Seattle, WA seems to pique the interest of coffee pioneers, and with founders Jean Philippe Iberti and Todd Carmichael, the year 1985 started it all. Lovers of the European roaster process as well as the development of fine cuisine in America, the two came together to launch what we now know as La Colombe. Originally based in Philadelphia, La Colombe has moved into New York, Chicago, Seoul, and most recently our beloved D.C.
You won’t find this coffee shop on every corner, nor will you find it on a major street. To taste this amazing blend of specialty brewed coffee, you’ll have to head down an alley. Carved out of the side of a brick and mortar, La Colombe delivers on aesthetics before you even enter their shop. Yet as most coffee aficionados know, we’re only here to judge the quality of the coffee, everything else is simply a perk.
After shooting all morning in the temperature in the nineties, I wanted something cool to keep me going. An iced coffee seemed perfect. Adding nothing to the concoction but a single packet of sweetener, one sip had me swirling the liquid around in my mouth. Is that plum I taste? Intrigued, I asked the barista. Knowledgeable and friendly, I was informed that it was La Colombe’s Caturra blend. Upon further research I learned not only is this bean produced in Ecuador, but that its cupping notes consist of ruby red grapefruit, pine nuts, sugar cane and plum. Did I just read plum? Silently patting myself on the back, I looked down at my watch and realized it was time to hit the road.
With 8 blends left to try, I most definitely will be back.
924 Rear N St. NW (Blagden Alley)
Washington, DC 20001
Jai is a culinary/travel photographer, author whose photography has been seen in publications such as Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Munchies (VICE), and Ad Week. Jai has been with GMF since 2014 is the former GMF Editor-in-Chief. She has photographed for both domestic and international tourism boards. Additionally, her work was selected as a semi-finalist in competitions such as Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s RAMMYs in Focus, and The Historical Society of D.C.’s For the Record. Contributing her photography to books like New York One-Food Wonders and Discovering Vintage Washington, DC, Jai’s creative spirit focuses on the food, beverage, and travel industries. Co-authoring Plantations of Virginia with six-time New York Press Club award winner Charlene C. Giannetti, their book is currently in its third printing within a year of being released. Jai enjoys collaborating with her clients to bring their vision to life.