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Roasted is a column exploring D.C.’s coffee scene from the perspective of journalist and coffee shop connoisseur Christina Sturdivant Sani. Read on for insight into cafe culture—the ambiance, vibe, and perks—as opposed to nerdy coffee talk about gadgets and magic beans.
Where: 2459 18th St. NW; (202) 232-5500; trystdc.com
Time of visit: 11 a.m. on a Tuesday
What I’m drinking: Tryst’s signature Chaippuccino with oat milk
Ambiance/Space: In terms of seating, this Adams Morgan institution is nothing short of eclectic. The coffee shop’s staff has arranged living and dining room furniture in one grandiose space. Wood tables and chairs are interspersed with more sunken seating options in the form of couches that some might consider vintage and others would call worn. There are about a dozen stools at the bar, which stretches across one wall of the cafe. Antique-ish lamps and candles create a cozy ambiance, but for the best light—and people watching—grab a spot near the entrance with floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto 18th St. NW. The cafe also serves as a gallery, featuring artwork by local artists and a small library encouraging you to take or leave a book.
Vibe: Typical of coffee shops offering daytime wifi, most people are buried in their laptops on weekday mornings. When I arrived, many were plugged into two devices with couples barely talking and strangers exchanging nothing more than pleasantries. While lots of folks wore earbuds, an indie soul and jazz compilation offered the ideal background music for working—très chill. As lunchtime traffic picked up, so did the chatter. But it never killed the co-working vibe.
Wired: Wifi is available during the week. Come with your devices fully powered because electrical outlets are scarce.
Perks: Tryst is more than a coffee shop, as evidenced byan extensive menu that includes all-day brunch options (the buttermilk waffle with fixings is a good idea day or night), wine, and cocktails. It’s a prime spot for post-dinner drinks or weekend brunch. Conveniently, there’s a large mirror outside of the restrooms so you’ll look great for whatever you have lined up.