La Mano Coffee Bar: Where You Fix Your Karma

UPDATE (2018): Please note that La Mano is permanently closed.

La Mano Coffee Bar, in Takoma, is a tiny and unique coffee shop, spotted easily by its lit-up hand in the window.

La Mano is the first coffee shop at which I used my DC Disloyalty card, with the main idea of the card being to try different coffee shops in the area. The participating coffee shops in the DC Disloyalty program include: La Mano Coffee Bar, Chinatown Coffee Co., Blind Dog Cafe, Peregrine Espresso, Filter, and the Coffee Bar.

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Little Red Fox Market & Coffee Shop: A Secret Gem

Little Red Fox Market & Coffee Shop may not be listed on all of the big lists for DC coffee shops yet, but it soon will be. Situated on the strip of stores in Cleveland Park right next to Politics & Prose and Comet Ping Pong Pizza, I first happened upon Little Red Fox quite by mistake, while picking up a book at Politics & Prose.  The shop was closed at the time, as it was a Monday, but I felt excited just from reading the sign and seeing the interior through the windows. This was a new coffee shop and wasn’t yet on the tourist radar that I was aware of. Discovering hidden gems is absolutely the best.

I must confess that… my favorite Little Red Fox experience is very early in the morning before the crowds arrive. Little Red Fox is famous in Cleveland Park and starts buzzing on weekends faster than you can say “good morning.”

I was so early one fateful morning that I was the only patron inside, and the city itself was still waking up, lazy, hazy and gentle.

Little Red Fox

The interior design of Little Red Fox is white walls and open space. There’s a chalk board menu hanging high behind the coffee bar, showcasing their latest coffee drinks and a delicious food menu.  As you can see from the pictures, Little Red Fox offered chicken Parmesan and a curry dish that were on display at the bar.  Both dishes looked delicious and truly woke up my taste buds — just by sight.  

While waiting in the brief line, I perused the shelves of local, fresh items for sale, along with Little Red Fox branded tote bags and unique coffee instruments, like french presses. There’s a selection of beer and wine, hot sauce, glass jars filled with unique dips/jams, and a refrigerated section with milk and other fresh items for sale.  Just when I thought the selection could not get more varied, I noticed some artisan chocolates.  All in all, the market section of Little Red Fox is exceptional.  One could certainly purchase a gift for a unique garden soiree or dinner party and be the talk of the town.

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Ebenezers Coffeehouse: A Great Nook To Study In

A few weeks ago, my lovely roommate asked me: “Hey, what’s the best local coffee shop to study in?”  She absolutely had me stumped… This was a new way to look at #timecupsoul… Given my perfectionism, I set out to find the truth for her.

No later than 11 am, and quite by accident, I found my way into Ebenezers Coffee House, and it was the answer. The mecca of a great study-friendly coffee shop. How do I know this? There were patrons studying in it.  Also, personal choice; I would study there, too.

Slightly north of Union Station, or what DC “cool people” would call “NoMa,” Ebenezers sits stoically on a neighborhood corner, and is a large space with ample seating both inside and out.  There’s a permanent and strong feeling to the coffee house. It just seems established.  Many people sat, sipping, outside on patio chairs, basking in the sunlight.  The inside, too, had both high tops, low tables, and leather chairs angled towards the windows.

There was a small line to approach the coffee bar, and I enjoyed looking at the high ceiling  and decorations around the house.  A few mugs with Ebenezers’ logo are for sale on the coffee bar, and a big sign featuring the train and brewing machine design (again, their logo) hung on the wall.

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CLOSED: Chinatown Coffee Co: The Place for Alternative Fans

This morning, I journeyed down to Chinatown with every intention of going to Vigilante Coffee’s pop-up cafe.  Once I arrived on the scene, it wasn’t there. Anyone else know why Hogo’s is boarded up? Luckily, there was a close second for coffee shop choices in the area: Chinatown Coffee Co.

After a short walk from the Chinatown metro, I arrived to the entrance. After walking right into the open doorway, I noticed the interior: garage-like. Chinatown Coffee Co. has a brick wall interior, and a slick…floor that almost feels like a warehouse. The music was probably the first thing that I noticed – hence the title of the blog; alternative was playing. I’m not sure if this was one barista’s playlist or if it’s the shop’s general music choice. It was a bit loud.

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