Blowing dust off the DC map and bringing you a new Washington coffeehouse. Categories out of 5.
Location-3.5 (The location of Malmison can be seen as both very good but also inconvenient. Malmaison is located off the Georgetown Waterfront on K Street and is the last warehouse before the Potomac Parkway begins. Once you manage to get all the way down to Mailmaison’s cafe you are rewarded with coffee and treats that you can take to the waterfront and enjoy).
Barista Cuteness-3.5 (The baristas at Malmaison are cute and charming. They are not out of this world gorgeous but so genuine instead. Some are more experienced than others and are eager to talk coffee with you. Other baristas just carry friendly general conversation).
Coffee Knowledge/Expertise-3.5 (Due to Malmaison’s location I only travel there to spend have a beautiful waterfront day. This makes for my main purchase to be iced coffee. However, the ice coffee they prepare is very unique. Last time I tasted my iced coffee it was so striking I had to compliment the barista and inquire on the preparation method. I learned that he pulled a single origin Guatemala drip through an espresso machine to make the drink, so weird but so good! The result was very bright brew that was super zesty and fruity. The cafe serves up Mad Cap a great roaster out of Grand Rapids, Michigan that has a Lab and Training Facility in D.C.).
Ambiance-2.5 (Another reason I only visit Malmaison during the Spring and Summer season is because there is indoor season. Malmaison is also a full fledged restaurant serving brunch and dinner so you are going to have to battle the diners for the limited seating. The interior is very posh and lux, which supports the modern French mood but it is not the most warm and inviting atmosphere for a coffee shop. If you do sit inside you will probably be subjected to the upstairs lounge, which becomes a club at night so it is far too swanky for casual coffee sipping).
Food/Pastry Selection-4.5( the pastries at Malmaison are absolutely phenomenal. I am completely addicted to their almond croissant, which is filled with creamy marzipan and topped with toasted almonds. The treats are crafted by the French pastry chef, Serge Torres, a cousin to the famous Jacques Torres chocolatier. Baking certainly runs in the family because his desserts shine at Malmaison. I have also sampled an apricot pastry and was not disappointed. Next on my list to try is the macaroons. I wish there were some savory options to pair with the cakes, cookies, and other sweet baked goods locked under glass domes at the coffee bar).
Overall Rating: 3.5