Coffee Talk

They come breezing into the office, carrying favorite cardboard cups. Some bear insulated metal mugs. A few bring in beans and brew in back rooms.

Many offices have a coffee culture and a favored brand chosen for convenience, quality or other factors. Call it the preferred percolation for a place, the java jive.

Starbucks is all over the region, but some workers believe in coffee from Jolt 'N Bolt in Adams Morgan. Others start their workday at Stompin' Grounds or Caribou Coffee or even the agency's cafeteria.

Michael Allen Smith, founder and publisher of and a former resident of Washington, sees Starbucks and Peet's as the hot places in San Diego, where he works now. Near the capital, he favors Misha's Coffee House in Alexandria, or any place with a $9,000 espresso machine.

But that's not where he gets his morning joe. "I roast my own coffee, seal it and take it into the office and brew it in my own press pot," said Smith. And he urges others to do the same. In an article on, he writes: "If you conclude that there is no way to brew good coffee at your workplace, perhaps you should consider working for another employer."

-- Vickie Elmer