Hunapu and Summer Solstice at Cafe Diem

Roaster: Madcap Coffee
Retailer: Cafe Diem DC
Beans: Hunapu Guatemala
Brew Method: Iced pour over (Japanese style)

Creamy and smooth, the Hunapu coffee had a chocolatey aroma with a hint of citrus. The flavors were subtle and not overpowering. It was a tasty, mellow-tasting addition to a sweet pastry.

Fun Fact: “Hunapu” means “mountain of flowers”, and the coffee is cultivated on volcanic soil in Guatemala.

Beans: SumIMG_6847mer Solstice blend
(Ethiopia Ardi and Ethiopia Yirgacheffe)
Brew Method: Iced pour over (Japanese style)

Madcap took two different kinds of tasty Ethopian beans and turned them into a deliciously complex and refreshing blend. Delightfully fruity and floral, with a hint of chocolate. The medium roast was citrusy and bright, but not sour: a wonderfully thirst quenching and enjoyable iced coffee.

About the retailer: Curious about Madcap Coffee, we decided to visit the Cafe Diem pop-up in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC. The pop-up was cute and inviting, and the service was great. The barista was knowledgeable about the different beans being sold in the shop, as well as brewing styles, and was eager to share some interesting facts. Overall, the coffee was very tasty and the experience was pleasant. Hopefully they open up a permanent cafe nearby!

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Kunga Maitu at The Wydown

Roaster: Intelligentsia Coffee IMG_3369
Retailer: The Wydown
Beans: Kunga Maitu Kenya
Brew Method: Pour over

This cup had a fruity and chocolatey aroma and a creamy mouthfeel. The coffee was very flavorful and complex, with both sweet and tart, cherry-like flavors bouncing off of the tongue. The acidity and complexity of the coffee made it a true, high-quality Kenyan roast.

Fun Fact: In the Kikuyu language, “Kunga” means brave and “Maitu” means mother. Kunga Maitu is a melody sung by Kenyan children when their mothers return from the farm or market.

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Ethiopian Mordecofe at Dolcezza

Roaster: Stumptown Coffee RoastersEthiopianCoffee
Retailer: Dolcezza
Beans: Ethiopia Mordecofe
Brew Method: Pour over

This smooth Ethiopian coffee had a pleasant, fruity aroma and slightly sour taste. The citrusy notes in this roast were evident, and the beverage had a heavier mouthfeel. According to the description provided by Stumptown, the coffee was supposed to have an “orange blossom and bergamot aroma,” along with the flavors of hops, lime, peach, and black tea. It was certainly a stronger cup with an enjoyable mix of fruity tastes.

Dolcezza is primarily known for their delicious gelato; however, everything in the cafe, including the coffee, is prepared with care and precision. This fine cup of coffee was no exception.

Red & White Blend at Zeke’s Coffee DC

Roaster: Zeke’s Coffee DCCold Brew Zeke's Coffee
Retailer: Zeke’s Coffee DC
Beans: Red & White Blend (Natural/Fair Trade)
Roast: Darker than medium
Brew Method: Cold brew 

This cold brew was creamy, slightly nutty, and delicious. It was definitely enjoyable, hot day or not! The drink was balanced and, thanks to the darker roast, not overwhelmingly acidic–always a pleasant surprise when it comes to iced coffee. We’ve tasted a fair share of cold brewed coffee, and this one definitely stood out, mostly because of how creamy it came out to be.

Family-owned company Zeke’s was founded in Baltimore, MD. Lucky for us DC-dwellers, the small batch roastery opened in the Northeast quadrant of the district in 2013. The coffee is roasted and brewed with great care, and the staff is extremely friendly and knowledgeable. We’ll definitely be going back here!

Fun fact: The organically grown beans are an homage to Washington, DC.

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Yellow Reserve and La Ilusión at 29th Parallel

Roaster: PT’s Coffee Roasting Co.29th parallel Retailer: 29th Parallel Coffee & Tea (VA) Beans: Socorro Yellow Reserve, Guatemala
Roast: Light
Brew Method: Pour-over

The Yellow Reserve was a delightful and unique mix of butterscotch, raisin, brown sugar, and milk chocolate. While the beverage smelled slightly acidic, the taste was only slightly tangy, with a prevalent creaminess and taste of butterscotch that lingered in the back of the mouth.

Fun fact: These particular beans were grown in rich volcanic soils of the El Socorro farm.

Beans: La Ilusión, El Salvador
Roast: Light
Brew Method: Pour-over

This creamy coffee was light bodied, earthy, and sweet. It was complex, exhibiting many flavors including vanilla, caramel, raspberry, and lemon. The aroma contained hints of caramel and honey, and the coffee had a more pronounced acidity in comparison to the Guatemalan blend.

Fun fact: The La Ilusión farm is situated on the Santa Ana volcano.

A special note about 29th Parallel: this hidden coffee shop is truly worth the trek to Fairfax, VA. The owner is passionate about coffee, and makes sure each drink is prepared with the utmost care. All of the ingredients are direct trade/organic, and it shows. If you enjoy a truly good cup of coffee, then make sure to check out 29th Parallel.

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Ethiopia Chelelektu at Chinatown Coffee Co.

Roaster: Heart Coffee RoastersChelelektu
Retailer: Chinatown Coffee Co. (DC)
Beans: Ethiopia Chelelektu, Yirgacheffe
Roast: Medium-light
Brew Method: Pour-over

Wow. That was my thought after inhaling the aroma of this coffee. The scent was both citrusy and floral, and it was an exciting indication of what was to come. I wasn’t disappointed! The taste of these fully-washed beans bounced around my mouth after each sip. I had never tasted a coffee with such bold floral notes, and it was certainly very interesting and pleasing. Although the lavender flavor prevailed, the sides and tip of my tongue felt the lingering citrus flavor. There was a slight cacao taste in the background. Typical of the Yirgacheffe beans, this coffee was a blend of floral and fruity, in a most pleasing way.

Fun fact: Wet processed (or washed) coffee cherries have been soaked in water to soften and remove the fleshy material on the fruit. This type of processing produces a “clean cup” of brewed coffee, and it is common for Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee. Wet processed coffee is usually higher in acidity and has a more floral flavor than dry-processed coffee.