Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bourbon: Foggy Bottom

This post has been a long time coming. A few weeks ago, my friend and I decided to meet up and metro over to Foggy Bottom to try this coffee shop that is supposed to be the best in the business. It's called Bourbon. Now, you may be asking yourself why a coffee shop is named after a whiskey. The short answer is it's not. Bourbon in Foggy Bottom imports all its coffee beans from Rwanda and in Rwanda they grow a very specific type of coffee bean, that of the Bourbon Arabica verity. And so, I present to you...


I have heard from a few folks that the coffee here is extremely overpriced since it's fair trade and imported from Rwanda, but I found it only a touch more expensive than Starbucks.

Walking in, I was tempted to order a plain old cappuccino. I typically order a cappuccino not to be boring,  but so that I can truly compare one coffee shop to the next. However, there with a friend in an African inspired shop, I decided to try something new.

I ordered a Praline and Cream latte (I asked the kid at the register what his favorite drink was, and that's what he told me, so I went with it. He was a pretty big grump though...) My friend ordered the Aztec Chai... yeah.

After it took the grumpy barista eight minutes to prepare, we grabbed our drinks and sat down on a comfy couch. I didn't know what a Praline was (neither did the grouch who recommended it...) so I really had no idea what to expect. Looking back (after having a praline flavored Godiva chocolate just yesterday) I now know exactly what praline tastes like and the Pralines and Cream latte was true to form... but when I took a sip I remembered this was a flavor I was not fond of. It almost tasted like Nutella, and I don't really like Nutella.... I know like 80% of the people reading this just gasped. But I just don't, sorry! That is not to say the drink was bad, quite the opposite. It was very delicious, I'm just not a huge praline fan but, for those of you who are, I have never ever been to a coffee shop that has a praline flavored latte, so Bourbon is for you!

As I mentioned, my friend ordered an Aztec Chai. We weren't really sure what the Aztec part of that meant, but it sounded pretty exciting. When we first sat down and started sipping and chatting I looked at my friend and saw that for every eight sips I was taking, we was taking one. At first I thought psshhh, he must not really like coffee. I asked him if it was good and he just kind shrugged and said, "mm..ya". As time went by and my drink neared its end, his was still filled to the brim. I asked if I could have a sip AND HOLY COW! I understood why he hadn't had very much. I had to down a cup of water after just one sip because there was nutmeg burning my throat and spices completely searing my tongue. Aztec Chai. SPICY-SPICY-SPICY-SPICY Chai. SPICY.

Needless to say, neither Zack or I could finish the drink. He ended ordering a second, a regular dirty chai, sans Aztec fire power. He liked it. I still thought it was way too spicy, but I am kind of a wimp when it comes to that sort of stuff.

I would say it was a pretty good experience overall. I definitely praise Bourbon for having so many unique flavor options to choose from. My recommendation: maybe just put a good description under the name of the drink to more accurately describe the flavor (i.e. 1,000 tiny red hot chili peppers under the Aztec Chai). I would recommend testing Bourbon out with a friend because you can choose between many unexpected flavors, such as Amaretto Dream (I want to go back and try this one if anyone wants to join!) and Macadamia Nut Mocha. But part of me wishes that I stuck to the basic cappuccino, just so I have a better idea of what exactly Bourbon coffee beans truly taste like... next time.

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