The End is Near/Time for a New Beginning

Modern Times Coffeehouse New Year's Hours

December 31st: 8am to 7pm

January 1st: 10am to 8pm
(bookstore will be closed - access the coffeehouse through the parking lot door)


Happy Holidays!

Thanks for making Modern Times a great place to celebrate with family and good friends this holiday season.
Just a reminder that we will be closing at NOON today so that our staff can travel safely to their families.
Take care!


MTC Holiday Hours & Wi-Fi Access Update

     Sundays in December (2, 9, 16, 23):    8 am to 10 pm

     Christmas eve, Dec. 24:                           8 am to 12 pm
     Christmas, Dec. 25:                                  Closed
     Day after Christmas, Dec. 26:                10am to 8 pm

     New Year’s eve, Dec. 31                          8 am to 7 pm
     New Year’s, Jan. 1:                                10 am to 8pm

Please note, that, to accommodate for all the families visiting the coffeehouse and bookstore during the holidays, we have decided to TURN OFF WIRELESS ACCESS.  We will go off the grid during these dates:

December 21st through the 24th


this is why we can't have nice things

This is taken from very sternly worded e-mail we received from Verizon, our ISP:

We are writing to advise you that we recently received a second notice from a copyright owner of possible copyright violation that appears to involve your Verizon Online account (the "Complaint"). 

Copyright infringement level: 2
Notice ID: 14-32591147
Title: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 2011
Protocol: BitTorrent
IP Address:
File Name: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy[2011]R5[Studio-Audio}XviD-

File Size: 740146230
Timestamp: 11-29-2012 23:50:20 UTC 

While this activity may have occurred without your permission or knowledge by an unauthorized user, or perhaps by a minor who may not fully understand the copyright laws, as the primary account holder, you are legally responsible for all activity originating from your account.  

With these notices, MTC's love affair with wireless is coming to an end.  We will not be held accountable for the irresponsible actions of some abusing a courtesy we offer at no charge. 
These abuses, compounded with the complaints we receive from disappointed people who are unable to be accommodated, has led us to once again revisit and update our wi-fi policy.  We know it would disappoint many of you if we were to eliminate our free wireless service completely; so, in the spirit of community, a fair compromise would be to limit the hours during which we offer the serviceWe are considering shutting off the wireless during our busiest days and hours - weekends and lunch-time during the week.  

We understand if many of you are upset by this decision, but you have to see it from our perspective.  This decision is based on economics - we need to turn over tables to make a profit - as well as the spirit of Modern Times - we want to continue fostering an environment where people are aware of their neighbors, the surrounding community and the various needs of those visiting Modern Times and Politics and Prose Bookstore.  

We want to give you a fair amount of warning before the new policy goes into effectExpect us to have it in place by January 15th, 2013.  In the meantime, please don't hesitate leaving a comment or writing me an e-mail.  Note that our comments are moderated so as to encourage constructive dialogue.   


Popping Up in December

We're pleased to announce a partnership with Trohv in Takoma to host a pop-up coffee bar every Sunday there in December! On Sundays Dec. 9, 16, 23, and 30, come between 11:30am-2pm where we will be preparing select coffee offerings from our featured local roaster, Ceremony Coffee. The most special thing about this service is that we are offering coffee prepared three different ways, none of which you can currently get at Modern Times. There, we make a house blend in a French press; and offer two choices of single origin coffees (coffee that has been sourced from the same crop/lot instead of being mixed with other beans) either as a Chemex brew pot, or as a single-cup pourover. If you've never had coffee prepared this way, we highly recommend it. For each order, the weight of the coffee and the volume of water is calculated in relation to the amount of time that the coffee is allowed to "brew", resulting in the optimal extraction of the beans, and thus, the best tasting cup possible!

For more information about our pop-up venture (which ultimately will result in the grand opening of our new business, LA MANO COFFEE BAR in spring 2013), visit our Facebook page.


Curvature (Dec. 1, 2012 - Jan. 13, 2013)

MTC is proud to present Curvature, a new show by Marcie Wolf-Hubbard.

Please also be sure to join us in the cafe for a reception on Thursday, Dec. 6; 7-9pm to celebrate Marcie and her art.

"My encaustic paintings can be rugged with the wood support and textural elements, but I retain my focus on the grace of the figure. I have loved re-immersing myself in figure drawing and combining drawing with wax painting adds to my excitement. The effect produced by applying wax to charcoal drawing is that of an image floating on vellum. The “back and forth” of additive collage imagery is married with encaustic’s mysterious depth and transparency. Drawing and carving into the wax with a tool and then applying pigment augments the sense of energy in the brushwork."

For purchasing information, please contact Marcie directly at marcieplusart@gmail.com 


Next Pop-up: Come in your pajamas!

