Food

The New York Times Doesn’t Find DC’s Coffee “Meh” After All

Mockingbird Hill’s iced brew named among the nation’s most innovative.
Photograph by Flickr user Eric Fidler.

Coffee in DC: not so “meh” after all, according to the New York Times. While the a writer for the paper dismissed the District’s caffeine scene in a recent 36-hour travel guide, calling it the m-word, coffee expert Oliver Strand finds a brew worth celebrating in a roundup of “6 Innovative Iced Coffees” around the nation. The local winner among drinks “that are inventive, refreshing, and delicious”: Mockingbird Hill’s Kenya Cola.

“Kenyan coffees are prized for their complex acidities, especially phosphoric acid, which is a key flavor in Coca-Cola,” writes Strand. “In this intricate drink, Kenyan coffee with a little sugar is chilled in an ice bath, mixed with three kinds of bitters (tiki, Spanish and black walnut), then poured in a glass with ice and topped with soda water. The result is less cloying than a soft drink.”

Mockingbird Hill owner/barman Derek Brown recently launched an in-depth coffee program with specialist Cory Andreen, rounding out an extensive collection of sherries. The menu includes hard-to-find pour-over coffees, nonalcoholic mixed coffee drinks such as the Kenya Cola, tasting flights, and a seasonal iced coffee on tap. While the full bar remains an evening affair, you can satisfy your caffeine craving starting at 8 AM daily. And yes, there’s wi-fi, so you can read the New York Times along with your beverage.

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Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.