Out of all the shops in DC, I would say this is the one I frequent most. Partially because it's located right near my work, home, and grad school... and partially because the coffee is dynamite.
I love it. But because I love it so much, I have refrained from doing a post because I hate people knowing who I am and I would be embarrassed walking in if they did. Also, I love taking fun pictures for this blog, but again, because it is the coffee shop I frequent most, I don't want to be the awkward girl snapping photos... and then next morning having them say, oh, you're the awkward girl that was snapping photos. Which is why, you will notice, all of the photos for this post are iPhone quality Instagrams I've collected over my many visits. Maybe someday I'll take five shots of espresso and work up enough courage to take some real pictures. Maybe...
But sipping my Chinatown Coffee cappuccino right now, I feel that it's finally time for me to say something about this little treasure.
I felt especially obliged to write a post today because the barista who served me was unbelievably nice and friendly. Most (not all, but most) of the baristas are very nice, but this guy was extra pleasant to talk to. I was at the shop with a colleague who wanted flavoring in his latte. When I do get flavored coffee, which is rare, I make sure the beans are flavored because I hate the taste syrups leave. Chinatown Coffee Company has two flavor options: hazelnut and vanilla. I would always lean towards hazelnut, but my colleague chose vanilla, which the barista told us was the better choice. Chinatown Coffee Company makes their own vanilla flavoring, submerging actual vanilla beans in a bottle of simple sugar syrup. It was neat!
Here I am going to focus on espresso drinks, because I think Chinatown Coffee Company does an amazing job with espresso while their coffee is just okay... (see!! They are going to hate me, I can never show my face again.)
They serve one of the best cappuccinos in the city. Perfect consistency, warm, and deep espresso flavor with soft caramel undertones... it's to die for. Not to mention, the baristas that work there are good. REALLY good. The foam is always poured perfectly, stays fluffy, and is so aesthetically pleasing I almost don't want to drink it.
For even more of that rounded espresso flavor, try the cortado. Cortados are my favorite way to drink coffee.They contain enough milk to give it body, but not too much to cover the underlying notes in the espresso. Chinatown Coffee Company makes a phenomenal one.
Whatever you order, make sure you get something sweet to go along with it! Try a cookie, muffin, scone, or biscotti... you name it, I've had it... which is kind of embarrassing. I love everything I have had, except I found the biscotti too crispy and a bit overcooked. The scone was the perfect consistency and the cookies just the right size.
The shop is a tad on the pricey side, but the high-quality coffee and snacks make it worth it.
The other cool thing about Chinatown Coffee Company is each day they have a drink special. It's like happy hour, for coffee, all day long.
Though on Americano day, when I ordered the iced Americano pictured below, they charged me full price. So you have to make sure you request the special.
One of the drinks I have never tried at the shop is absinthe. I hate absinthe, but it's cool they sell it! The only other coffee shop I have been to that sells absinthe is in Zurich, and there I tried it. It was an experience... you can read about it here.
There, I did it. I finally wrote a post on Chinatown Coffee Company. I love the little shop and I hope you do too. Maybe you'll see me there soon, trying to hid in the corner feeling shamed and embarrassed. Not even that could keep me away from sipping their amazing cappuccinos.