For our next pop-up event to promote our forthcoming coffee bar in Takoma, we'll once again be hosted by the kind and lovely home goods and furnishing store Trohv on Sunday, Dec. 2nd. On this morning, patrons that visit participating stores in Takoma dressed in their pajamas between 7am-10am will receive special discounts on their purchases. There will also be prizes, games, and other goodies. The folks at Main Street Takoma have dubbed this tradition PAJAMARAMA and we hear it's quite the event!

We'll be there starting at 7:00 to serve coffee and compliment you awkwardly on your pajamas.

For those of you that came to the last event, you know it was crowded and the pourovers couldn't come out fast enough for the demand. This time, in addition to the individual pourovers, we'll be offering an alternative, quicker method of coffee brewing a la the French press, for those of you that still want freshly made coffee but don't need to geek out for ten minutes over the pourover stand with your barista.

Pop-up Coffee and Pajamarama at Trohv
w/ Modern Times Coffeehouse and la mano coffee co.
232 Carroll St NW
Sunday, Dec. 2nd
7:00am - 10:00am

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates and info about Pajamarama participating stores, specials, and what kinds of coffees we'll be serving that day.


SILVER SPRING: Another pop-up with la mano!

Thanks to the eager and patient people of Takoma, Silver Spring, (and to our dedicated friends that came from Virginia and Baltimore!) the pop-up on Sunday at Trohv for our new coffee venture, la mano coffee bar, was a success.

We're pleased to host another pop-up as well as sponsor a local nonprofit event on Thursday, the Silver Spring Stories Festival, sponsored by Docs in Progress. We have co-hosted Documentary Appreciation Salons with DIP in the past, and we can't encourage you enough to support documentary filmmaking and especially local film organizations and filmmakers.

This mini film festival showcases short documentaries made by first-time filmmakers in the teen and adult documentary production classes offered by Docs in Progress. All the subjects of the films are people and places in Silver Spring or Takoma Park.

Modern Times Coffeehouse and la mano coffee bar will be serving our signature made-from-scratch hot chocolate and housemade chai, as well as Pollystyle cookies at the pre-screening reception.

The reception and screening will take place Thursday, Nov. 15th at 6:30pm at the Silver Spring Civic Building in downtown Silver Spring (near the Whole Foods).

For a description of the films and directions to the event, click here.

Please stop by and chat, then go see some films made by, for, and about our community!


Come to Trohv for a special coffee event!

Most of you know from our quiet announcement last month that the ownership of Modern Times Coffeehouse is planning to open a new coffee bar in the Takoma Park neighborhood. We have secured a lease and are working with an excellent team of local architects, designers, and builders to create what we hope will be a dynamic and much-needed addition to the growing crop of small businesses that are helping make the neighborhood more livable and sustainable.

As we wait for permits, pick out materials, and design the menu, we are also going to spend some time introducing ourselves to the neighborhood the best way we know how-- through coffee.

Starting November 11th, we will be hosting appearances throughout the next few months at various locations in the Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County area. At these pop-up events, you'll get to meet us, find out about the progress of the new store, and most importantly, get to try some of the stellar coffee being roasted by Ceremony Coffee, our featured provider. We will be setting up a mobile coffee brewing station including Hario brand drippers, Chemex flask brewers, and pourover stands (pictured below) designed and made by our good friends at Square Form right over in their studio in Columbia Heights. At these events you'll have the chance to try special products-- most notably a series of single origin coffee varietals both rare and experimental, AND get an experience that we don't currently offer at Modern Times-- a hand-poured, single cup of coffee.

Our first event will be held at TROHV, a home goods and gift store on Carroll St. NW, just steps from our future home and the Takoma Metro. We are delighted to partner with Ben and the folks over at TROHV to be able to make and serve coffee in their big, beautiful store. They feature items large and small, out of the ordinary and attention-grabbing, and we challenge you to try and leave the store without finding some ridiculously cool object that you never knew existed but now must have. Plus, if you come out on this day, you'll be among the first people to know the name of the new shop and see the location! (If you stick around long enough, maybe even get a peek inside).

Pop-Up Coffee Shop @ TROHV with MTC (D.C/Takoma Park location)
232 Carroll St. NW
Sunday, Nov. 11th

Check back on this blog, Facebook, and Twitter for more upcoming events and help us spread the word to your friends in Takoma and elsewhere about the event. Additionally, if you'd like to feature our pop-up coffee bar services at your next event or party, please get in touch and we'll see how we can help.

Javier Rivas                                          
javier at moderntimescoffeehouse.com

Anna Petrillo
anna at moderntimescoffeehouse.com


New Art - Amy Jackson

Come check out our newest installation, Early Paintings by Amy Jackson, which will be showing from Oct. 16th-Nov. 29th.

Be sure to check out Amy's website (www.amyjackson.cc), and to purchase any of the works, contact her directly at amyjacksoncc@aol.com

Coffee Review: Heart Roasters, Ethiopia Yukro

Background: Ethiopian coffees vary from region to region, lot to lot, and by the processing methods of how the beans are washed and dried. They are most well known for being fruity and vibrant coffees.

