A new coffee shop that roasts its own beans with a high-tech machine opened today in a renovated space that replaces the liquor store on the corner of Rhode Island Avenue and 11th Street NW in Shaw.
The Roasted Boon (1018 Rhode Island Avenue NW) will operate daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. to start. The 2,000-square-foot space houses a touch screen-enabled roaster that will extract flavor out of coffee beans from Guatemala, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Brazil. The white machine, purchased from Idaho-based Diedrich Roasters, sports signatures of former trainees. Its current espresso is a Brazilian-Ethiopian blend. Local bakery Fresh Baguette supplies bagels, cookies, muffins, croissants, and pre-packaged sandwiches for the shop. For workout buffs, there are packaged protein bars, fresh fruit, and an array of smoothies.
Packaged beans will soon be for sale at a retail shelf upon entrance. A cup of drip coffee starts at $2.50. Espresso drinks come in two sizes: medium (two shots) and large (four). Every drink is served in a disposable, recyclable containers. The industrial, raw floor — the only element held over from the liquor store — features social distancing stickers for its walk-up only orders.
The Boon (not bean) on its sign refers to a traditional coffee-making ceremony in Eritrea, co-owner Smret Tewolde’s homeland. The logo subs in espresso beans for the name’s vowels. The owners took over the space a year ago, and a completely renovated building was ready to roll in March — right when COVID-19 sparked a citywide shutdown.
“We started this journey before COVID,” Tewolde says. “It’s been something we’ve talked about for a long time, so we weren’t going to stop now.”