by Tim Regan October 28, 2015 at 9:15 am 0

Dupont Circle residents can now get their Coffee Bar fix a little closer to home.

The coffee shop opened its second location on the corner of 17th and M Streets NW earlier this morning.

The store, said Coffee Bar assistant manager Jeremy Jensen last month, is catered toward commuters and people who want to take their coffee to-go. But the new shop does have a small seating area that faces the street for optimal people watching.

by May 2, 2013 at 8:00 am 0

From Mathew Harkins. Email him at mharkins[AT]


DC Coffee Bike Crawl is back! This Sunday, May 5. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The DC Coffee Bike Crawl is back. This Sunday, May 5, join this leisurely ride through the city for their third event here in DC. The route will include stops at five different cafes along the way and is completely free to join.

The meeting place, and first café of the morning, will be Qualia Coffee at 9:30 am. The Crawl will leave Qualia at 10 am. and head to Pleasant Pops Farmhouse Market and Café. From there, the ride will continue on to Baked and Wired, The Coffee Bar, and will end at Big Bear Café.

Not only are these some of the best cafes in the city, but each one of them is locally owned. So you can enjoy great coffee, experience a great bike ride through the city, and support your community all at once.

The exact route is coming soon. In the meantime, links and addresses for each café are:

For anyone traveling to the start point by Metro, the nearest station is Georgia Avenue/Petworth. For more information or to RSVP (though not required), check out DC Coffee Bike Crawl’s Facebook page.

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by April 29, 2013 at 6:00 am 0


Pastries is by ekelly80 from the Borderstan Flickr pool.

Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.

Today’s photo, Pastries is by ekelly80. The photo was taken at The Coffee Bar, April 21.

If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group! You can submit up to five photos per day in the Borderstan reader pool. We are looking for photos from DC’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

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by April 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0


Catch TNT this Thursday at The Coffee Bar. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Ready for some latte art? TNT, or Thursday Night Throwdown, is this week. The April edition will be this Thursday, April 18, at The Coffee Bar. In this edition the Throwdown will be DC vs. Chicago.

Baristas from both cities will put their latte art skills to the test as they host concurrent events that will be streamed in DC and Chicago. The finalists from the two locations will square off to determine an overall champion.

The event is organized in the city by DMV Coffee. “We’re quite proud of the quality of baristas around here, so it’s time to have some fun and let it all hang out in a throwdown between DC and Chicago,” said Jonathan Riethmaier, who co-organizes the throwdowns with DMV Coffee. “It’s also a great opportunity to come out and cheer on your local coffee pros in a different environment than what you may be used to.”

Not sure of the what a “Thursday Night Throwdown Entails? See DC’s Coffee Scene Has A Secret: Thursday Night Throwdown.

The Details

  • What: DC vs. Chicago Throwdown
  • Where: The Coffee Bar, 1201 S Street NW.
  • When: Thursday, April 18. Sign up at 8:30 pm, pouring at 9 pm.

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by December 26, 2012 at 8:00 am 4,176 0


Thanks tremendously to Patrick Otthofer for poring his Heart. (Jonathan Riethmaier)

From Jonathan Riethmaier @DistrictBean or email him at jonathan[AT]

Stop by any of DC’s finer coffee establishments and order an espresso-based beverage (say, a latte, cappuccino or macchiato) and you’re likely see a fanciful decoration sitting atop the drink. This creation, commonly known as “latte art,” adds a touch of beauty and class to the coffee experience. But despite its good looks, latte art is an assurance of quality, or at least that certain conditions have been met that make its presence possible.

Latte art is created using a technique called free pouring, referring to a barista’s ability to pour steamed milk from a pitcher into a cup of espresso to produce a design. Though pretty, the design in your cup is more importantly indicative of three important factors in espresso drink preparation.

Three Factors of Latte Art

  1. The espresso must meet a minimum standard of quality, whereby a layer of crema — the thicker, speckled brown layer of the espresso — is lasting and of sufficient body to hold the milk that will be poured into it.
  2. A trained barista must carefully steam the milk to exacting specifications, as a pre-condition of latte art is luscious micro-foam with thousands of tiny bubbles. Baristas spend countless hours perfecting their steaming technique.
  3. The pouring action itself requires an extraordinarily delicate touch. Through practice, a skilled barista perfects their pouring motion by developing muscle memory and fine motor skills that enable them to carefully dive steam milk into espresso and develop an intricate latte art design.

And while free pouring can yield some impressive results in your morning beverage, most latte art is derived from three basic shapes: rosetta, heart and tulip. The following images show a closer look at these fundamental free-pouring designs.


The rosetta is a traditional floral pattern that’s similar to the leaves of a fern.

This design is created by carefully pouring steamed milk from side-to-side through the drink, creating striations, then pouring straight through the design from top to bottom to “close” the leaves in the pattern.


The heart shape is created by developing a spot of milk in the center of the cup.

The pourer then pushes the milk stream from the pitcher through the spot to drag the spot into a heart shape. Some hearts (as seen above) also include striations similar to the lines created in a rosetta.


At its core, the tulip is a modified heart.

The creation of the tulip utilizes a similar technique as the heart in developing the spot of milk in the cup. Only with the tulip, the pourer pulls up and briefly stops the stream of milk from the pitcher, and then re-enters, splitting the would-be heart to create the tulip design.

Combinations and Variations

Advanced baristas can also create variations of the these three fundamental designs. Advanced designs can include multiples of one, such as two or more rosettas poured into a single cup, or any of the three basic designs combined in the same cup.

