Have You Been to Sidamo?
If you haven't tried H Street's newest (and currently only, since the one at 1359 has temporarly shut down after changing ownership) coffee and tea shop yet, you should. Sidamo offers a variety of espresso drinks as well as their own organic, fair trade, shade grown (prized my many for its superior flavor) coffee. Not a coffee drinker? Sidamo offers more than twenty varieties of loose and bag teas. They even have a loose tea called tutti frutti that's sure to appeal to the younger set. Sidamo serves its teas in individual pots the rest above tea candles so your brew stays warm longer. Bottles ice tea, water, juices, and milk (both regular and chocolate) are available. To eat Sidamo offers pastries and muffins from Uptown Bakery, cakes from Clement's, and yogurt. Soon (hopefully next week) they will also have sandwiches and bagels. The owner was sampling different cream cheese brands when I stopped in Thursday morning. That kind attention to detail is apparent throughout Sidamo. Unlike at many coffee houses, everything (except prepackaged beverages and to-go items) are served with glassware. The floor, though not orignal to the building, is about 85 years old, and was rescued from another building. The owner, Kenfe Bellay, says he likes the idea of recycling materials whenever he can. The chestnut counter behind which Mr. Bellay stands is the reincarnation of old doors.
The chalkboard pictured above now displays the menu
Asked why he chose H Street the owner replies that he looked at threee different neighborhoods, H Street, Takoma Park, and Silver Spring. But somehow H Street, because of the changes he's seen in the neighborhood (he's been watching us for a while, he previously tried to lease space in a building in the 300 block of H Street), and because of its proximaty to Capitol Hill. He says he looks at H Street and sees a nice chance for his shop and the community to grow together. Bringing people together is one of Mr. Bellay's hopes for Sidamo. Every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm Sidamo hosts an Ethiopian coffee ceremony where groups of people come together and talk over coffee. He hopes to hold these events three times a week once he gets more settled.
Sidamo offers free wifi. There plenty of space to sit outside at the three tables located out back. There is even lighting out there to facilitate evening gatherings.
Starting sometime soon Sidamo will offer bags of their own freshly roasted coffee beans for sale at the counter.
Sidamo Coffee and Tea
417 H Street
7am-7pm 7 days a week
As promised, here is a repost with the photos I couldn't access before.