Soho Tea and Coffee simply is what Tryst tries really hard to be: an unpretentious neighborhood cafe you can comfortably spend a lot of time in. Adams Morgan’s Tryst tries to make you feel like you’re in a hipster’s living room, with its covetable collection of mismatched vintage couches and chairs. However, this hipster is way too popular and you will find no seats at his home.
Soho Tea and Coffee, however, doesn’t give in to the pressure to be cool. Many of its no-nonsense chairs and tables are available most times of the day, meaning that you can find one near an outlet.
The drinks aren’t cheap, but they’re tasty and buy you the right to hang around, use the wifi and get some quality study time in. The environment at Soho is very conducive to this.
Throwback music from my parents’ generation plays softly in the background. The air conditioning isn’t blasting to the point where you are so uncomfortable you have to leave for fear of freezing. What more could you want from a work environment?
The other patrons tend to quietly type away at their laptops, save for the board game players who gather after work hours on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The staff is friendly and considerate. They even bring your order to your table most of the time, rather than making it for you while you wait at the register. One of the baristas once asked me if the music was too loud when I was one of the last few customers left in the store.
As for the logistics, an outlet is never far away and the internet is pretty reliable. It’s like GW’s Gelman Library with food and drinks. Unlike Gelman, however, Soho has a Doggy Happy Hour every day from 5-7 p.m., so you can expect to see owners with their pups at this time.
Soho’s beverage menu is great. They have creative concoctions that go beyond regular coffee and tea. They even have wine smoothies!
When I saw the Soho Mocha ($4.50 after tax), I had to try it. It consists of mocha with blackberry syrup topped with whipped cream. The beverage was very tasty. The blackberry flavor was subtle, but noticeable enough to add a light touch of sweetness. Although mason jars are all the rage on Pinterest, I liked having my hot beverage served in something other than a to-go cup. How refreshing!
The second time I ordered a Soho Mocha, however, they just gave me a hot chocolate with blackberry syrup. Although it wasn’t what I ordered, I liked it a lot and didn’t need the caffeine, so I didn’t complain. My takeaway from this is that Soho can be inconsistent.
I also recommend the Bahama Mama (about $5 after tax), which consists of banana, coconut syrup, milk, espresso and whipped cream. The combination is tropical and unique.
I wasn’t impressed with the White Caramel Mocha ($5.25 after tax). All I could taste was the coffee and not much else. Thank god for that whipped cream!
I also tried the P Street Grilled Cheese with a Side Salad (about $9). The grilled cheese was made with tomatoes and onions. I was expecting and hoping for something greasier, but this sandwich was seemingly “healthy.” The side salad was pretty blah. The lettuce was dry, but I enjoyed the honey mustard dressing. It was not a bad meal, but I’d stick to just getting drinks at Soho from now on and save the grub for the great restaurants on P Street.
Soho’s food menu consists mostly of breakfast items, which are served all day and sandwiches.
Hanging out at Soho Tea & Coffee really makes you feel like you’re part of the community. People gather here to chat with friends, study, play board games and even to plan their weddings (I just witnessed a couple meeting with their wedding planner over coffee). If you want more charm than Gelbucks and more of a community feel than Tryst, check out Dupont’s Soho Tea & Coffee.
Good things to know:
- They ask that you spend $5 if you’re using a laptop in the store
- The minimum charge for a credit card is $5