Below is a pour that features elements of all three basic designs. In the “smiling man,” you can see the striations of a rosetta that form the mouth, the nose created by a similar stop action as in the tulip, and eyes created from hearts.

You can get a closer look at free pouring and watch many of DC’s most talented baristas each month at area barista competitions. These events, known as Thursday Night Throwdowns, are community celebrations of the barista craft, and free to the public. You can find details on the monthly venues and dates by visiting

A tremendous thanks to Patrick Otthofer and Donte Gardner for taking a moment to demonstrate free-pouring designs. You can see Patrick and Donte in action at The Coffee Bar at 1201 S Street in DC.

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by December 16, 2012 at 9:53 am 1,965 0


Lowry from The Coffee Bar. (Jonathan Riethmaier)

Coffee lovers, The Coffee Bar is having its soft opening today, Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm. The Coffee Bar is Located at 12th and S Streets NW. (See The Coffee Bar: Borderstan’s Newest Cafe.)

The initial opening day had been December 5, but area coffee drinkers had to wait for construction to be completed. The Coffee Bar confirmed this morning that they will be open for regular business tomorrow, December 17 at 7 am.

Upon opening, The Coffee Bar will join the growing list of specialty coffee shops in DC, including several one in the Borderstan area.

Additional details can be found in’s initial coverage.

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by December 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm 2,492 0

From Jonathan Riethmaier @DistrictBean or email him at jonathan[AT]


Lowry from The Coffee Bar. (Jonathan Riethmaier)

The Coffee Bar, DC’s latest specialty coffee shop, is expected to open for business on Monday, December 10.

The initial opening day had been December 5, but area coffee drinkers will have to wait while construction wraps up. Cait Lowry, owner of The Coffee Bar, said plans have been adjusted to account for a few final touches on the cafe’s build out.

Upon opening, The Coffee Bar will join the growing list of specialty coffee shops in DC, including several one on the Borderstan area.

The Coffee Bar will open at 1201 S Street, NW. Additional details can be found in’s initial coverage.

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by November 28, 2012 at 10:00 am 2,679 0

"Coffee bar"

Cait Lowry from The Coffee Bar at 1201 S Street NW. (Jonathan Riethmaier)

From Jonathan Riethmaier @DistrictBean or email him at jonathan[AT]


Coffee seekers are about to have a new spot to get their fix on, as The Coffee Bar becomes the latest cafe to bring specialty coffee goodness to the District. Pending city inspections, The Coffee Bar, located at 1201 S Street NW, intends to be open for business on December 5.

The product of DC resident and veteran barista, Cait Lowry, The Coffee Bar will be a neighborhood-centric cafe that takes its coffee seriously. She’s brought in three well-regarded, specialty coffee roasters, including Annapolis-based Ceremony Coffee Roasters, Handsome Coffee Roasters and Batdorf & Bronson. The Coffee Bar will serve a combination of espresso-based drinks, drip coffees and manual pour over brews.

The Coffee Bar becomes the latest addition to an already strong and growing list of coffee purveyors in the Borderstan area. The cafe’s location, just two blocks from the bustle of 14th Street, is intended to attract neighbors from the surrounding U Street, Logan Circle and Shaw communities.

“It’s a great balance of being close to the action, yet slightly off the beaten path,” said Lowry, who, aside from taking a very hands on approach to the cafe’s build out, has been busy introducing herself to her new neighbors. “Between hitting the streets and talking to our local community officials, we’ve received such a warm welcome and we’re so happy to be in the neighborhood. Really developing those relationships with your customers is what resonates with me and why I am in this business.”

A highlight of The Coffee Bar’s “coffee bar,” an area specifically dedicated for slower, more personal service, is the manual brewing station where coffee is served by trained baristas stripped of mechanical and automated assistance. The manual, pour over style coffee served at the bar is intended to bring out the maximum flavor potential of each coffee.

Lowry, the product of the local coffee scene, spent times as a barista and manager of several area cafes prior to opening The Coffee Bar. Her previous coffee work includes stints at Pound the Hill, Yola, Baked and Wired and Buzz Bakery. She says she looks forward to contributing to DC’s booming coffee community, this time as a business owner.

“I am just so thrilled and grateful to be part of the specialty coffee community here in DC,” said Lowry. “DC has a great and unique collection of coffee shops, and each one has something different to offer. They’ve been instrumental in furthering the cause of specialty coffee and delivering to the consumer, and I want to do the same.”

The Coffee Bar sits in the former location of a neighborhood market, though it has been empty for some time. The roughly one thousand square-foot space will give a nod to the building’s legacy by showcasing the market’s original sign on an interior wall. Other reclaimed and salvaged materials will add to the cafe’s aesthetic, which Lowry describes as vintage industrial.

“I wanted to use a lot of salvaged materials. Not only do they create a great look, but it’s also fun to talk about the story behind the pieces,” said Lowry, whose been scouring salvage yards and antique spots for decor inspiration. “Our condiment station is a fire mantel from an old Victorian town home in Virginia. We have tin tile panels on the walls from an old textile factory in Pennsylvania. The building itself is from the 1890s, and I felt an obligation to stay true to its historic roots.”

Between the coffee bar, lounge area, communal tables and few two-top tables, The Coffee Bar will have seating for more than 25 customers. Lowry says the seating is intended to promote conversation and socializing between neighbors, as well as the barista staff. Additional outdoor seating should be available in spring 2013.

Upon opening, weekday hours for The Coffee Bar will be 7 am to 6 pm and 8 am to 6 pm on the weekend. Additional details are at The Coffee Bar’s website.

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