I should write a blog post about the whirlwind journey I embarked on as I searched for a new career. The interviews, the take home projects and my favorite questions, “Do you use The Twitter?” and “How many Facebook friends do you have?”

But, I won’t talk about any of those things. What I would like to address are the coffee shops. Ahhh, coffee shops. There were many of them. Some had wifi. Some had great coffee. Some didn’t have bathrooms. Coffee shops became my constant. My sanctuary. I could look over my notes, get a caffeine fix and most importantly, survey the best places to grab a cuppa joe in the DC area.

How I rate the coffee shops on a of scale 1-5

  • phenomenal coffee
  • wifi
  • easily accessible bathroom
  • staff doesn’t care that you’ve been there for awhile (hours and hours)
  • roomy
  • stylish decor and interesting music are a plus

Alexandria

June Coffee 2/5 Located across the street from the King Street Metro, June Coffee sits in a little courtyard. This place gets major marks taken off.  a) no bathroom, and b) there is a $5 minimum purchase if you use a credit card.  I ended up having to buy a large soy latte and a banana and a muffin — come on, I just need a place to sit down for 20 minutes! The shop is very small. The only real seats were uncomfortable bar stools, and the coffee wasn’t all that.

Uptowner Cafe 4/5 You can find the Uptowner Cafe in the heart of Old Town on Harvard Street. I. Love. This. Place. Need proof?

Fantastic sandwiches, amazing coffee, great people watching, soothing classical music. I once spent about 4 hours here between interviews and no one seemed to care. If this place had wifi it would be my top favorite.

Arlington

Starbucks 2/5 Very small and crowded Starbucks in the middle of Rosslyn. Lost my seat once and had to stand out in the rain.

Corner Bakery 2/5 Nothing memorable about this location. Ordered a tall skim latte, my goto for late afternoon interviews.

Reston

Cosi 4/5 and then 0/5 I’m a big Cosi fan. Love the coffee, sandwiches and tribal music. I snacked on a Cosi Break Bar and used the Free Wifi. I was in coffee heaven. Well, at least I thought I was until the next morning my email account was hacked and sent strange emails to 1/2 my address book. Not exactly the kind of Thank You note you want to write to an employer after an interview. I believe my account was compromised while sitting at this Cosi. Beware!

DC

Union Station 4/5 I love Union Station almost as much as I love rail travel, so sneaking away into this gorgeous landmark to grab a coffee is always a treat. Would rather be on my way to NYC than into an interview, but the coffee, the hustle & bustle and the ambiance made my coffee break a memorable one.

Au Bon Pain 3/5 Very impressed by the coffee, the seating and the French music. Twas a good pit stop.

Bourbon Coffee 5/5 Three words: Macadamia Nut Mocha. Yes, please!  Here you have it folks, the best coffee shop I encountered during my coffee shop sabbatical. Free Wifi. Deep orange-red walls with loud prints hung high on the wall. This place is a real treat. If you find yourself at 2101 L St. NW, Washington DC, enter the premises immediately.

Cosi 4/5 Now, I’ve got some serious love for this Cosi because it could potentially be the coffee shop I’ll be frequenting most often starting this week.

Yes, Cosi was my final coffee shop stop on my career search, as I’ll be working at the Library of Congress as a Content Strategist through CACI starting this week.

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last few months. To persevere when the path gets tough. To open my mind to new opportunities. But what I found to be most important is that perfect satisfaction that exists in the form of a coffee cup. Because no matter what obstacles appear to stand in the way, there will always be that perfect little coffee shop, and that perfect little cup of coffee welcoming you, urging you, to follow your dreams.


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