Category Archives: Virginia

KO Coffee at Boccato Espresso

Boccato Espresso, Arlington, Va.

A recent trip to the Washington, D.C. area magnetically brought me to 2719 Wilson Blvd, territory of Boccato Espresso. The Arlington, Va. venture was alluring due to one particular detail: it serves Stumptown Coffee (i.e., immediate grounds for a return tasting).

Beyond said motive, Boccato is inviting for multiple reasons, and its eye-popping list of luscious lattes is just one of them. I’m not talking about your average latte here. No, no. The flavors are quite ingenious—Nutella, White Chocolate Raspberry, Winter Maple Spice and Salted Caramel. The latter was my bev of choice…for round one. Generally, I opt for a café au lait, but in no way could I resist this silky sweet, carefully crafted cup of perfection. The salty flavor was married with delicate notes of creamy caramel. Regretfully, I drank it too quickly (let’s be real, you would have, too). Savory sipping wasn’t an option, so I continued my brew bout with a much welcomed round two.

My match-up for session deux: a medium fresh drip Boliva Buenavista, brought forth in three minutes from Rob Shelton, Boccato’s ever-so-friendly owner—and reason two to scope out the cafe. This dude clearly knows the coffee craft, his dedication confirmed when I asked how he came about serving one of the best coffees in the country. He really gets it, and thankfully understood my wicked coffee fetish. So much so that he unleashed before me the Clever Coffee Dripper. This convenient device uses an immersion method similar to a French Press but operates with a paper filter to strain all sediment. After three minutes of easy waiting, I experienced a familiar pour-over taste—incredibly crisp and extremely pure. Most impressive, no anxious cool down time necessary. After the timer buzzes, you can gladly rest assured that the roof of your mouth won’t seethe from unwelcome hotness.

The Boliva Buenavista delivered a flawless flavor. My friend B.R. and I agreed the Joe of Latin American origin was very easy to drink. And no wonder, considering the phenomenal profile, as described on stumptown.com: “Syrupy sweet and complex flavors of raw honey, cherry and blackberry warmed by toasted almond notes.” ‘Nuff said.

You’d think I would have been satisfied with my Utopia surrounding, and certainly I was. Boccato is essentially a renaissance cafe. The counter greets customers with delicious olive oil and samples of fresh bread from Leonora Gourmet Bakery. To the right, an enticing rainbow of decadent gelatos. And, as if you need reminding about the jackpot, bags and bags of Stumptown Coffee.

I was absolutely content. Then, my curious eye brought me behind the coffee counter, where Rob granted me the opportunity to closely examine the delightful details of Boccato’s other convincing distinction: fine loose leaf teas. Naturally, I stood sniffing like a dog, one tin after another (mind you, Rob encouraged this behavior). I absorbed the fragrant aromas, the most enticing of which was a strawberry lychee blend. Take a wild guess at what happened next…round three.

Rob whipped out a French Press and allowed me to sample the blend’s fine flavor. I could feel my stomach expanding due to all of my feverish hydration. Of course, I gladly welcomed the tea cup and sum up my sips with one word: stellar.

Knockout happy appropriately describes my Boccato experience.

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