West Coast Vibe, Southeast Quadrant

Philz Coffee

1331 4th St SE #101

Washington, DC 20003


Today is September 11, 2016, marking fifteen years since the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil. It’s one of the saddest days of the year, especially in Washington, D.C., where over 100 people lost their lives at the Pentagon in 2001. But while I knew today would not necessarily be a good day, I decided to spend somewhere that would make me happy: a coffee shop.

And I think I picked the best one for the occasion: Philz Coffee in Navy Yard. When I walked in, I was surprised not by the length of the checkout line, but rather by the people that it drew. Standing in front of me were groups of men and women in uniform, finding comfort on this somber Sunday in a cup of coffee and the company of close friends.

Philz is a full-service bar, which means all you have to do is order and pay. The baristas craft your coffee exactly the way you want it, and if you’re unsatisfied with your drink they will remake it for you.The drink menu is divided by roast type: dark, medium, light, and decaf-if that’s what you’re into. Each blend is characterized by three main flavors, so you know exactly what you’re getting. But be forewarned: Philz does not serve the classic specialty drinks that you might find at other coffee shops around DC. So if you’re set on getting a Cappuccino or a Latte you might be better off going to Starbucks.

I’ve never been to the West Coast, but Philz coffee fits the image of what I’d imagine a cafe in Los Angeles would look like: Open space, concrete floors, women in fedoras and trendy rompers and men in plaid shirts and pinnies. As it turns out, I’m not that far off. Philz’s roasting plant is located in Oakland, CA and has other stores in the San Fransisco and Los Angeles metro areas.

The atmosphere at Philz Coffee is contagious with good vibes. The staff is friendly and the coffee is delicious. Natural sunlight shines through the windows and unique paintings dress the walls. Customers check their stress at the door.

If you make it out to Philz, don’t you dare leave without trying the mint mojito iced coffee. I know, I know…sounds disgusting, right? I thought that at first too, but I was dead wrong. Somehow, the blend of mint and foamy coffee just…works. In fact, it’s the most popular drink on the menu. If you don’t believe me, that’s fine. But you’re missing out.

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