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Peregrine Espresso, Local, Independent Coffee House in Several DC Locations


Beto
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Ryan Jensen, former Murky alumnus and currently with Counter Culture Coffee will be opening an espresso bar in the space previously occupied by Murky Coffee, which you may recall, was seized in February by the district for nonpayment of taxes.

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Door was open this AM and I stuck my head in & checked out the progress. Looks to have been completely gutted. The guy in the doorway (owner?) said they're shooting for August opening. Still lot of work to go clearly, but much of the furnishings look to be onsite.

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Swung through Peregrine over the weekend. I like the renovations...which considering how small the space is wasn't a tremendous amount...however, everything is now decked out in light blonde woods, new coffee bar and tables. Gone is the dingy charm of Murky, replaced with a bright, airy, modern space.

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To quote the non-Oscar award-winning movie, Elf...

"I'm in love! I'm in love, and I don't care who knows it!!!" -- (Will Ferrell in tights)

So glad to have Peregrine in the neighborhood. Light, airy, free wi-fi and general happiness. Great coffee to boot.

I drank a lot of mediocre coffee in the hood while awaiting Peregrine's re-opening. A ranking of Peregrine-alternatives (Peregrine taking over the top spot upon opening, of course)

1. Marvelous Market - friendly service and a nice frothy whip.

2. Dunkin' - who doesn't love the DD, but I feel generally non-plussed about seeing Rachael Ray's enlarged face before noon. Or ever. Also, an extra 1.5 blocks to walk from the Market.

3. Port Java Cafe - too much of a cardboard box feel and they don't allow wi-fi on weekends. What's the point.

4. the coffee at the bakery inside Eastern Market is nothing more than dark brown liquid acting as a means of getting caffeine into the system. I opted for the sweet tea at the bakery or at Market Lunch to awaken the senses.

5. bread and chocolate - I've boycotted it since 2005 so i couldn't tell you.

but this list is unnecessary now that salvation has returned. Welcome back, Kotter! We're glad to have you.

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is it nerdy for me to mention that when they announced the opening day i could barely sleep? i am not as big of a fan of the other coffee shops in the neighborhood, so my morning coffee runs started getting ridiculous (tryst, big bear, sova) - great chance to try new coffee places but hellish commute via metrobus and foot.

peregrine is stocking counter culture coffee, natch, and their baristas are pretty spot-on with the espresso-making and the milk-foaming. refreshingly new and different is the "micro-brew" option for regular coffee. a list of bean choices is on the wall and they will make your cup of choice to order. no coffee sitting around in french presses or keeping warm in a large urn.

there's no drink size options, it's just 12oz across the board. the drink prices on the menu boards also all include tax. it's the little things, but i was tickled when my latte said $3.50 and i paid exactly $3.50.

pastries and baguettes abound, and supposedly some elusive desserts for the evening that i have yet to see. the tiny bars of vosges chocolate threaten me every time i set foot in the store.

website: http://peregrineespresso.com/

blog: http://peregrineespresso.wordpress.com/

hours: monday-saturday, 7am-9pm; sunday, 8am-8pm

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there's no drink size options, it's just 12oz across the board. the drink prices on the menu boards also all include tax. it's the little things, but i was tickled when my latte said $3.50 and i paid exactly $3.50.

And paying tax is a good thing.

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After the debacle that happened earlier this year, I was ecstatic when Ryan and Jill told me that they were going to open their own shop in the space.

With all of the renovations, new staff mixed in with some of our baristas who used to work in the old shop, and the great-great coffee, Peregrine will be a wonderful blessing to the Eastern Market neighborhood!

(thanks for the snarky comment, Jeff)

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Yup togflx got it right, Peregrine Espresso is all about the details and this shop gets all of them right.

I see respect for the product they are selling and to the customers and to the community at large, its a great thing to see Peregrine open its doors.

Peregrine simply sells straight forward coffee and espresso in 12 oz or less sizes. Milk to coffee proportion is about balance in the cup, the flavors of the Counter Culture espresso (they use Espresso Aficionado) and textured milk do a dance.

Today was my first time at Peregrine and I got a latte. From my notes at the time of tasting this splendid drink:

Drink temperature was spot on.

My usual experience is that the milk (in lattes or cappucinos) are too hot to taste both the espresso and coffee in balance. Usually I have to wait a couple of minutes as my latte deflates to have the drink cool off so I can actually taste the drink. Not so at Peregrine, like a proper serving temperature of a good wine I could detect the subtle nuances of the roast of the beans, freshness of the coffee, and the flavor of the milk itself.

--Oh the milk Peregrine uses is from Pennsylvania, from a very small sustainable farm that must have happy cows because the milk used is some of the best I have tested in a coffee shop.

Milk texture/stretching was refined

My barista knew when enough steam was enough to open up the flavor of the milk and so it becomes sweet and rich with dense small bubbles. There was no silvery sheen to the textured milk so micro-foam was not quite yet there, but wow, tight bubbles were abound and I am not complaining in the least.

Overall experience

With the factors of a expertly pulled espresso shot (of Counter Culture quality beans) combined with wonderfully textured milk the latte came together in balance and refinement. I liked it a lot.

I very much look forward to returning again to sample the single origin espresso on offer along with their many Counter Culture coffees served from their Melitta pour over bar

Great article about Peregrine Espresso in last weeks Washington Post Express.

The shop, today, was busy and business seems to be taking off, I say congrats to both Ryan and Jill, YAY!

What are other's experiences with Peregrine after the shop being officially open for about 2 months or so?

