The Washington Post

Get some counseling with your iced coffee at Science Club pop-up

Coffee drinkers, Jason Gershowitz thinks you need help. Not with your unrelenting caffeine addiction -- he's on board with that -- but with the process of determining your flavor preferences for your daily brew. That's where his new coffee pop-up at Science Club, Coffee Counselor, comes in: Beginning Monday, Gershowitz will offer as many as 30 single-origin iced brews and, through sampling and tasting flights, will help customers find the beans that are right for them.

Coffee Counselor's Jason Gershowitz (Courtesy of Coffee Counselor) Coffee Counselor's Jason Gershowitz (Courtesy of Coffee Counselor)

"I feel like coffee should be treated more like wine," said Gershowitz, making the 27-year-old from Silver Spring a type of sommelier. All of the coffees are single-origin, meaning all of the beans for each coffee are grown in the same area (typically, coffees blend beans from different countries and continents to bring out certain flavors). He's sourcing his beans through Mid-Atlantic roasters to highlight different coffee growing regions and flavor notes. All of them will be prepared using a cold brew technique, steeping in water for nearly a day. Which means, at least for now, that Coffee Counselor's pop-up won't be serving any drinks that aren't iced, and not just because of the heat.

"For folks that are looking to get more into coffee flavors, it‘s a bit easier to taste the different depths in an iced coffee," said Gershowitz. When the weather gets colder, he will consider launching a hot coffee program.

Muffins by Coffee Counselor (Courtesy of Coffee Counselor). Muffins by Coffee Counselor (Courtesy of Coffee Counselor).

So how does a typical coffee counseling session work? Gershowitz might start with a coffee flavor wheel, asking customers to identify flavors they are drawn to, like berry, nutty, or spicy. From there, he'll suggest some coffees that are on the moderate side of that flavor profile, delving deeper if the customer wants a more piquant experience. He will also encourage people to develop their preferences through his tasting flights of four iced coffees, which run the gamut of the flavor spectrum. Coffees will be priced beginning at $3, with slightly higher prices for beans that are more rare.

Gershowitz will also be offering home-baked muffins, with flavors such as double chocolate butterscotch and banana peanut butter with cinnamon streusel. The Science Club pop-up will run for six to eight weeks, beginning at 7:30 a.m. and running until 3:30 p.m. on weekdays. Gershowitz hopes he'll be able to turn more people on to single-origin roasts and individualized coffee preferences, versus the one-size-fits-all approach that major chains employ.

"Each bean comes out differently, and people have their own preferences," he said. "I like to think that I can make the perfect cup of coffee for anybody, but I don’t think I can make the perfect cup of coffee for everybody."

Coffee Counselor at Science Club, 1136 19th St. NW (Metro: Farragut North). 202-775-0747. Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.



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