660 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
Formed in 2008, Peregrine Espresso has since expanded to three locations around northern and eastern Washington DC. This coffee shop has a few baked goods to be sure, but it is by and large all about the simple coffee options. The shop brews a short and sweet menu, but each item is intensely well-thought out. Ryan and Jill Jensen’s concept has generated a lot of noise in the time since then; including being named one of the 50 best coffee shops in America by The Daily Meal.
Peregrine’s sister company, Small Planes Coffee, roasts most of the brews that make up its menu, with beans sourced from Guatemala, Central America and many places with a focus on sustainable, ethical sourcing. Some of the things I really liekd here:
- Espresso: The simplicity of this brew is always the gift, lightly frothy and with a deep, deep and striking bitterness and a comfortable smokiness where appropriate. Espresso is always a strong drink, and invariable you have to know that going in, but if you’re partial to it, a good drink.
- Latte: Like every good lighter drink, this one relies a lot on the whole milk to make it a sweeter and more pleasant drink. Iced, it might lack some of that froth that people always love, and the photogenic top, but on those hot and muggy DC days, the flavor most definitely delivers in that realm.
The shops have a kind of fun and lighter feel; the East Market location, the original, is more of a compact coffee shop with a large patio for people to sit and spent time, while the Union Market location is smaller, denser and more of a stall in the middle of all of the similar restaurant concepts in the building. A few baked goods and snack bars are on the menu if you like, but this is a place that is all about the coffee and that’s the most important thing.
The shop deserves the accolades heaped on it for the simple reason that it’s just a peaceful and enjoyable place to stop and appreciate the coffee by itself. You just have to love a place for that kind of skill. Make a point to do so when you come here, because this shop is serving something truly special.
- The shops are compact for the most part so I might suggest this is a shop to take your brews and go.
- Mostly an assortment of baked goods here as opposed to a full menu of food.
- Definitely a place to take a nice deep breath and savor the coffee you drink; there’s a depth to be sure.