Should Have Ordered a Latte

Chinatown Coffee Co.

475 H St NW

Washington, DC  20001

202.320.0405

Amidst the hustle and bustle of DC’s gallery place, past the street performers outside the metro and fanatic concert goers and sports fans that surround the Verizon Center, sits a trendy little coffee shop appropriately named Chinatown Coffee Co. I visited on a freezing Saturday afternoon, one of those winter days where even the thought of being outside gives you chills. But it was my one day off from work, and I would have hated to spend it just sitting at home. So i braved the wind and the unreliable weekend metro and ventured out to gallery place, on a mission to find a nice, hot cup o’ joe.

When I arrived at Chinatown Coffee, I was uncomfortably cold, a feeling that was soon alleviated by the heat and the warm, cozy environment. The coffee shop was relatively quiet, inhabited both by customers reading a book or using a computer and by friends socializing over a beverage. There was no line at the register, so I went up to the counter and ordered a small coffee. The barista asked me if I wanted milk, to which I replied “Yes, please.” Then he asked me what kind of milk I take. “Whole,” I said. I am not about that non-fat life, at least not when it comes to my coffee. He then proceeded to pour a small cup of whole milk just for me. If that’s not exceptional customer service, I don’t know what is.

The coffee was good, I thought, until I saw that most customers were drinking perfectly instagrammable lattes and cappuccinos, which gave my taste buds some major FOMO. Next time I’ll splurge on a fancy drink, I reassured myself. And yes, there will be a next time.

Judging from the number of helmets I saw at Chinatown Coffee Co., it seemed most people had biked there. It definitely drew more of a trendy, hipster crowd, a breed of human I don’t see a lot of here in DC. But hey, maybe I’ve just been going to all the wrong places.

The interior of Chinatown Coffee was most likely styled by a minimalist, it’s brick walls decorated with just one, very small framed photo. The wall nearest to where I was sitting had a  black and white paining of the DC flag, but the three stars were replaced with three coffee cups, a clever edition to the already sleek atmosphere. I stayed until closing time, although I could have stayed a lot longer.

But I’ll be back soon. I need to get that latte.

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