Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Misha's: Old Town Alexandria

I am always up for an adventure! Maybe it's the caffeine that gets my blood pumping, but I tend to think it's just my in my nature to be restless.

Excuse the picture quality; all photos were taken on my iPhone.

This weekend I came down with a terrible case of cabin fever. I love living in a city, but every now and again I find myself yearning for some fresh air and some dirt on my fingernails. I decided to hop on my bike and ride to GW's estate via the Mount Vernon Bike Trail, which begins in D.C., twists through Alexandria, and continues all the way out and back totaling 36 miles. 

Alexandria is my favorite town; it has so many places to explore. I never get bored walking down King street with all the art, antiques, music, people and yes, even coffee shops it has to offer. Each time I travel out to Old Town I see Misha's Coffee Roaster and Coffeehouse on Saint Patrick's Street – a side street right of King. Its whitewashed facade and bold orange sign always makes me feel as if the shop was made for me.

It's just my style!

I walked inside and the first things I noticed were the bright orange cups. Earlier I had seen a bunch of folks walking down King Street with the same orange cups and I hadn't realized they were from Misha's until now. It is certainly a sign of good coffee when all the locals hit up the spot. Even inside you could tell it was a local favorite. A cork board hung on the wall with pictures and postcards from customers and children's drawings of the iconic orange styrofoam coffee cup. The second thing I noticed was the menu hanging above the counter. It was made from metal and instead of writing out the drink choices and prices (which are pricey indeed), they used those bright orange, yellow, blue, and green letters that children play with on their refrigerator. It gave the shop a very homey feel.

Unlike most of the boutique coffee shops in D.C., Misha's had a good amount of seating available. This may seem like a minor detail, but when your looking for a place to go read the paper and sip an espresso, it really stinks when you get there and have to walk out the door with your head hanging because there is nowhere for you to sit. Shucks.

At this point in my review, Misha's has received nothing but gold stars, but we haven't talked about the coffee yet. Needless to say that after checking off so many boxes on my list, I had high expectations for this place. Maybe too high?

I ordered a cappuccino, as I usually do, and found a table close by. I took off my helmet...

...and my shades...

...and took a sip...

...and I couldn't taste a thing because it was so smokin' hot!!!!!!!!!! I had a glass of ice water next to me and drank the whole thing before my tongue was burnt to a complete crisp. Petrified to take another sip, I waited a while and even added an ice cube before I gave it a go. I am sad to say that when the time came to give it another try, it was mediocer at best. I wish it was great! I really wanted to love it! But everything from the espresso to the foam underwhelmed me. Harsh, heavy, and completely carbony with a burnt charcoal flavor. 

Maybe I'll try the plain old coffee next time and it will be unbelievable. Who knows really, but Misha's cappuccino is not on my list of must haves. It was quite pathetic, really. I expected the whitewashed building I have come to hold on a pedestal to have it all, but it didn't. Lucky for me, the person you share a cup of coffee with can add as much flavor to the experience as the drink itself.

Coffee anyone?


  1. You might want to check out Espresso, Pies, Sorbet (E.S.P.) in Old Town Alexandria on King Street.You might have already and I missed it on your list of reviews.

  2. We went to Misha's too and were disappointed. Same thing. Scolding hot milk. It just ruined the experience. Super cool place though. I just wish someone would train the baristas to not kill the milk. Once the fat in the milk is destroyed the drink cannot be recovered. I don't recall even finishing mine. My drink was a latte.

    Greetings from Canada
    Fellow Coffee Snob


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