Still, there are perks to these bogus holidays: Like freebies! Several major chains are giving away free java today. (Expect lines, out the door lines, which we've already spotted downtown.) Here's what we've found (if you know of others, please add them in the comments):
Dunkin' Donuts: Free medium hot or iced dark roast coffee. One per guest at participating locations.
Krispy Kreme: Free 12-ounce coffee, plus a free original glazed doughnut at participating locations.
Peets Coffee & Tea: Free small cup of Major Dickason's Blend with food purchase.
Sheetz: Free coffee.
Wawa: Free self-serve hot beverage up to 24 ounces.
With that out of the way, let us add that you can find far better coffee than the cups available at the places above. Here are few of our favorite coffee shops and/or roasters, in no particular order:
Qualia Coffee: The Petworth roaster specializes in beans from around the world. Qualia currently is featuring direct-trade mircolot beans from Nicaragua, including a "honey" processed coffee. 3917 Georgia Ave NW, 202-248-6423.
La Colombe: The Philadelphia-based roaster set up shop in Blagden Alley, and after playing with the avant-garde Steampunk for months, the business finally gave up in frustration over the complicated brewing system. Now, the shop uses sleek Silverton full-immersion pour-over system. 924 N St. NW, 202-289-4850.
The Wydown: The brothers behind this 14th Street NW shop are constantly on the prowl for the most interesting roasters from around the country. Chad and Alex McCracken's latest find? The excellent Three Ships roaster out of Virginia Beach. 1924 14th St. NW, 202-507-8411.
M.E. Swing Del Ray Coffee Bar: Not only has owner Mark Warmuth put this historic roaster on the right path, but he's also created one of the best, most relaxed shops in which to enjoy his coffees. 501 E Monroe Ave., Alexandria, 571-385-0378.
Slipstream: The husband and wife behind this 14th Street NW operation have invested in some of the best coffee equipment in the industry. Better yet: Their team knows how to use it to good effect. 1333 14th St. NW. 202-450-2216.
Chinatown Coffee Co.: The Chinatown mainstay continues to reinvent itself to remain relevant in an increasingly crowded coffee scene. This summer, the shop added a Kyoto cold-drip tower to its arsenal of brewing tools. 475 H St. NW, www.chinatowncoffee.com.
Vigilante Coffee: The shop introduced its cold brew in cans this summer. Its Hyattsville roastery is a cool space to chill with owner Chris Vigilante's single-origin coffees. 4327 Gallatin St., Hyattsville, 301-200- 3110.