Best Place to Get a Cup of D.C. Joe

Compass Coffee
535 7th St. NW
Photograph by Matt Dunn
When you walk into Compass Coffee’s Shaw cafe, the first word that comes to mind is “open.” The floorplan encourages customers to sit at community tables or in small groups. Large windows and skylights allow natural light to stream in and contribute to a bright, cheerful vibe. But this former laundromat turned coffee shop isn’t just about beautiful interiors. Those bags of beans in the back aren’t props, they’re a product roasted in-house. Roasting occurs five days a week during business hours, and customers can sit at the bar and watch the process take place. (Owners Michael Haft and Harrison Suarez invested in an energy-saving roasting machine that has 85 percent lower carbon emissions than the average roaster.) It’s a great location for freelancers who need to bang out some work or for locals who need a cozy meetup spot. Even better, they produce a stellar cup of coffee that lives up to the vibe of their physical space.

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