Little local coffee shops are an increasingly dying breed, especially in a vibrant and younger town like Washington DC. Every corner has a Starbucks or an Au Bon Pain or some other big name. And while there’s always a crowd who loves those spots, there’s also a crowd who wants to go somewhere where they can really feel like they’ll find a unique, lower-key experience. Coffee Nature, in Tenleytown near where Washington and Maryland meet, sits among a row of local restaurants, definitely off the beaten path from many of the most popular neighborhoods. Still, it’s a pleasant and economical experience.
The coffee shop has a long list of different kinds of coffee drinks, including from the basics common to many shops such as cappuccino and espresso, macchiato, cortada and con panna. It’s also got a few different lattes and mocha drinks. There are also several tea options with chais, green teas, black teas and some organics among them. The coffees are simple, definitely have something of a creative touch to them, such as the creative Nutella latte or the creamy white chocolate mocha. The chai has a mild spice which is really pleasant.
There is also a menu of food items, with this spot being something of an interesting mashup of a standard sandwich shop and maybe a fast casual Asian noodle bowl concept. The Korean influences of the owners are apparent, you can sample a bowl of bulgogi — marinated beef and vegetables — or maybe bibimbap — a spicy rice bowl with sauteed vegetables. Interestingly, there are also a few different items out for breakfast.
The spot has a very friendly feel — in fact the interior is something of a quick convenience shop — where you can grab a snack or a drink to go. Really, what the place really achieves is a sense of being a neighborhood go-to; you want to come back with a friend for a relaxing, low key meal or conversation. It’s very attractive. Washington is a high energy city where lots of things are happening. Even with all the movement and fast-paced culture in the town, it’s nice to see a place like this still going.