On my way from Slipstream to a bus stop, I ran into yet another cafe! As I mentioned, part of the rules of coffee travel is that if you see a real cafe, you have to go. And so I went.
Dolcezza is a gelato bar and espresso shop. It is spotlessly clean, and extremely cold inside. All of the places in D.C. have some kind of air conditioning, but only here was I verging on uncomfortably cold. As in, bring-a-jacket winter-is-coming cold. but it was also a relief from the humid and hot outdoors, so it was bearable.
I had an espresso shot. Unlike the rest of the country, all the esprsssos I got in D.C. were actually single shots- not double shots. Typically in Boston/LA/SF I see an “espresso” being pulled as a double shot for americanos and espressos, but in D.C. they were all just single shots.
The shot was served in a brown, thick walled espresso cup with matching saucer. Surprisingly, there was no sparkling water to go with it, although other people seemed to get some. The coffee was very acidic, with a fruity finish and a sweet aftertaste- I think it was stumptown hair bender roast.
The cafe is laid out around a long bar with gelato and coffee. A doorway protrudes into the space in the middle of the bar, creating to bays for small tables and chairs (pictured). The floor is white tile and is quite clean. Overall, it reminds me of a very clean ice cream parlor or train station. The tables are marble-esque, and the chairs are stained red wood upholstered with red leather, or wood stained to match the chairs. Both are comfortable enough.
I believe this is supposed to be an Italian styled place, and it does seem like it would be at home in the north end in Boston. It does seem like a place where you could come and comfortably read the paper or meet up with someone, but I think the gelato (which I did not try) is their real strength, not coffee. If I went back, I would have to try it.