Sunday, September 27, 2009

CC: Modern Times Coffeehouse

What's does "CC" mean?
(inside Politics and Prose)
Location visited:
Washington DC
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]

The bookstore and coffeehouse combination is one that has such familiarity anymore that when I walk into a big bookstore, I'm surprised not to see at least a coffee cart. Yet rarely do these intra-bookstore coffee operations have promising practices, either serving well-marketed swill or showcasing the latest in automatic espresso.

So I can honestly declare that I hit the first bookstore and coffeehouse duo that had a promising looking set-up. In DC, the spacious Politics and Prose Bookstore has a basement coffeehouse called Modern Times Coffeehouse. As one walks down the stairs, the cafe is tucked away in a cozy yet surprisingly accommodating space with a nice flow of natural light and a mellow collection of furniture and art.

They serve Righteous Bean Coffee (warning: website has music) a fair trade and organic coffee that seems bullish on social justice. I ordered the Costa Rican drip, which sampled balanced and a little bright, though sadly it tasted pretty bland and a bit stale. The espresso was of similar caliber, with a medium pull that demonstrated a tinge of caramel, darkness and a little cardboard. The tea was free leaf.

Thus, while Modern Times Coffeehouse didn't blow my bookstore/coffeehouse paradigm out of the water, it did give me hope that books and good coffee can get along.

If you're looking for a good book and a cup of coffee, stop by Politics and Prose.

1 comment:

Modern Times Coffeehouse said...

Hi Bill. Thanks for the compliments about our place. Since your review we changed our coffee provider to Caffe Pronto in Annapolis, MD and did several renovations. Hope you can stop by again sometime!