Qualia Coffee – Washington, DC: Coffee with Urban Chic Apartment Vibes
Qualia Coffee, located in Petworth, DC, is one of the most unusual coffee shop locations in the District that I have been to. I drove down to the neighborhood and found some parking on a local side street and made my way over to this shop. You have to walk up some stairs to get into it, and enter through some double doors that open directly into the dining area. It’s a bizarre entrance for a traditional gal, but a VERY cool place.
Not knowing what to order at first, I felt sort of out-of-place at Qualia; there was so much movement and a hipster vibe. There isn’t much room to stand in line and order your drink; the bar is kind of small and the menu is situated up on the ceiling. Nonetheless, I ordered a coffee from one of the baristas and surveyed for a seat. Standing awkwardly in a corner while waiting for my coffee, I looked around at the interior and tried to avoid being in the way. Maybe it was an especially crowded morning.
There wasn’t seating in the main area, so they kindly directed me to go “next door” and gave me a numbered code… Okay, sounds weird, I know. But, you actually walk outside of the coffee shop, and then enter a private residence next door that is locked by keypad. Then, there’s a long flight of steps that takes you inside of an apartment and into a seating area. The seating area is basically a former bedroom converted into Qualia space with couches. My favorite part? The curtains! Vintage burlap coffee-bean bags from around the world. They looked amazing hanging there, and were super functional, I might add. No morning sunshine was blinding any of the patrons.
I sat down and took a sip of my espresso. I don’t normally go for an espresso, but it was recommended by the barista. Sometimes, when I go into coffee shops, I ask the barista what their favorite thing to order is, or what they recommend, and often end up with something new. I sat on a couch in the apartment, looking out past the coffee-bean bags into Petworth, and felt content. A few girls were studying at one of the tables, and there were a bunch of magazines and a coat rack to keep me company.
The espresso was good – very standard, full bodied and clean.
Was this a cupsoul?
Yes, even though I was in the apartment seating of this coffee shop, I felt literally and figuratively “at home” with my delicious espresso.
Would I put Qualia Coffee’s business card in the time cupsoul?
Oh my god — I live in D.C. and love Qualia! Thanks for the great post.