3917 Georgia Ave, NW

“Dear PoPville,

I work from home several days a week and many times I find myself at Qualia or other coffee shops to start my day. Going to Qualia is always a crapshoot given the limited seating options, but I do enjoy their freshly roasted beans. This morning, there happened to be seats, but when I asked for the wifi password, I was told “they were not doing wifi anymore.” I had already paid for my coffee and there was no signage indicating this new policy. I’m not opposed to no wifi to encourage person to person discussion, but given the extremely limited space and general setup of Qualia, the cafe itself doesn’t really encourage this type of interaction. I’m never able to bring groups of friends (or even my spouse) to Qualia because the seating is minimal. Rarely are there two seats together. The counter/bar along the wall seems specifically designed for computers. Maybe “no wifi” fits their business model? Maybe they are trying to prove a point? Regardless of their reasoning, it will definitely impact their business from me. I no longer plan to go there.”

Qualia responds:

“Our current WiFi Policy is clearly stated on our web site here.

We are not trying to discourage people from using Qualia to work, play or meet. We have come to the conclusion that it is no longer necessary or beneficial to offer Internet access. Now that open and mobile hot spots are now readily available, no longer offering free WiFi was not intended to create a significant barrier for people who wanted to work on their computers. However, we had reached a tipping point in the volume and nature of customers we were serving. Those visiting us only for free Internet access had begun to crowd out the people who were visiting us for the unique coffee experience we offer. Given how limited out space is, it only takes a handful of folks camping out for hours at a time to diminish our ability to serve a broader spectrum of customers.

That said, we are open to everyone’s comments and concerns. Our WiFi policies have changed over time and are bound to continue doing so.”

Ed. Note: Qualia was recently voted 5th best coffee in DC.

1405 T Street, NW

Thanks to Jonathan Pinkerton for sending shots of the new signage. They open January 26th. For those not familiar with the Colada Shop:

“Named after the iconic Cuban-style coffee, Colada Shop is a concept that blends together the contemporary lifestyle of Washingtonians with the Cuban tradition of starting and ending the day. Paying homage to the Caribbean way of coffee, food, cocktails and social lifestyle, Colada Shop will be a casual café and eatery where guests come for the quality and stay for the company.

Colada Shop takes its name from one of Cuba’s quintessential coffees, the Colada, which is 4oz of Cuban- style espresso traditionally served in a Styrofoam cup along with small, plastic demitasses. Its takeaway form is meant to be shared. Sharing a colada remains a prominent social and cultural activity and is customary of workplace breaks in Cuban communities.” (more…)

Photo by PoPville flickr user Eline Soinne

On Friday we posted an epic poll for Best Coffee in DC. Because there were so many nominations, a reader suggested narrowing it down to a final poll. Here are the top 7 out of 47 (who received at least 100 votes). Honorable mention to Tryst and Filter for coming in just shy. And we should take a second to realize how lucky we are to have so many great options these days. But an arbitrarily selected best must be ordained! Pick your favorite and remember these results/bragging rights last for two years.

Photo by PoPville flickr user Eline Soinne

So some folks to serious umbrage to the notion that Compass Coffee could be considered the best coffee in DC. So since the last query was in 2014 (which is a lifetime in DC) time for an update. To answer the question definitely once and for all (or for at least the next two(ish) years) – who makes the best coffee in the District of Columbia?


A reader reports:

“That coffee shop that has been coming soon for ages on 14th & Otis Pl opened on Monday. I grabbed a coffee this morning to check it out. The interior is quite elegant for a coffee shop — if they added some background music and there were more people, I wouldn’t mind having breakfast on a weekend. I found it similar to Le Caprice, so it could provide a nice Ethiopian alternative to the French cafe two blocks down the road. I saw some Ethiopian specialties on the menu (e.g., fit-fit), but the lady said they were not ready for those yet.”