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May 24, 2011

Easy to Filter through D.C. wasteland

by Geoff Grant

D.C. has long been a barren wasteland for espresso lovers, bereft of truly independent coffeehouses. That scene, however, is starting to change, led by the best espresso bar in the city, Filter Coffeehouse.

Filter has been open just a bit more than a year and is pouring the best cappuccinos, macchiatos and espressos in the city. Of course, with so few good coffeehouses in the area, that could be damning it with faint praise, but it’s not. Filter can stand on its own merit. One can only hope more and more coffeehouses follow Filter’s lead to provide some competition, especially in the Dupont Circle area, where Filter is neatly tucked away on 20th Street.

Filter’s beans are from Caffe Pronto, a local roaster in nearby Annapolis, and ones I’ve never had before. The espresso was consistently rich, with hints of chocolate and butter.

The baristas were knowledgeable and friendly and the bar’s vibe was laid back. More serious props go to Filter for refilling any water bottles you bring to the store, as well as its plastic loyalty card, on which it can keep track of your purchases and offers the ability to load it with cash to pay for purchases in the store. Also loved the two orange bike racks in the shape of a coffee pot and mug.

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