.hobbes

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What are other's experiences with Peregrine after the shop being officially open for about 2 months or so?

Thanks!

I guess I'm not "others" since I posted way back when, but I do want to say that Peregrine continues to deliver for me. Peregrine is part of my daily routine now (so regrets my wallet) but it's refreshing to interact with friendly baristas who bother to remember your drink and will chit-chat with you for a moment.

They also worked out the kinks with regular drip-coffee - keeping a couple of options "on tap" from 8am-11am and then switching to the pour-over bar mid-day. I'm still sticking with espresso but I think this helps to speed things up significantly in the morning for folks.

The official grand opening was this weekend (Oct 18-19) and they were to be debuting some seasonal drink offerings (perhaps involving organic pumpkin whipped cream? am I drooling?).

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I went to Peregrine on Saturday and was very impressed with the interior. Everything looked clean and bright compared with the old Murky digs (Murky being an apt name). My latte was the most balanced (that's the only word I can think of) I've ever had. The flavor proportion of milk and coffee was perfect. The beverage temperature (as mentioned above) was also really good. The husband and I noted that they are using Trickling Springs milk in the glass bottles. I didn't try any of the pastries (tarts, napoleons, baguettes), but I will in the future.

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Thanks bimbap for the name of the creamery Peregrine uses. As I said in my previous post the milk used was some of the best I have tasted in a latte.

From Trickling Springs Creamery web site:

Trickling Springs Creamery established in 2001 is just a small town creamery. We are currently processing approximately 150,000 lbs. of milk per month. The creamery is located in historic Chambersburg, Pa. just off Interstate 81, 10 miles north of the state Pa/Md. State Line. Our focus is to provide the highest quality dairy products to our customers, from the highest quality dairy cows. Our milk is All Natural and Certified Organic. We like milk in glass bottles because it tastes better , but we will put it in plastic for you. Our milk comes from local dairy farms within a 25 mile radius of the creamery in the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania. We have a personal relationship with our farmers. The farms all focus on the natural way of farming and we personally haul our own milk from these farms.
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Excellent cappuccino. They know how to do the scuma. The barrista made it into a lovely heart, even.

However, here's where I reveal that I am a Carthusian monk living inside the body of a little old lady living inside an aging body that aspires to reach the latter state one day but never the former:

I don't like the music.

I don't like the volume.

I don't like the fact that you have to have a soundtrack to your coffee.

Did Hemingway have to listen to piped-in Piaf as he sat in the corner of his café where at least there was heat, being an expatriate and all?

Not that I am writing a novel. It is not my intention to write simple declarative sentences in which adjectives follow helping verbs. But I am trying to think and get my work done and the change of scenario is welcome.

At least I am indoors. Ah,

Chairs!

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I like the lattes, and I don't mind the music (both stylistically and with respect to volume), however it's all hard surfaces here, producing an environment in which it's tough to think, much less concentrate. Clank, thunk, names shouted when drinks are ready, clank again...

I'd visit again, but not when I'm trying to write or get any work done.

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Good news: Peregrine Espresso is coming to 14th. St..

Peregrine is open and serving excellent espresso drinks and, if my cinnamon bun is any indication, fairly pedestrian pastries in their new location on 14th St. It's a nce space, lots of wood and exposed brick, but very small. I count about a dozen seats in total. Definitely not going to be easy to snag a spot on a weekend, that's for sure.

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I'm no coffee connoisseur, but I've clearly gotten inured to the joys of coffee by my office food court because the latte I had here this week was one of the first coffees in quite some time that I've enjoyed rather than just drunk. Paired with a ham and cheese scone, I was one happy breakfaster.

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Peregrine needs an updated post. Has been several months since the last one. I re-read the thread before posting this and want to call-out Hobbes for the post four or so years ago. That nailed what is still the current reality IMO and was educational, at least for me. Not enough Hobbes on DR coffee threads IMHO ;)

Anyway, as coffee fans know, a Pergrine barista named Lindsey won the Southeast Regional Barista Championship in Atlanta a month or two ago.

I stopped in at the Cap Hill location today (by far my preferred one of the two from an ambiance perspective) and was told Lindsey was at the Counter Culture training center "practicing for nationals" (in Portand, OR later this spring I think).

Today, I had:

1) A pourover with a new Columbian called "La Golondrina." Very nice flavor and smoothness though not quite as robust/rich as a few other Columbians I've had recently in some other souteastern cities about which I still need to post. Definitely enjoyable.

2) An espresso drink since these guys are known for that. I've been drinking almost all pourovers in recent months but like a great espresso drink too. This is that. A latte with all the hallmarks about which Hobbes wrote way upthread. I'll especially highlight the:

- balance of milk to espresso. My most common annoyance is when this is off as happens so often. Then you don't taste espresso at all (most commonly). Not here. Both the milk and espresso co-star with great symmetry.

- milk quality. Fresh, sweet, the worthy complement to the quality espresso grind.For all the reaonsd explained upthread.

- temp. Yep, they nail this consistently. It's not served scaldingly hot (my 2nd most commonly experienced issue).

- latte art. Personally, I'm more interested in taste than aesthetics but I know this is a big deal for baristas and many coffee afficionados. Pergrine's latte Heart reflects Pergrine's business heart (and soul). And, with that, the care and seriousness with which every drink is treated.

It's fairly obvious why Peregrine produced someone now in the running for "best barista in America.". Those skills are in full display here and I hope she cleans everyone else's clocks in Portland!

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