DC Tea Tour Part 1 – Peet’s Coffee on 14th


It started off as a normal day – wake up early, journal, go to the gym, walk Maisey, edit my book for a few hours… Just the usual, you know?  Things were going great, and I though this Friday would pass unremarkably like all the others before it.  I even turned the page on my productivity journal to Saturday.

Then things got weird… and I did something crazy.

I closed my computer, washed my face, and put on real-people pants for the first time in two days.  I packed my backpack and ventured out into the big, scary world outside the confines of my tiny home office.

Will I ever use this?  TBD.

I’m actually sitting out here right now, in a Peet’s Coffee on 14th St in NW D.C.  It’s dangerous, I know; at any point the people sitting around me might realize the truth – that I’m out of my natural habitat.  I even let the barista talk me into downloading the Peet’s Coffee iPhone app to try and convince everyone I belong here.  When I sat down I mapped out my exit strategy right away, just in case they figured out that I don’t drink coffee anymore.  There could be a riot.

But I’m here, blending in, because today is the first weekly Tea Tour of DC’s Coffee Shops, Which Absolutely Makes Sense.

I was lured outside by the incredible sixty-degree weather here in D.C.  It’s sunny and beautiful, and it felt good to walk down 14th St from my apartment to Peet’s.  The fact that this is the last day of the week and thus the last day I could start the “weekly (aka once every week)” tea tour had nothing to do with it, I swear.

“I’ll take your finest tea, sir.”

Obviously, the first thing I asked for when I walked in was their finest tea.  There was (shockingly) no disapproving scowl, which made me instantly like this place more.  What I did get, however, was a list of about 25 different tea types that I could choose from, to which I answered green, to which the barista answered with 8 different types of green tea, to which I answered “The fanciest.”  And that is how I ended up with a cup of ‘Fancy Jasmine Green Tea,’ which is literally the name of the tea.  10/10 rating for that barista – absolutely nailed it.

I take up a lot of space :-).

There were a shocking amount of people spread around the tables here, but still plenty of space for me to find a chair and spread out.  Most people were on computers, a couple were reading, and one guy was staring at a wall, which looked pretty chill.  I forgot my headphones at home and was too lazy to walk the three blocks to get them, so I got to enjoy Peet’s surprisingly fun music selection.  That, and the steady hiss of coffee being poured in cups made for a nice soundtrack.

On to the real question, though: After jotting down notes for this blog post, did I get work done?  Well, yes, actually; about an hour of solid editing.  The change of scenery helped a lot, and as a bonus the people watching was great (see paragraph above about the guy staring at the wall).

Overall rating for the first stop of this tour is high: 7/10.

What is that rating based on?  Well… absolutely nothing, actually.  The barista nailed the tea choice, I got work done, but, I mean, come on, this was my first stop!  I couldn’t make the rating too high, could I?  What if I go somewhere else and something crazy happens – like I meet Alexander Ovechkin or they have a playpen full of Golden Retriever puppies?  I can’t exactly give that the same rating as a pleasantly normal trip to Peet’s, can I?  So 7/10 it is – ‘Would recommend to a friend.’

For those of you who like to write in coffee shops, which one is your favorite and why?  If it’s a chain, let me know so I can try to find one in D.C. to check out!

Part 2 will be coming up next week after a post where I get to talk more (and ask more) about the editing process for different writers.

Will I meet Ovechkin next week?  Will I wait until Friday to go out to a coffee shop again?  Will I venture more than 3 blocks away from my apartment?  Nobody knows – sounds like the plot to an absolutely thrilling mystery novel.  Feel free to steal the idea.

Until then, make sure to bask in the sunshine if you can!  It’s Friday (read: Fri-yay), everyone’s favorite time of the week, make sure to enjoy it :-).

11 comments on “DC Tea Tour Part 1 – Peet’s Coffee on 14th”

  1. You made me chuckle…maybe tomorrow I’ll venture beyond the safe and cozy confines of my home office. Maybe…

  2. Has it occurred to you that the fact that these ‘coffee’ shops not only offer tea, but a wide selection that requires choice, means you are not their only customer?

    There, now you can stop hyperventilating and checking for exits before your order. Sit back, and chill like the guy staring at the wall. Your tea-drinking ways are accepted.

    1. Well of course I do! It’s all in the spirit of having fun with the narrative and the post :-).

      Just the fact that they had a tea by the name of ‘fancy jasmine green tea’ when I had joked about ‘fancy tea’ a few days before made me smile. I’m all aboard the tea drinking train

  3. There was a Starbucks I used to frequent back when I lived in Boston. I would go there once a week and sit and write until I had to pee and that’s usually when I’d pack up, hit the bathroom and leave. Sadly, when I moved to Orlando my local Starbucks didn’t have the right feel for hanging out and working, though the baristas know me better and I would totally feel comfortable asking them to watch my stuff while I peed. I have been thinking lately that I need to find something like that again because some of my best blogging work for my professional blog was done on those days.

    1. There was a Starbucks where I grew up that had an amazing atmosphere for sitting and working – it was even attached to a Barnes & Noble! It’s funny, for such a huge chain a lot for them still get the atmosphere right. Unfortunately it’s not 100%.

      You could always try your own tour of local coffee shops to see which one you like best!

  4. I live in DC too and venture out to do some writing/working from home sometimes. My favorite coffee shop is Firehook Bakery. They have some good coffee and excellent pastries, and it’s usually pretty quiet. I go to the one in Capitol Hill, and it’s always the same guys working there so they know me, and we’ve developed a rapport.

    1. Awesome – thank you for the suggestion. I’ve never been to Firehook but it looks like there’s one not too far from me in DuPont, so I’ll put it on the list to check out ASAP!

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