Murakaza neza, Bourbon Coffee!
Well, it’s here. Finally. And at last.
Bourbon Coffee is open!
First of all, mad props to my Samsung A-737 (my camera-phone, for the non-tech-savvy among us) for the quality of the above and below pictures. I snapped them this morning en route to work since I left my camera cord at home (travesty) and I’m so impressed with the detail!
Now, on to more important things. The coffee.
I ordered a Traditional cappuccino, with whole milk (I usually go half-and-half for a latte, but there’s something “right” about a whole milk cap). I should point out: at Bourbon, the Traditional cap is significantly (read: 2x) stronger than the “American” version – the server pointed it out twice as I was ordering, in fears that I would explode from a caffeine overload. The “Traditional” is the exact same espresso as the “American” – the difference is in the quantity of espresso in the drink (with the “Traditional” there is 2x as much espresso to the same quantity of cappuccino).
In reality, though, the cappuccino was fantastic. I’m still sipping it now, in fact. The milk is frothy and the espresso strong, but of excellent quality. The dusting on top is chocolate and cinnamon, but I put it on myself (it comes with just a nice simple foam swirl) – it would have been just as delicious without it. A+, in my opinion.
And even better?
The story! Bourbon Coffee is a Rwandan chain that is making its debut in the American market (the title of this post, Murakaza neza, means, I’m told, “Welcome and Blessings” in Rwandan).
There’s a lovely story featured in the Washington Business Journal about the owner, Arthur Karuletwa, and his coffee. Karuletwa is evidently an American who grew up in Rwanda (see the story for full details) and he’s working extra hard to connect Rwandan coffee farmers to the vast American coffee market.
I’ve got a request in to a friend who’s living in Rwanda to give me his perspective on them as well, so hopefully soon I’ll have verification of the in-country reputation as well (I’m assuming it’s good, but you always want to check your sources).
So. Tip of the Day: Help out Rwandan coffee growers by visiting Bourbon Coffee, on L street, between 22nd and 21st (next door to Bruegger’s Bagels).
Help us support this fine establishment, and their cause, by keeping it hopping! It’s so hard for independent coffee shops in D.C. to compete, so I really want to help them get a good footing.
Cost: For a medium cappuccino (with enough caffeine to keep an army going on no sleep, basically the size of a grande at Starbucks) it cost $3.80, and for a medium americano (espresso with hot water – a good alternative to drip coffee for those who prefer the taste of espresso) it was $2.00.