If you live in New York, Boston, or Philadelphia, you will likely have little to no trouble finding a cool coffee shop. You know the type: the kind of coffee shop with baristas who wear bandanas and jazz music that is just loud enough. The kind of coffee shop where local artists hang their work and local bands play their songs. The kind of coffee shop where the lattes are instagramable and the roasted coffee is fresh. In many cities, these coffee shops are easily accessible, and sometimes almost unavoidable. But I live in Washington, D.C. And things are a little different here.
The Nation’s Capital is flooded with lawyers, politicians, and consultants who float from their 9-5 jobs to the closest bar for happy hour during the week. Come Sunday afternoon, D.C. inhabitants recover from weekend shenanigans by meeting their friends for bottomless brunch at a fancy hotel or restaurant, where they consume disgusting amounts of eggs, bacon, and mimosas. I’ve spent my whole life thus far thinking brunch was nothing more than a ten dollar diner omelette, but apparently I was wrong.
I‘ll be the first to admit that I too enjoy a nice alcoholic beverage after a long day at work. But I missed being in a city where I could just stumble upon a coffee shop, sit on a couch and read, write, or have a conversation with a stranger. There must be cool coffee shops somewhere in D.C., I thought. And luckily, I was right. But here in Washington, these cafes don’t just come to you; you have to go out of your way and find them yourself…
…Until Now. I am on a mission to find the greatest coffee shops in D.C. so that you don’t have to. My goal for The Roast Review is not necessarily to tell you which coffee shops are the best or worst, which coffee is too bitter or too sweet, but instead to document my experience at each coffee shop I visit. And of course, if there happens to be a coffee shop that serves really shitty coffee, I’ll be sure to let you know. I look forward to overwhelming my body with too much caffeine as I begin this exploration, and I am excited to have you along for the ride!