The following post is part of the “‘I Can’t Stop Drinking the Coffee’: Exploring DC’s Coffee Scene” series.
I’ll be honest in that I visited Slipstream almost two months ago. When I had more time on my hands, I knocked as many of the coffee shops off my list as I could. I metro’d into DC with Rahul one July morning and visited Slipstream and Wydown back to back, which made for a very jittery afternoon–so much coffee!
Luckily, I have an excellent memory (most of the time) and took some notes.
I was a bit nervous about visiting Slipstream, because it’s not “just a coffee shop,” and I’m always a bit nervous to visit these places with my laptop in tow, afraid I’ll be shunned for occupying a table by myself. Luckily, no shunning occurred. It was early enough that there were plenty of open tables and there were a few other laptop people, which put my mind at ease.
Slipstream’s space is long, providing an awesome variety of seating. The tables in the front face the street, natural light brightening the space. The coffee/drinks bar separates the front seating from the back, where tables rub up against abstract art work. There’s a little something for everyone here, table wise–two-person high tops, long communal tables, you name it. The place is polished and trendy without feeling too calculated or perfect. It’s not quite cozy, but it’s definitely comfortable enough to sit and chat/work for a few hours.
As far as their menu goes, the key terms are “experimental” and “thoughtful.” (I’m teaching key terms to my new English classes right now, so it makes sense that it would bleed over into my blogging). They offer classic food and drink, but with a twist. Many reviewers online have commented on their selection of food and drink being TOO wide (as in you can’t be a coffee shop AND a lunch spot AND a happy hour place, etc) but I don’t see that as an issue. If Tryst can do it, why can’t other places? Plus, their playful approach to coffee and cocktails will keep them on the map.
What I ordered: I ordered a latte and the poached egg on brioche bun (with bacon!) I felt rushed while ordering (not by the barista, but by my own awkwardness) and wish I had taken more time to explore the menu in full. I had read about their toasts online before visiting, and was confident that this would be my order. However, poached egg jumped out and me and I had to follow my instincts. I was not disappointed–while the bread was a bit much, the poached egg provided a delightful reason to literally wipe my plate clean. The bacon was thick and wonderful, which means a lot coming from me as I’m more “meh” about bacon than the rest of the Internet.
Just like with their seating options, the menu provides a little something for everyone–avocado toasts, experimental coffee cocktails, breakfast bowls, nitrogen infused coffee, cashew milk, and tons more. If you’re into experimental coffee and cocktails and you’re looking for something more than mimosas/Bloody Marys, I recommend this as a brunch spot.
Not that there’s anything wrong about those two drinks…after all, I love a good Bloody Mary with brunch.
Latte Grade: I loved the presentation of the latte, and that it was served in a glass instead of a mug. Delicious flavor, but was warm to begin with, which meant it was ice cold by the time I was done drinking. Normally I order my drinks extra hot, but on this coffee shop adventure, I’ve just been ordering “regular hot” (I don’t actually say that) to see what the temperature of their latte is to begin with. Next time I visit, I’ll definitely have to ask for a little more heat. To me, the good flavor eventually became overrun by the low temp. Overall grade: B+
What I’ll get next time: I’m SUPER INTERESTED in their coffee creations (espresso, lemon, and tonic water looks delicious and refreshing!), as well as their many cocktail options. Hoping to return for another visit when my timing is cocktail appropriate.
Best time of day to go: Like I said above, there was plenty of seating when I arrived, around 8 AM. I sat near the windows, which provided for some nice people watching and work distraction. The place was more crowded when I left, around 10 AM, and I’m sure is even more crowded in late afternoon/early evening. If you’re hoping for a window seat, I say the earlier, the better–most of them were occupied by the time I left. I will say, for how uncrowded it was, it took a little bit for my latte to arrive. The food service was speedy, however.
The ambience: As mentioned above, Slipstream is trendy and artistic. There was good music playing–a very “Chuck” like soundtrack–which I’m now listening to as I finish this. The noise level was manageable, and the service was friendly enough. I’ll say that it definitely did not seem like a neighborhood place, even though it in’s a prime location. Unlike other coffee shops, where I’ve overheard the baristas and customers chatting amicably, everyone here seemed to be minding their own business.
Good for: The majority of people were chatting with friends or conducting business meetings. Only a few other people were laptoppers like me. With the seating variety, it seems that this place is good for all three. However, I did visit very early on a weekday morning–I imagine it’s a completely different story on the weekends.
Will you need a jacket? IT WAS FREEZING.
Other things to know: They take care in selecting the best coffee, and rotate their blends.
What I did: I wrote on my laptop.
Stupid thing I read online: I can’t remember, but I can speak to the stupid things I’ve read this week, which mostly revolve around the Nicki Minaj/Miley Cyrus thing. I could care less about this feud, yet I somehow continue to read articles on it…