The heavenly scent wafting out the door of this Petworth cafe is your first tip-off that you're about to enter an extraordinary coffeehouse. Qualia doesn't just make each cup to order; it roasts its own beans in its Georgia Avenue space -- some days, nearly a dozen varieties -- under the Fresh Off the Roast label. While other shops emphasize espresso drinks, Qualia's specialty is the deceptively simple cup of black coffee, prepared using the perfectly timed, perfectly measured hand-pour method. And nothing pairs with it better than a pastry. Here, they're as foodie as they come: Think in-season sour-cherry lemon muffins, lemon tarragon scones, even maple bacon muffins. -- Lavanya Ramanathan, Sept. 23, 2011
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