What your favorite coffee shop wishes it could be
BY: PETER NJOROGE, CULTURE EDITOR
In a sea of overhyped coffee shops with “nice aesthetics” and “a cool staff,” A Baked Joint on K street in Washington, D.C. stands out as one of the premier coffee destinations in our area. As someone who makes a concerted effort to visit multiple coffee shops per week, this cafe provides one of the best selections of food, coffee and District vibes and energy.
First and foremost, the shop is huge and beautiful. Even for a large restaurant, A Baked Joint exceeds what you originally thought was possible for an urban dining destination. It’s incredibly rare for a coffee shop to have such an incredible space. The lighting is immaculate, there are a ton of different seating options, the ceilings are high and there are even a few places built for you to just lean on and look cool.
Sunlight streams through the massive windows and a selection of music (carefully curated by the staff) fills the entire building. Everything about the shop is nouveau. Examples include ceramic cups with your name written in electric highlighter and the giant helicopter fans that help maintain a perfect ambient temperature.
The space is essentially an open kitchen with an “L” shaped bar where you get to watch all of the action happen. Watching the baristas prepare each coffee behind the large bar is one of the particular joys of visiting.
Their menu provides diverse options for caffeinated drinks and tasty brunch options. The pastries are a real treat and their BLT is among the best that I’ve ever had. For coffee, I recommend ordering one of the rotating pour over options.
The shop also has a few brothers and sisters around the city, including Baked and Wired, a more intimate shop known for delicious cupcakes in Georgetown, and A Baked Joint’s new neighbor, the restaurant La Betty.
At A Baked Joint, the owners make it their mission to serve some of the best specialty coffee roasters from around the country including Intelligentsia Coffee, Blueprint Coffee and Elixr Coffee. Their selection is the best in our area, and if you want to brew some amazing coffee at home, make sure to take a look at their retail offerings located next to the cash register.
While A Baked Joint is many things for many people, the only thing it is not is a place to work on your computer. Don’t be surprised when your data plan doesn’t seem to be working, or if the barista tells you that there is no wifi available. The shop is a space for collaboration, reading, relaxing and spending time with people that are important to you.
A Baked Joint is a place that is very special to me. It was the first independent coffee shop that I visited in Washington, and I was totally astounded that such a marvelous space could exist in the middle of a bunch of otherwise boring buildings.
There aren’t a lot of places that really represent the culture of the city that they are located in. But when I think about the real urban culture of Washington, D.C., I think about A Baked Joint.
It’s located just a few minutes away from the Red Line’s Gallery PL-Chinatown metro stop, so it’s easy to take a few of your favorite people to experience one of Washington’s coolest cafes.