Posted by: annabanana210 | September 2, 2018

Crazy Coffee Lady

I wish I could make an excuse for not writing for as long as I have but I don’t have one. I have been busy trying to live life but I haven’t been diligent about documenting it. I know I need to step my game up. I turned forty in February and so far being forty has been better than my thirties.  My thirties were an exercise in introspection and madness. I pray that my forties will be the calm I need them to be. I’m kind of excited to see what this year has in store and it’s already half over.

So what has been keeping me sane these days? Glad you asked.

Coffee

I was never into Starbucks but I started visiting independent coffee houses to find where the real buzz was. While I worked in Georgetown, I loved to frequent Baked and Wired (1052 Thomas Jefferson St NW ).  I spent quite a few mornings at max caf level, living outside of my skin.  I did become Da Mayor of Starbucks Columbia Heights while I was working closer to that location, because I was often running late and did not take the time to find spots.  Nine times out of ten, my standard skim caramel macchiato did NOT juice me up. The staff though, at Columbia Heights Starbucks were the best.  They always chatted with me and remembered my order.

When I took a job closer to where I live, I started off at Starbucks (either at Eastern Market or Navy Yard), but I got frustrated with the frequency of my order being incorrect, so I turned to Yelp.  I tried two coffee spots within two minutes of Starbucks and quickly transitioned.

I have never taken pictures of my coffee from Bourbon (621 Pennsylvania Ave, SE) but it’s a come-up from Starbucks.  Sometimes they don’t listen to your order (which makes no sense since we’re standing face to face), but you have so many options with their custom espresso drinks and the sizes you can choose.  You can also add more shots, so a few times I have skirted over to Bourbon before a long meeting for a medium latte with an extra shot. I think that Bourbon drove home for me that I just like a simple skim latte with an extra shot.

This brings me to Peregrine Espresso (660 Pennsylvania Ave, SE),  The first time I went in for a latte, I had vanilla syrup added.  I was so ecstatic when I saw actual vanilla beans in the bottom of my cup.  The baristas there adopted me, learned my order and discussed nursing with me.  They welcomed my family with open arms and it quickly became apparent why that was my spot.  Even when I add extra shots, the richness and flavor are never lost or bitter.  I often wish I could venture out and try something new, but I love my old faithful; a nonfat vanilla latte with an extra shot.

Over the summer, I returned to Baked and Wired but I also ventured out to other spots.  I loved my lowfat latte at Grace Street Coffee, but the location and parking make it hard to want to go back.  It may be around the corner from Baked and Wired (3210 Grace St NW) but I don’t usually want to break a fresh sweat while I pursue my caffeine.  The day I went, I had just worked out and had to park all the way over on 28th St.  The latte was worth the walk.

The other place I had to try was The Wydown (1924 14th St NW), for obvious St. Louis reasons.  WUSTL and Fontbonne students know Wydown well.  Wydown is not only a major artery by the universities, it’s also a neighborhood in Clayton.  It came as no surprise when I learned in Peregrine, that The Wydown came to be by way of the McCracken brothers (Kaldi’s).  My only gripe was the lack of skim milk.  However, the coffee needs that 2% because it is strrrronnng.  Love it though, and they also have an H St NE location as well.

Over the summer, I was fortunate enough to travel to London and Paris and have coffee there.  The iced skim latte was from Caffe Forum in South Kensington (146 Gloucester Road, London SW7 4SZ UK) and it was straight forward and to the point.  The café crème was from La Campanella in Paris (18 avenue Bosquet, 75007 Paris, France).  The coffee in France is wonderfully smooth and sweet; the exact opposite of the demeanor of the people there.

 

It took a long time for me to realize that coffee was how I looked forward to starting my day.  Now that I know it, I may never be able to return to my decaf beginnings. I find that coffee is not unlike wine, where there are many subtle differences on the palate.  How do you caffeinate yourself throughout the day and what is your preferred drink? Black coffee, latte, cappuccino, macchiato, red-eye or flat white?  Let me know.

 


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