Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Coffee House Review: Sip of Seattle

Environment: Small, but tidy.
Coffee: Good, not great.
Price: Cheap to Average
Location: Near Metro Center at 1120 G St NW

Sip of Seattle is located near one of the many entrances at Metro Center.  Placed far enough away from Chinatown Coffee Company (CCC), Sip of Seattle is worthy of a stop-in to get your daily coffee or espresso if the 10 minute walk to CCC is too long.  Initially appearing as a hole-in-the-wall coffee joint, once you open the doors, a pleasant, tidy environment welcomes you in beckoning to try one of their many coffee concoctions.  Additionally, they have a coffee dispensers containing Sumatra Mandheling, Kenya AA, and coffee blends from Seattle for 10.50 lb.  While a small space, they offer 6 chairs with some table space near the walls to work at.   
Everything has a spot!

Coffee:  I ordered a double espresso and a small coffee to go.  The double espresso was ~3-4oz, fairly large.  The barista used a pleasantly warm espresso cup, which many baristas do not do or heat the cup to a scalding temperature.  The espresso had a full body and bold taste.  Some sweet notes washed over my mouth, yet ended with a slight bitterness.  The espresso was better than most I've had in the city, but it did not blow me away.  If you are looking for a full body espresso, I would heartily recommend coming here.  If you desire a lighter body, but lots of flavors I recommend Chinatown Coffee Company, Peregrine in Eastern Market, or Dolcezza Gelato in Dupont Circle.

The drip coffee initially seemed flat, but grew on me as I passed the White House sipping it.  I wondered to myself if the anti-nuclear protester encamped there would like this coffee.  The coffee lacked flavor or complexity, but was not bitter or watery.  Decent is the watchword for Sip of Seattle.

Price:  Sip of Seattle will be generally easy on the wallet.  A small coffee is 1.20 and medium is 1.70.  A small latte is 2.40 and medium is 2.95.  A single espresso is 1.70 with a double being 1.95.  Pictured below is there menu accompanied by the price.
This was the best possible picture I could get
Conclusion:  For an innocuous coffee shop, Sip of Seattle surprised me with a relatively good espresso and a non-bitter coffee to satisfy my caffeine addiction.  Speaking to the amount of business they receive, 5-10 people entered into the cafe in a span of 5 minutes buying coffee to go.  I recommend Sip of Seattle for those who need their coffee, but can't make it to the specialty coffee shops in the area.  

Update: Recently I learned that Sip of Seattle uses different beans for their drip coffee each day, some days its Kenya AA, others Colombian Supremo, for example.  Perhaps, I had a cup that didn't suite my particular taste.  I will have to go back, and try out some new drip coffee.

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