Should Have Ordered a Latte

Chinatown Coffee Co.

475 H St NW

Washington, DC  20001


Amidst the hustle and bustle of DC’s gallery place, past the street performers outside the metro and fanatic concert goers and sports fans that surround the Verizon Center, sits a trendy little coffee shop appropriately named Chinatown Coffee Co. I visited on a freezing Saturday afternoon, one of those winter days where even the thought of being outside gives you chills. But it was my one day off from work, and I would have hated to spend it just sitting at home. So i braved the wind and the unreliable weekend metro and ventured out to gallery place, on a mission to find a nice, hot cup o’ joe.

When I arrived at Chinatown Coffee, I was uncomfortably cold, a feeling that was soon alleviated by the heat and the warm, cozy environment. The coffee shop was relatively quiet, inhabited both by customers reading a book or using a computer and by friends socializing over a beverage. There was no line at the register, so I went up to the counter and ordered a small coffee. The barista asked me if I wanted milk, to which I replied “Yes, please.” Then he asked me what kind of milk I take. “Whole,” I said. I am not about that non-fat life, at least not when it comes to my coffee. He then proceeded to pour a small cup of whole milk just for me. If that’s not exceptional customer service, I don’t know what is.

The coffee was good, I thought, until I saw that most customers were drinking perfectly instagrammable lattes and cappuccinos, which gave my taste buds some major FOMO. Next time I’ll splurge on a fancy drink, I reassured myself. And yes, there will be a next time.

Judging from the number of helmets I saw at Chinatown Coffee Co., it seemed most people had biked there. It definitely drew more of a trendy, hipster crowd, a breed of human I don’t see a lot of here in DC. But hey, maybe I’ve just been going to all the wrong places.

The interior of Chinatown Coffee was most likely styled by a minimalist, it’s brick walls decorated with just one, very small framed photo. The wall nearest to where I was sitting had a  black and white paining of the DC flag, but the three stars were replaced with three coffee cups, a clever edition to the already sleek atmosphere. I stayed until closing time, although I could have stayed a lot longer.

But I’ll be back soon. I need to get that latte.

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