I walked out of M.E. Swing’s new coffee house in Del Ray this morning, swearing I will never gulp coffee again. I won’t be able to keep that promise, but I do have a greater appreciation for the art of making a good cup of Joe.
M.E. Swing has been around for almost a century. They set up shop in D.C. in 1916 and have a proud history of serving up some of the best coffee in the region at their original and popular spot near the White House. Restaurants such as Bittersweet in Old Town sell their coffee.
For years they roasted in Alexandria near Pickett Street, but until this May, did not have a second selling location. Their shiny new place on Monroe Avenue near Potomac Yard was buzzing this morning when I arrived around 9:30.
We each have our favorite coffee places. Misha’s in Old Town has longtime and loyal customers, as do other spots such as Starbucks in the historic Fitzgerald Warehouse, Firehook, Buzz and Grape and Bean.
M.E. Swing is going to be popular too, with a location that will tap into proximity to customers living in Del Ray, Potomac Yard and Old Town. What could set it apart, however, is the way they care about the brewing process.
Seven shiny white coffee cups lined the table, paired with a container of beans, and small paper signs telling us the country of origin. The cupping this day focused on East Africa. The beans from the Kapchowra District in Uganda seemed the most popular.
Balkcom’s business card says he’s a “Licensed Q Grader.”
I’m not exactly sure what that means. But I do know what M.E. Swing’s new coffee place means for those who go there. If you’re willing to learn about coffee, these folks will teach you. The chocolate croissants rose above average too.