St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub in Alexandria was the perfect Saturday morning wake-up. Situated on a street corner in old-town Del Ray, the design and feel of the exterior and interior made this pub a very memorable place for a latte.
Bright blue paint, cloud-shaped art hanging from the windows, and a patio filled with smiling families and dogs, lured me inside of this coffee pub. After finding the name online — it’s listed as one of the 10 best coffee shops in the area by quick Google search, and…a short 25 minute drive from DC, I knew I needed to give it a shot. Parking was easily found on the side streets, and I happily entered inside into the long line of people waiting for their morning joe. The line didn’t take long and colorful Easter cookies and pastries filling St. Elmos’ large pastry case under the coffee bar tempted me. The overall inside of the place had abundant natural light, and high ceilings. This wasn’t your typical crowded, small, dimly-lit coffee shop. Think: family-friendly, bright, spacious, and unique. The jungle themed paintings near the coffee machines made me smile.
The menu covers a few large chalk boards behind the bar, and includes the classic offerings of latte, espresso, chai, cappuccino, etc, hot or cold. St. Elmo’s also listed a specials board, with frozen drinks such as frozen mocha, frozen hot chocolate, or frozen coffee, with some mouth-watering descriptions. Frozen coffee, with a hint of vanilla? Yes, please. The prices are standard – not over-price or under-priced. Feeling in a traditional mood, I ordered a small latte, and it was ready almost before I had put the cash back into my wallet. The barista gave it to me with a pleasant demeanor – customer service was good.
The latte came in a “St. Elmo’s” classic and worn-in coffee mug. No latte art, but lots of fluffy froth. First sip proved a good brew; it was not too overwhelming or bitter, a good mix of coffee and milk. The temperature was perfect. An adjacent island offered more sugar, cinnamon, chocolate powder, and other classic toppings. After a dash of cinnamon, I walked into another room and could choose between armchairs or small tables with wooden chairs. Needing to write my thoughts, I grabbed a table.
The large room that I was in, like the front area, was also backed with large window panes, and featured local artwork and photography for sale, displayed like an art gallery. The natural photography served as a feast for the eyes, with large landscapes of Earth’s wonders. The stress of fighting for a seat wasn’t there. The space was calm, yet alive with happy people, young and older. Somehow, I think it would be the same later in the day. As for me, it was about 10:30 am. Before leaving, I noticed a shelf with some of St. Elmo’s own coffee for sale, along with branded mugs and tumblers. The design and branding get a final nod of approval.
Was this a cupsoul?
Yes. I felt content sitting in the shop – not rushed, not ousted by other customers, and not crowded. The acoustics were good – people talking but no need for earphones. This would be a good place to record that “coffee shop sound” of background noise.
Would I put St. Elmo’s business card in the time cupsoul?
Yes. The latte was tasty, the customer service was friendly, and I absolutely loved the decor. Good coffee and good decor – you can’t really go wrong.