Monday, June 20, 2011

Coffee/Riot: Flying Fish Fits In

Coffee shops, cafes, whatever you prefer to call them, DC has its fair share of spots that serve up the caffeinated, addictive beverage in some form or another. Some are bakeries, others more restaurant, and others are just straight up coffee shops. I've taken on task of chronicling some of my favorite coffee spots in the city, on a quest to show what's unique and cool about them. If you have suggestions, please submit.  Previous posts: Sticky Fingers, Baked & Wired, Dos Gringos, M.E. Swing, Grape &Bean, Crumbs & Coffee, Open City,Tryst, Ebenezers Coffeehouse, Bourbon Coffee, Chinatown Coffee CompanyTynan Coffee and Tea + Mid City Caffe.

When Flying Fish Coffee & Tea opened at the southern end of Mount Pleasant Street, I initially felt that they'd have a pretty good shot (no pun intended) at becoming a neighborhood mainstay. It is early yet, but I think I'm going to go ahead and assume I was right.

The little shop at 3064 Mount Pleasant Street NW won me over from the beginning. There are a number of traits that make a great coffee shop in my eyes. I have to say that having product and service quality is number one for me. More so than aesthetics, more so than location; the product has to be good-to-great to keep me coming back on a consistent basis. This is why I will travel to Dupont, Georgetown, or Capitol Hill for good coffee. 

Flying Fish makes a good cup. From the carefully chosen pour overs or a quick cup of drip coffee to-go, the product has always been above average in my experience. On the foodie side, I love that in addition to the bagel-etc fare, they also inlude multiple vegan selections from Chez Hareg Bakery. Palmier anyone! Goodness.

Yes, aesthetics do count. The shop reminds me of an old Richmond haunt of mine, World Cup Coffee. Now, World Cup was full of weirdos, remained open into the wee hours of the morning and everyone smoked cigarettes, but all that aside, the feel is the same. Art on the walls, a few window seats, small tables mixed in with communal and friendly staff + regulars. No surly meanies behind the counter (although they have their own sort of appeal).

And Flying Fish fits in in with Mount Pleasant: not too flashy, doesn't needlessly refer to its products as 'luxury' and the vibe is comfortable, not stressful. The lighting is low (a plus) and if there is music pumped through the place, I haven't noticed. There is wireless access, which a lot of you love. So, go bananas. I haven't been enough to meet any regulars, but I've been going consistently going as part of my Saturday Farmers Market trips. So that's good. Maybe see you there sometime.

Anyway, yes, so far so good for Flying Fish Coffee & Tea. They are making Mount Pleasant a little more interesting and a lot more caffeinated. Cheers.