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Independent Coffee Houses: The New Map


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20 hours ago, jondagle said:

I’ve been pretty disappointed with Compass of late. Of all DC “good coffee” places they are the worst. After a string (3) of successful cortado visits at the Rosslyn location, they couldn’t duplicate. They made it three tries and it was still poor. Never had anything more than mediocre at Gallery Place location

Wondering whether they deserve a downgrade. I might give an independent shop a pass but Compass is a (local) chain with big investors $$$. Any thoughts? 

I don't care for Compass coffee at all. The roast is just not good. I'd downgrade.

ps I visited Timgad, which is on the watchlist. They use Compass Coffee. I'll be taking it off the watchlist. If I worked in that area I'd be glad to have Timgad to go to, but a real coffee hound need not bother.

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Has anyone had experience at Gregory Coffee, with a couple of locations in DC? I’ve been to some in NYC and it was pretty decent. Was not impressed with two visits to the locations near 19th & M NW.

Went to Bourbon for my second or third visit. Just had a Cortado. Acceptable, nothing to remark about beyond that it was superior to Compass. 😉

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Hello!  Just making some updates to the Really Good Coffee map...

-Really Good: Cameo (promoted), Ceremony Bethesda, For Five Alexandria & Arlington, Sweet Science (Arlington)

-Closed: Blüprint, Java Shack (see Sweet Science), Little Pear (closed for coffee)

-Watch: Artifact (Baltimore), Grape & Bean (meh? coffee program?), Misha's (Old Town Waterfront)

If anyone knows of listed places that are closed, please post here.

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On 3/11/2019 at 9:59 PM, jondagle said:

Has anyone had experience at Gregory Coffee, with a couple of locations in DC? I’ve been to some in NYC and it was pretty decent. Was not impressed with two visits to the locations near 19th & M NW.

Replying to this much later, but I've been going to the Gregory's at Navy Yard fairly often recently. I've liked the coffee, dark roast a little more than medium. Oddly, sometimes they will ask if you want medium vs. dark and other times they won't. At least at that location, the people working change day by day. Occasionally I'll see somebody again, but I'm wondering if they staff their DC stores centrally and send people out that way rather than having a regular assignment at one place. Everyone is always wonderfully friendly and I love the little plungers they have to fit in the open part of your sippy cup. Invaluable if you're walking any distance (which I am) and don't want to slosh coffee all over (see: clumsy).

Their black iced tea is quite good, just a notch below Starbucks. (I know this is about coffee, but I've been switching among coffee, iced coffee, and iced tea in recent months. I do not like Starbucks coffee, but their iced tea is good and relatively good value.)

Wine & Butter at Lincoln Park, with its Illy coffee, has become a prominent local coffee shop. They have an outside window on the patio for ordering. They also have the pastries available outside. For the shop items, you still have to go inside, and you can go inside (masked!) to get coffee if the outside line is a problem. Their iced coffee is $4.40 and fantastic. I guess Illy has a machine for that. I can't believe I'm paying this much (plus tip) for an iced coffee, but I keep doing it.

The other place I've gone for excellent Illy coffee (but didn't get iced) is Lot 38 Espresso Bar at 2nd and L, SE, connected (I believe) to the Marriott Courtyard closer to the NJ Avenue side.

For the first time in a while, I recently got coffee at Ebenezer Coffeehouse in NE (near Union Station), and it's still solid coffee. (I get drip almost all the time wherever I go for hot coffee.)

I am fairly regularly picking up coffee at The Hill Cafe at 15th and A, NE. They have made themselves into somewhat of a diner, albeit one without much room for seating, and have succeeded where the Mia's coffee shop in the space originally could not. Really nice folks. The coffee is pretty decent. Their iced coffee I find better than Gregory's.

Peregrine at Eastern Market is still doing a great job. I sometimes get an Americano, but the caffeine is quite a hit, so I usually stick with drip.

Souk, on Barracks Row, while not exactly a coffee shop, has good coffee. It reminds me of tea in the way it tastes almost perfumed. I'm not sure of the exact sourcing of it or if it even stays the same, but I was getting coffee there from their outside window back even when I wasn't going into stores. And...their pastries are phenomenal.

Cameo, as noted above, has excellent coffee. (They no longer sell the wonderful bread I used to go there to get, however.) Their iced tea is fairly good, though a pretty small size for the price.

For iced tea, I am loving Soho Coffee and Tea on P Street, NW: 2150 P Street, right before you get to P Street Beach heading towards Georgetown. I still haven't had coffee there, but their Earl Grey iced tea is excellent and the people are lovely.

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