I must be crazy to take on a third job right now, but Saturday morning found me waking up early for work and coming home with my hands smelling like coffee for the first time in nearly a year. The reason? Grape and Bean, the new wine and coffee shop now open in Old Town Alexandria.
I met the owners of Grape and Bean, David Gwathmey and Sheera Rosenfeld, at a Counter Culture Coffee event back in September and loved their concept for selling great wine, coffee, beer, cheese, chocolate, and other tasty stuff. Still, I probably wouldn’t be giving up sleeping in on Saturdays if it weren’t for this:
It’s Clover time! Long time blog readers know that the Clover is a high-tech, single-cup coffee brewer that I’ve been excited about since its debut in 2005. The Clover makes it possible to brew each customer’s chosen coffee quickly, cleanly, and with complete control over brewing parameters like grind, dosage, and extraction time. This means not only a better cup, but the ability to offer a variety of single origin coffees as freshly as possible. And now, thanks to Grape and Bean, coffee lovers in the DC area finally have one to try. Keep reading to see the Clover in action…
First, the coffee is weighed out and ground on the spot. Then it’s poured into the brewing chamber.
Next the hot water hits the coffee.
It’s not completely automated; without a few stirs, the grounds wouldn’t get saturated.
Extraction complete, a vacuum sucks the delicious brew into the waiting cup.
The grounds are ejected and squeegeed off. Mmm, coffee burger…
Time to enjoy the coffee!
The Clover really brings out the differences between origins. Right now we’re offering several different beans from Counter Culture, including two of my current favorites, the Odair Achipiz microlot and the Yirgacheffe Harfusa. No espresso machine, no drip brewers, just really good coffee.
Of course, there’s lots more at the store than just coffee. There’s shelves and shelves of wine. We’ve got a few hard to find beers, like Brooklyn 1, Brother Thelonious, Dogfish 120 Minute IPA, and Victory Golden Monkey. And then there’s chocolate, cheese, salt, snacks, and these amazing breads baked by Nathan Hatfield of Restaurant Eve [updated 2/12/08].
Grape and Bean is located at 118 South Royal St. in Alexandria, VA. Provisional hours are
Tues-Thurs 12-7, Fri 12-8, Sat 8-8, Sun 12-6, and closed on Mon. I’ll be there working the Clover every Saturday morning, 8-2. Stop in some time to sample the wares, enjoy a cup of coffee, and say hello. I think you’ll like it.
Update 3/10/08: Check the Grape and Bean website for the most current hours.