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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Thing 74: Misha's Coffeehouse and Coffee Roaster

Piano jazz is tinkling out of the speakers in the corner. The air is rich with the burnt toast smell of dark roast coffee. Tribal women drumming in thick gold frames stare down at me from bright yellow walls.

I am at Misha's, with a latte and a crossword puzzle on a chilly Saturday afternoon.

Like all the best coffee shops, this one is quirky and community-oriented. A mix of the neighborhood pops in for hot drinks in the cold weather. At the tables sit students and families, a man studying poker, old friends catching up. The two people next to me are discussing their blogs, which I'm now blogging about. In a cute twist on the community bulletin board, a 1950's non-functioning refrigerator sits by the door with community announcements taped to it, like the proud pop quiz of a child.

At the front of the store, customers are greeted by a long counter with large glass jars filled with different varieties of roasted coffee beans. The menu is spelled out above the bar in refrigerator magnet letters. Those big, blocky, multicolored magnets that are impossible to read. But once you've deciphered the menu and placed your order with the nice young women behind the counter, you are handed a cup of what Misha's boasts is "the best coffee you'll ever have."
Misha's coffee - the best coffee you'll ever have
I'll bet murky would disagree, but it is awfully good coffee. My latte is rich and satisfying, without any bitterness, and the foam is thick and velvety, surpassing its lot in life as skim milk. My beverage isn't a work of art, but then again, I guess it is not necessary for my coffee to win a beauty contest.

When ordering, I was distracted by a covered dish of the most beautiful cupcakes I've ever seen. They are iced to look like flowers, a bouquet of little cakes. Unfortunately, I've just come from working at the chocolate shop, so I'm plenty full of sugar. I pass on the cupcakes, but my eyes feast on them while I linger at the counter. I'm guessing it's not every day that someone asks to photographs the cupcakes, and the woman behind the counter tells me that they're made locally. Just some guy who makes the cupcakes in his kitchen and delivers them to Misha's, along with the coffee cakes. Sir - if you are reading this, you are truly an artist.
A bouquet of cupcakes
With latte in hand, I wander into the green room to my right. It's a smoking room, which manages to completely disorient me, so used DC's smoking ban am I. It takes me a solid seven seconds to realize what that smell was, that there were ashtrays on the table and that, oh yeah, this is Virginia. Luckily, the smoking room is closed off enough from the rest of the shop that the smoke is non intrusive in the rest of the cafe.

I wander back into the main room, painted the shade of egg yolks, and take a seat at a small white marble table. I take out the crossword and get down to business. I stay for only an hour, watching people come and go, and then finish up my latte and leave the warmth of the shop for the cold outside.

2 comments:

dc365 said...

A reader left a comment anonymously that used inappropriate language and, it being anonymous, lacked accountability. Needless to say, the person had a bad experience at Misha's.

rob said...

I drink coffee at Misha's rather regularly and I must say it is great coffee to be sure, but Jack's in Greenwich Village is superior....I would walk for 2 miles for Jack's throwing caution to the wind....

That being said Misha's is good