The Roar

Cont. from the Roar Magazine: Bean Crazy: Coffee in Loudoun Count

Eight places where NoVA gets their caffeine fix

In the US, coffee came in “waves.” The first wave – the profiteration of Folgers – served as the drink’s introduction. The second wave came as chains that introduced a higher quality product, like Starbucks and Peet’s. Now, the third wave is in full force: further attention is given to the subtle aspects and differences of coffee, often with coffee beans sourced from individual farms and high quality roasters. Third wave shops are abundant in Northern Virginia, so here are a handful of highlights:

Brew LoCo

This lesser known, women-owned stop in Lansdowne serves double duty as a brewery and coffee shop, with an outstanding assortment of homemade quick bites available as well. In addition, the small, hip setting frequently has live music at night.

Colada Shop

Colada has infused Cascades Overlook with a little bit of Cuban flair, serving up sandwiches, pastries, and coffee that takes cues from the typical cuisine of Cuba. Cuban coffee starts with a strong shot of espresso tempered with a whipped sugar “crema,” and depending on the drink, milk or ice is sometimes added after.

Blend Coffee Bar

It’s hard to pick only one place to satisfy a coffee craving, but in the Loudoun-Times-Mirror’s 2018 “Best of Loudoun” awards, Blend was voted the “Best Coffee Shop in Loudoun County”. In addition to their superb selection of pour overs, espresso, and flavored lattes, the team at Blend makes music an integral part of their cozy, intimate shop – they regularly host open mic nights and also hold the annual “Ashburn’s Got Talent” competition.

Bean Bar

Tucked away in the Village at Leesburg, Bean Bar is a hidden gem in Loudoun County’s coffee scene. The eclectic decor may give the impression that the shop is overly pretentious, but if anything, the opposite is true – the menu is a perfect marriage of craft coffee and inventive, more accessible drinks. Be sure to dig in on their homemade Pop-Tarts, too.

DRNK coffee + tea

When it comes to variety in beverages, the aptly named DRNK takes the cake. DRNK’s open, industrial style layout has something for everyone, serving loose leaf teas, nitro cold brew, and kombucha along with more typical coffee options as well as excellent pastries and sandwiches. If that isn’t enough, their Cascades Overlook operation is attached to Qwench, a smoothie/juice bar.

Ridgetop Coffee and Tea

The expansive space has cemented itself as a community hotspot, becoming known for its kid-friendly play area, frequent live performances, kind staff, great pastries, and most importantly, great coffee and tea. Their ever-expanding drink offerings include inventive seasonal creations in addition to a stellar list with high quality lattes and pour overs.

Sidebar

The newest addition to the coffee buzz in NoVA, this past September, Sidebar added a coffee shop with a walk up window to their restaurant in Downtown Leesburg, with both being linked by an alley. Both the restaurant and coffee sections provide access to a patio and courtyard for outdoor seating.

King Street Coffee

The unassuming Leesburg building is a self-described “coffee hub of Downtown Leesburg,” nad it’s not hard to see why. For 30 years, King Street has embodied the vision of craft coffee, urging prospective visitors to expand their horizons and sample their vast assortment of traditional drinks. Want to try an unsweetened latte, or a straight espresso shot for the first time? King Street’s the place to do it. (If not, they have the sweet stuff, too.)

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