A Simple Equation at Filter Coffeehouse and Espresso Bar in Washington, DC

February 4, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC, US – The mission of Filter Coffeehouse and Espresso Bar can be summed up in the equation that appears at the top of their website: people + bicycles + (coffee cup x French press) = thumbs up! That’s Filter’s simple way of expressing (espressing?) their commitment to the progressive urban values of community, low-environmental-impact transport, and back-to-basics coffee. And as far as we can tell, it all adds up to a cult following on the DC caffeine scene.

There are two locations of Filter−Foggy Bottom and Dupont Circle−and we’re partial to the latter. The coffeehouse definitely stands out in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, saturated as it is with corporate coffee chains like Starbucks. Filter is tucked away in a brick row house on a quiet street, but there’s a constant flow of devotees who swing through. Corporate suits, chatty locals, and Macbook-toting freelancers all converge for a caffeine hit.

The coffee doesn’t disappoint. You won’t find any frilly concoctions with flavored syrups here. The focus is on the high-quality, single-origin beans roasted by Ceremony Coffee, based locally in Annapolis, Maryland. Preparations range from pour-over to French press to espresso drinks blended with milk. The emphasis is on hand crafting, with careful baristas who create latte art, so don’t expect the factory-like speed of chain coffee stores (pour-over coffees can take five minutes or so to prepare). The results are truly delectable, and the coffees practically beg to be paired with one of the fresh pastries. If you’re not a coffee drinker, teas and hot cocoa are yummy alternatives.

So that covers the people and coffee part of the equation. But what about the bikes? The café is staunchly pro-bike−just look for the orange, coffee-themed bike racks outside the store. On their website, they plug the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, The Bike Rack (local bicycle dealer), and The Bicycle Pro Shop (local dealer/repair shop). Taking a spin on a bike sure seems like an awesome way to put that caffeine high to use!

We agree that the sum of all these parts equals a big thumbs up. Just a tiny quibble, though: we wish there were more chairs. When the weather is nice, the few front patio tables fill up all too quickly, and inside seating is really limited. What do you get when you have too many people and a scarcity of seats?

Well, Filter, we bet you can do the math.

Read more about Filter Coffeehouse and Espresso Bar in our Washington, DC Guide.

Filter Coffeehouse and Espresso Bar
1726 20th St., NW
Washington, DC
(1) 202-234-5837

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