For some college students, coffee is more than a cheap caffeine fix: it is a passion.
Meet coffee bloggers Chloe Lyon, a junior in SIS, and Ali Villalobos, a sophomore in SOC. Together, these grade-school friends founded “Not So Grounded,” a coffee blog dedicated to “finding coffee, culture and community in the District.”
The blog came about after these two rebooted their tradition of enjoying afternoons at coffee shops around their shared hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Both bloggers are committed to looking for spectacular coffee no matter the zip code.
“We may be college kids, but we appreciate good coffee,” Lyon said.
As a new transfer student to American, Lyon found going to coffee shops around D.C. was a great way to explore the city.
“It’s easy to get stuck here on campus,” Lyon said. “Even if it’s a trek, some great coffee shops around D.C. are well worth it. Plan to spend at least four hours to get a feel for the place.”
Important aspects of fantastic coffee shops include excellent service, fun and innovative environments and high levels of community interaction. Having delicious food and pastries helps too, because nothing tastes better than perfectly brewed black coffee accompanied with a fresh croissant.
Lyon recommends Big Bear Café by the Eckington neighborhood, while Villalobos’s favorite is Northside Social in Arlington, Va. Some other coffee shops around the District that come highly recommended are Chinatown Coffee Co., Filter in Dupont and Tynan in Friendship Heights.
Villalobos and Lyon are fans of coffee that “doesn’t just taste good, but is ethical too.”
“We are big supporters of Direct Trade, a coffee buying program that stresses developing direct, sustainable relationships with the coffee farmers,” Lyon said. “Stumptown and Intelligentsia are great coffee brands that take part in Direct Trade.”
(Hint: With the holiday gift giving season approaching, bags of Direct Trade coffee beans, a French press or a gift certificate to a local coffee shop make great gifts.)
As for future plans of the blog, Villalobos and Lyon plan to finish reviewing major coffee shops in the District, increase readership and expand to blogging about community events around D.C.
“We also plan to add a section called Talking Sense that catalogs great thoughts and conversations we have had in coffee shops,” Lyon said.