Arguably the most important hallmark in an average undergrad’s life is a new, if not enhanced passion for coffee. Around October of freshman year, what was priorly bitter becomes heavenly. The occasional morning cup transforms into a 3-times-a-day lifeline for survival. Pretty soon you are looking up if anyone has patented cold brew IV drips, and have to run to the dining hall to use a full meal swipe for a single, probably shitty 16 oz, and perhaps a pastry to go, just to cope with the fact that medicine unfortunately has not advanced to that point. After a year of rationing your 14 meals a week to accommodate your 3 p.m. crash, you realize that beyond Georgetown’s gates is a magic meadow of potential to turn your survival-fueled passion into a conniseurhood.
I’m Katie Woodhouse, and I love coffee shops. The hipster ones that make you wait 15 minutes just to prove their authenticity, the cozy ones that I can study in for hours until I guilt-buy a muffin just to feel like I’m not wasting space, and even the ones on every corner that all sort of look the same inside yet each has a purposeful subtle identity. This year I have made it my goal to review the coffee shops in and within walking distance of Georgetown University on five criteria: coffee (I know, shocker), baked goods (perhaps my favorite category), ambiance (including studiability, which no, I don’t know if that is a word), location (relative to Georgetown), and finally overall experience. Think of it as the classic reality show Four Weddings, except with way more than four weddings, except there aren’t actually any weddings at all, weddings are a metaphor. For coffee shops. Got it?
Any recommendations for coffee shops? Want them yourself? Comment or email email@example.com. DC is a beacon of great joe, as the experts call it.
Ahhh 2622. This place has been tempting me for months with their minimalist sign aesthetic. Literally just four numbers and an unwritten promise that an upscale cafe experience awaited me just beyond their hearth. Luckily for those of you who aren’t drawn to the auras of coffee shop signage, I checked out 2622 this past (very rainy) Sunday morning. I arrived dripping wet, hella chilly, and in the nicest tone possible, ready for my goddamn coffee.
Coffee: 2 beans out of 5 beans
Ahhh it hurts my soul to give such a sweet shop that I enjoyed such a low coffee score. 2622 serves Grace Street coffee, and is a sort of extension of the brand from their South-of-M location into Northern Georgetown. The coffee was smooth and tasty, but personally I found it pretty blonde and light, while I prefer a dark roast. This place is probably best known for their lattes and cappuccinos. The many I saw come out of the small espresso bar looked fantastic, and they are all made immediately in front of you. One huge plus: dairy substitutes with no extra charge! Even I, #teamoatmilk, was able to indulge in a splash of my personal favorite substitute, though it is often the most expensive. Speaking of expense, this was on the higher end, with a small cup of drip coffee at $3.50 with $1.00 refills. All in all, coffee was clearly high quality but not my style, and a lil’ too upscale for my personal college budget.
Food: 2 muffins out of 5 muffins.
I wish I knew a little bit more about 2622 Cafe’s situation, as they seem to be a bit of an up and coming cafe. I expected there would be breakfast food as mentioned by the website and a few delish looking snaps on Yelp, but there were very limited options. They did have a tray of croissants that were Insta worthy in both look and arrangement, and upon asking there were also quiches available, but I was still a lil’ confuzzled (or “confused,” if you’re boring) over the options. 2622’s minimalist aesthetic extends to them basically having no signs, so you’ll definitely have to ask the lone barista (one guy literally runs the whole place) if you want more information. And there is information to be given, I think. There must be, right? I didn’t actually try any of the food, as nothing was very enticing. Quiches can be a drop kick to my preferably dairy-free stomach, I was confused, and just prior had been my first October stop at Dupont Farmers Market (pumpkin pastries bishes). I can’t very well judge it on quality or taste, but just for the confusion I gave it a step below average. But, I did do some strategic eavesdropping on some folks talking about some past excellent breakfast burritos. So when you go here—because my greatest dream is to inspire your very own D.C. coffee-shop-crawl—hopefully they will have good food. That really means nothing, but I can assure you that this place at least looks like it has good food.
Ambiance: 4.5 chandeliers out of 5 chandeliers
2622 is the West Elm of coffee shops, walking the line between cozy morning stop and sleek cocktail bar. It’s enticing, gorgeous, and classy af. I half expected Jay Gatsby (the Leo DiCaprio version of course) to step around the corner and hold out a martini like that one scene that the internet has turned into a timeless GIF from the 2013 cinematic masterpiece, The Great Gatsby. Other than the fact that he is a fictional character, it isn’t that far out of reach—the space turns into an event space at night, with the espresso bar easily converting to a cocktail bar. The natural light from the front windows cuts through the dark color scheme (black, gold, dark teal), and the lit, real candles strategically placed throughout the space give such good, cozy vibes. Seating is limited, but there is a great community table as well as a beautiful outdoor patio (YES) in the back, which unfortunately was as good as underwater on the supremely rainy day I stopped by. Love those D.C. autumns.
Location: 2.5 maps out of 5 maps
2622 is a bit of a hike for Hoyas (about a mile down P), but you will feel so fancy sitting with your latte that it might feed into your brain and help discern that extra af philosophy paper. This really is a lovely place to get some reading done. Outside of just the university, 2622 is in a great location for the neighborhood. I’m surprised that there aren’t more convenient coffee stops that aren’t on M or Wisconsin in Northern Georgetown. Just a hunch, I feel like these people might be able and willing to pay for a fancy daily drip. This was validated by the fact that the many couples that came in while I was enjoying my cup all knew the owner by name and he had their orders down pat. This may be the boujee-est “neighborhood” coffee shop I’ve ever been too, but that is pretty damn on brand.
Overall Experience: 2.5 hearts out of 5 hearts
My experience at 2622 was a welcome relief from a very rainy Sunday morning walk. It was a nice little stop, but I quickly realized it was far too aesthetic a location to ruin by spreading out a monster textbook, solution manual, modeling kit, and spiral notebook all over the community table. This place is for ~intellectuals~ and leather bound books and hushed conversations over matcha lattes in the very best of ways. Due to the impending doom of an upcoming orgo exam and a need to study, I cut my time at 2622 short, but I appreciate it’s existence nonetheless. It isn’t the coffee shop for my needs, but it is a great addition to Northern Georgetown.
*I took me, myself, and I out to coffee this past (have I mentioned it was rainy?) Sunday morning. If the 50-shades-of-off-white background of this photo looks familiar (a la Henle excuse for a kitchen), this is a fraudulent “representation” of my 30-minute stop, when I made myself take a moment to chill, reflect, breathe, and enjoy a cup of joe, aka “jitter juice,” “java,” “dirt,” “mud,” and in extreme situations, “rocket fuel.” As an introvert, I need time alone, separate from my friends as lovely as they are to center myself and find “me” again. On Georgetown’s campus, it can be easy to let the stress and chaos infest the crevices of the soul (a part of me does live for the dramatic), and when I do find a moment to be introspective, I am reminded of how important those moments are. I know solitude, however positive, isn’t for everyone, but if you are yearning for some it can be hard to find on campus. Another reason why I love coffee shops? As much as they exist to inspire connection, they are there for you and only you as well. Take a breath, and enjoy a cuppa. Or, if it’s more your style, “worm dirt” (REALLY strong coffee). :)