Filtered into five categories (out of five points)
Location-5 (I’ll be honest in saying I walked straight past Filter’s Dupont Circle location the first time. Filer is tucked down a few steps on an unassuming stretch of 20th Street NW behind Dupont Circle. The location is quaint and really makes you feel that you are at a neighborhood coffee shop, literally in a neighborhood, surrounded by no shops, restaurants, or other cafes. This slightly-off the beaten path location of Filter is fitting for the vibe the coffeehouse has sought out. However, you are still conveniently around the corner from the bustling Connecticut Avenue. On my second trip to Filter I was able to scoop up a to-go cappuccino and stroll to a great boutique and a vintage store on the main drag).
Barista Cuteness-4.5 (Baristas appear to be cute albeit somewhat aloof. On a busy Saturday myself and a few other patrons after placing our drink order were asked if we could be helped, by the same barista that took our initial orders, better to be extra attentive and slightly absent-minded than presumptuous though).
Coffee Knowledge/selection-4.5 (For my first visit to Filter I dined in and asked the barista to recommend his current favorite single-origin for a pour over coffeee. He pointed out the Ethiopian Worka that turned out to be the best single-origin cup of coffee I have ever had. The coffee was brewed to perfection and the deep fruity notes of blackberry, strawberry, and grape came seeping out. I greatly applaud Filter’s choice to serve Ceremony Coffee Roaster’s beans, simply divine. My cappuccino was not as spectacular as my cup of coffee but the bar had been set pretty hight. I would have liked to see a little less foam and a stronger espresso taste. Staying in with a book and ordering a french press or pour over is definitely the way to go).
Ambiance-4 (To get into Filter you go down a flight of stone steps and into the shop. This basement/cavernous affect is a little gloomy and and dungeon-like. The place was packed so I had to grab a seat at the bar located right by the entrance. Sitting with your back to the entrance and facing an exposed brick wall is a little daunting, the space is also not extremely will-lit which could have improved the atmosphere for those relegated to these seats. On the other hand, the tables along the wall opposite the espresso bar are brighter and promote a more social vibe. Again, I ran up against the common problem of a lack of good seats. The best improvement would be to have a long communal table instead of individual two-seater tables, this would not only accommodate more people but also embrace the enhance the grotto-like setting).
Pastry/Food Selection- 3.5 (I have still yet to go when the Almond Croissant, and Black Forest Proscuitto & Gruyere Croissant are in stock but those are the menu items that are definitely catching my eye. Stay tuned for and update in this section).
Overall Rating: 4.30