One Block

Roslyn will shortly have 3 Starbucks, all within a block per this ArlNow story   As with many ArlNow stories its the comments which are most fascinating.  On the interesting side were comments about Starbucks strategy to cluster stores in a tiny area...the easier to drive out competition...and later close one of the stores.  (I didn't know that).

On the "entertaining side"   well you just have to read through the comments.  Quite clever and witty as is often the case in ArlNow.

I just want to say that this makes 4 Starbucks and 1 Cosi in a half-mile walk. However, at the *end* of that half-mile walk is Caffe Aficionado, the greatest coffeehouse in Rosslyn, which also happens to be independently owned.

Please support the great Caffe Aficionado and its wonderful owners!

post-2-0-09851400-1442630971_thumb.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Caffe Aficionado is my favorite coffee place in the area. They have almond milk and great well balanced lattes. The staff is always friendly as well.

I heard that they are opening another location in the Watergate, which doesn't help me but I'm glad for them! I do wish they were open on Sundays for my own selfish reasons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard that they are opening another location in the Watergate, which doesn't help me but I'm glad for them! I do wish they were open on Sundays for my own selfish reasons.

<perk>

Where did you hear this? And I assume you're talking about the arcade?

My love for Caffe Aficionado knows no bounds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/4/2016 at 10:08 AM, DaveO said:

Had a coffee granita today.  Amazing, better with every sip!!!!

Caffe Afficionado merits so much acclaim.  It is the creme de la creme of coffee shops in so many ways.  It is an expensive looking sleek buildout...but also intimate and comfortable.  Service is exquisite...but as befits a coffee shop it is casual.  Among its chosen coffees over the last few years are excellent roasts.  You might favor others but what they choose will inevitably among the best in the region.  Baristas are talented, courteous and nice.  The service is personalized.  A visit is unlike that at most any coffee shop.  And with all that still appropriate to a coffee shop...casual and relaxing...but you are treated better!!!!

Its been a long while since I last visited.  I ordered a pour over and a liege.  Ahhh...the liege;  that is a scrumptious treat.  More substantive than a waffle.  Similar..but more to it.  The pour over was an excellent brew.     And then the personalized service.  Clark, one of the owners came in. He recognized me and recalled me by name.  Bully for him.  Great memory.  I really have not been there in a long time. (I of course, had forgotten his name).  And to his credit he has been exercising and had lost weight--looked great!!!!   We had a terrific chat.  The owners are very personable.     At the end of service they treated me to a new selection;  a coffee granita.  Ooooh a granita...a Sicilian ice treat.  Perfect as the summer approaches.  This delectable drink had extraordinary flavors of coffee and rich chocolate.  OMG.  Each sip got better.  I enjoyed the granularity of how they prepared the ice  (its really done differently in different places).  Oh man...those lucky folks in that corner of Rosslyn....they have an extraordinary summer treat awaiting them.  Kudo's to Caffe Aficionado.  It merits a 6 on a scale of 1-5  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, stupidusername said:

Well major league crap olo.   Both of the referenced owners were nice as can be to me; recalled me after long stretches, occasionally had me try something new.   And who wouldda thunk it, behind that perspective.    And of course the drinks and the food were excellent consistently so over the 3 years.   

But fraud is fraud.

Quite sad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

50 minutes ago, stupidusername said:

Yeah, I'd say this pretty much sucks. I'd say I'm "surprised," but I guess "disappointed" is the correct word.

From the Dining Guide: "An outstanding independent coffee house run by the nicest people you'll ever meet"

If I remember correctly, they had you swipe your card, and then decide what tip to leave on the computer screen - you'd then receive an emailed receipt.

To steal a quote from the old gunslinger movies: "You never hear the one that kills you."

Damn this is disappointing. It's also pretty embarrassing - I went out on a limb for them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a story! They were scammers, but instead of crappy front, they actually had a really great business that was loved, a great product. I could see some shitty dry cleaner do this, but to have one of the region's best coffee shops committing fraud... kind of sad, but pretty hilarious. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Simul Parikh said:

What a story! They were scammers, but instead of crappy front, they actually had a really great business that was loved, a great product. I could see some shitty dry cleaner do this, but to have one of the region's best coffee shops committing fraud... kind of sad, but pretty hilarious. 

Well, we now know how this location and product were subsidized - this business (the actual coffee shop) couldn't possibly have been covering its rent. Think about it: How many hundreds of hand-pulled cups of coffee per day would you need to sell? Even 300 cups per day (which works out to about one every two minutes) is only about $1,000 in daily revenue, and they were often fairly empty.

Has anyone come up with a pattern on how to best check your credit card for fraudulent activity relating to this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Simul Parikh said:

What a story! They were scammers, but instead of crappy front, they actually had a really great business that was loved, a great product. I could see some shitty dry cleaner do this, but to have one of the region's best coffee shops committing fraud... kind of sad, but pretty hilarious. 

Quite stunning.  Did you visit there Simul?    The two owners were charming.  I referenced this above, but I had been there in their early days, got to know them a bit, didn't go back for a longish time (or at least hadn't been there when either owner was there)...possibly over a year later ran into the owners there and they recalled me and my name, which I found stunning.   And of course were the most hospitable folks you could imagine.

(meanwhile upon seeing them again, Clark had lost considerable weight and looked great and healthy.  I complimented him on the physical change and probable uptick in his health------   I guess scamming is good for one's health---until you get caught)

Major league scam artists.  Virtually impossible to detect unless you immediately assume the most charming people are the worst. 

And as you said above:  a great business, loved, great product.    On top of that they were sticklers for very attractive, certainly not inexpensive design.   Stylish scammers at that.

Last week I saw the following article related to hacking computers:   Also stunning.  Get a sense for how often, how immediate, and how persistent the scammers try and break the security code to an internet connection.    Immediate and continuous.  https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/10/we-built-a-fake-web-toaster-and-it-was-hacked-in-an-hour/505571/

Scammers everywhere.  BTW:   can we see your medical diploma?   ;)     J/K   but man there are a lot of scams out there.  

Meanwhile I was in Roslyn for the Marine Marathon.  Walked down to Cafe Afficionado.  Signs on the door---CLOSED.  Dark inside.  A pile of their magazines piled on the marble counter facing the exterior windows.  Desolate. 

Desolation Row:

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, DaveO said:

Major league scam artists.  Virtually impossible to detect unless you immediately assume the most charming people are the worst. 

This is the issue - I don't *want* to go around assuming such nice people are scam artists; I prefer to assume people this nice are genuinely nice, even if it means getting stung a few times.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Has anyone come up with a pattern on how to best check your credit card for fraudulent activity relating to this?

I download all of my credit card transactions and review on a weekly basis.  Had my identity and card numbers stolen too often not  to do so.  In the old days that was the only way to catch it.  Lately, American Express of MasterCard will usually call me within minutes of a suspected fraudulent charge to ask for confirmation.  Because of that I have not spotted any bad charges myself lately as the card company algorithms have become so much better.  I still check, however.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...