fbpx

Qualia Coffee: One of the Best Micro Roasters in Washington, DC

One of my favorite micro roasters in the DMV is Qualia Coffee. If you caught my last post, “A Beginner’s Guide to Coffee,” I listed them as the micro roaster for DC.

For today’s post, I’ll be reviewing two of their coffees, the Ethiopia Sidamo Ardi and Sumatra Arisarina. These coffees being from the same region as the last set of coffees reviewed is just coincidence. I swear drink coffees from other regions beyond Ethiopia and Sumatra!

qualia coffee

Qualia Coffee is a micro roaster with 2 locations in DC (Petworth and Eckington) that specialize in single origin medium roast coffees from around the world. Of the micro roasters I’ve visited in the DMV and NYC, Qualia Coffee stands out in a couple of ways.

First, they name their coffees, but don’t brand them; the name of coffees generally contain the region the beans originate from. Second, they constantly rotate the beans they offer depending on quality and availability. This practice is great for those who want to try different coffee’s from around the world, but problematic if you find something you love and they never stock it again or do so infrequently.

SEE ALSO:  A Beginner's Guide to Coffee

ethiopian coffee

Ethiopia Sidamo Ardi

This coffee is a medium-light roast with notes of sweet cherry, nut, and chocolate. It was tried as a pour over, French Press and cold brew. The bag of whole beans has a very strong cherry aroma.

ethiopion coffee grounds

Pour Over

Brewed as a pour over and taken black (no cream/no sugar), the coffee is as the bag states, strong cherry flavors upfront with a chocolatey/nutty finish. In my opinion, Qualia Coffee’s Ethiopia Sidamo Ardi is perfect for beginners learning to find the flavor notes in coffees because of its simple and straight forward notes.

If you’re having trouble finding the flavor notes, let the coffee cool a bit to lukewarm and/or take a bite of something sweet like a brownie before you take a sip.

qualia coffee pour over

French Press

Taken black, the coffee isn’t much different from the pour over, except that it’s slightly stronger in flavor and thicker in body.

Cold Brew

Although medium roasts aren’t considered the correct roast for cold brew, we tried it either way. Brewed overnight and taken black, it was “okay” at best. The cold brew had a general “coffee” flavor with a bit of cherry flavor throughout. I’d rather save the beans for pour over or French press and use the standard dark roast beans for cold brew.

SEE ALSO:  Caffee Ospitale: A Must Try Recipe for Espresso Lovers

Sumatra Arisarina

This coffee is a medium-light roast with notes of grilled pineapple, bell pepper and dried cherry. It was tried as a pour over, French Press and cold brew. The bag of whole beans, like other Sumatran coffees has a pungent earthy/herbal aroma.

Sumatra Arisarina

Pour Over

Brewed as a pour over and taken black (no cream/no sugar), the coffee is very complex. I can’t find the stated grilled pineapple, bell pepper and dried cherry flavor (usually I have no trouble finding cherry notes) in the cup, but in general tastes earthy/herby to me.

It’s not something I’d drink every day, however, if I was in the mood for something unique or taking a break from my staples, this is the coffee I would turn too. Unlike the Ethiopian coffee, I prefer to drink this coffee hot because the herbal notes become too strong as it cools, reminding me of traditional Asian medicine.

SEE ALSO:  Rako Coffee Roasters: Thoughts & Brewing Methods

French Press

Taken black, the coffee isn’t much different from the pour over, except that it’s slightly stronger in flavor and thicker in body.

Cold Brew

Unfortunately, I can’t recommend using the Sumatran coffee for cold brew. To me the herbal flavors I found in the pour over is too pronounced in the cold brew, giving me flashbacks of my childhood when I was forced to drink traditional Asian medicine.

It’s usually here that I provide direct links to the coffees reviewed so you can go buy them if they interest you, unfortunately, both the Ethiopia Sidamo Ardi and Sumatra Arisarina have been rotated out.

Not to worry though, Qualia stocks them multiple times throughout the year so just keep an eye out. In the meantime, they have plenty of other coffees this week that might interest you so take a look!

Written by Nom contributor, Sung Shin.  To see more of his writing, make sure to check out his most recent posts:  A Beginner’s Guide to Coffee & Rako Coffee Roasters:  Thoughts & Brewing Methods.

Follow:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thank you! Stay tuned for all the nomtastic goodness..

Too many subscribe attempts for this email address

Be the first to discover new restaurants, the best food from coast to coast, and get awesome giveaways sent directly to your inbox!

* indicates required