Peregrine Coffee was the first stop on my coffee tour. It seemed easy to get to form the Hirshhorn and it would be my only stop out on the east side of DC. I arrived at about 4:00, drenched in sweat from my two-block walk over from the East Market stop on the Blue Line. Say what you will about the heat on the west coast, but at least it is a dry heat!
This location is located right next to a non-peregrine cafe. I was almost lured into buying coffee from them but the brew-o-matic and lack of coffee menu made me think twice, and check outside. Sure enough, Peregrine was right next door.
Since it was about 90 degrees and humid, I opted for a smaller espresso instead of my usual small black coffee (the real standard for judging a coffee place). I also ordered a ham and cheese pastry.
The pastry did not inspire any real confidence in me, with its single roll of ham and sparse cheese, but I devoured it anyway since I was hungry. It was decent-edible but not a reason to come back. Eventually my espresso was up (after a mix up that almost landed me with a macchiato).
The coffee on the other hand, was short- by that I mean it was a single shot of espresso. One unusual thing I learned is that in DC, espresso is normally a single shot instead of the doubles you find in Boston and LA or SF. Overall I was happy with the coffee. It as fruity and the acid was fairly balanced. They clearly have some idea of what they are doing over there with their machine and their counterculture coffee (they also have a house peregrine brand). It was served in a standard white saucer/espresso cup/spoon, along side what I assume was supposed to be sparkling mineral water in a libbey druatuff glass. Unfortunately this turned out to be lukewarm water, which was trumped by the free ice water they were also serving.
The decor was cute, but not in a way that stands out. It felt like it was new and nice, and organized. Inviting, but not too exciting. They did have a funny rendition of their name on the wall (pictured above). There is interior and exterior seating available. The inside consists of a small square of tables in the front (about 4 people/table), a bar for seating for three, and another line of tables going back to the back of the cafe, each seating two. Next to the line of tables is the coffee bar, including a pastry case, espresso machine, and retail area. This cafe (like the rest of the ones in DC) also boasts a restroom. Outdoors there are five tables that can probably seat three people each.
The tables and chairs were a light blonde wood, probably pine. The outdoor furniture is metal painted that rustoleum-lawn-furniture-green. The counter echos this theme with a light wood and glass construction, giving the whole place a friendly (but not enlightening) interior.