Flavor: Brewed in a Chemex pot, the lightly roasted beans produced a citrusy brew with walnut aroma that tasted very much like tea. I didn't want to believe the tasting notes on the label when it said "lemonade and strawberries", but as this coffee cooled down it did indeed taste like drinking an Arnold Palmer after taking a bite of a strawberry!

Source: Heart opened in 2009 in Portland and is a "micro-roaster" focused on producing small batches of a small selection of single origin coffees from Latin America and Africa. They document the lives of their coffees on their website-- describing how the cherries are picked and processed, as well as photos of the factories and the names of the farmers.

Rating: This isn't the type of coffee you should add milk to, as it would mask the bright, citrus flavor and tart mouthfeel. There are many a times that call for a comforting milky coffee beverage, but this is not one of them. If you are willing to give a little extra attention and time into preparing this coffee as a pourover, you will be rewarded with a crisp, aromatic brew that actually gets sweeter, not bitter, as it cools. I appreciate Heart for breaking out the tasting notes of their coffees into flavors that we can all relate to: cranberry, watermelon, brown sugar, and red wine are much more familiar than "damp alfalfa" and "marron glacé" (yes, Blue Bottle, I'm talking about you).


Kim O'Donnel - Meat Lover's Meatless Celebrations

Modern Times Coffeehouse is proud to host Kim O'Donnel on Wednesday, October 31st at 7p.  An advocate for Meatless Monday, though still a meat-eater herself, O’Donnel, chef and USA Today food columnist, has whipped up a batch of terrific vegetarian recipes for the holidays. Whether you’ve been thinking about cutting out meat, or just want a change from the usual turkey or roast, O’Donnel has some great ideas. Come listen to O’Donnel and sample the fare.

 The Meat Lover's Meatless Celebrations: Year-Round Vegetarian Feasts (You Can Really Sink Your Teeth Into)

We will be setting up tables and chairs and turning off the wireless at 6p.  

open today at 11a

We were mostly spared by Sandy, the merciful.
We will open today, Tuesday, at 11a - functioning with a VERY limited menu.  


We're closed!

Sandy forced us to close early and run home to our loved ones. 
Depending on our power situation, we'll let you know if we open tomorrow.
Stay safe everyone!


Hurricane Sandy

Due to the arrival of Sandy, Modern Times Coffeehouse will close at 4p tomorrow, Monday, October 29. 
If the rapture has not occurred by Tuesday morning we will be open that day - if we have power and weather permitting.


Price Increase in October

Starting October 1st, we have chosen to add a slight increase to some of our drinks and food selections. We held off as long as we could, but we can no longer continue to absorb the increased cost of our wholesale ingredients, especially produce, dairy and bread - which, when you think about it, comprise fifty percent of our menu. On average, prices will go up four percent, but you will see the highest increase reflected in the price of some pastries that come from smaller vendors and sodas.  We will continue purchasing the best quality ingredients, sourcing from as many local vendors as possible, and preparing our food in-house.
We feel that our new price structure is comparable to similar businesses in the area. Plus, we have incorporated ways for you to save money:  aside from offering a fifty cent discount every time you use a Modern Times Coffeehouse Travel Mug, we have added a customer rewards punch card.  We offer a free drink after the purchase of thirteen beverages over the price of $2.50.  This means that beverages that were previously ineligible are now eligible. 
As always, we value your business and thank you for supporting your local independent coffeehouse.


Piracy (not the eye-patch, wooden leg kind)

We got a notice from our ISP warning us of possible legal action due to someone using our IP address to download copyrighted material ("Alphas" - Season 2, Episode 2 to be exact). Hey, if you're going to download movies or TV shows illegally, do it at home. Even better:  find some friends with cable or TiVo and watch "Alphas" at home, comfortably sitting on a couch. 

Please don't make us start blocking websites or posting spoilers. k-thanks


New Art on Display - Cutting People In

Modern Times Coffeehouse is pleased to host new work by Christina King.

Enjoy the show,, and please join us for the reception on Thursday, September 13th from 7-9pm.


It's official: we're having a baby.

Modern Times Coffeehouse will soon have a sister store to be exact.  Many of you have known about this, but I didn't want to make an announcement until things were official:  well, last week, we secured a lease for a space in the Takoma neighborhood of DC.  For this venture, I have partnered with Anna Petrillo, who has been with MTC almost since its inception.
It has been quite a journey already.  However, we know we've found the perfect space, filling a gap left by the closing of the Mayorga Coffee location earlier this year.
We want to open our doors by this winter, knowing that it will take a considerable build-out for that space to be ready; once it is done,  it will offer a different experience than Modern Times - a function of its size and location - while maintaining our attention to quality and connection to the surrounding community. In the meantime, we're considering holding some events at MTC specifically to raise some start-up funds.  We'd appreciate any suggestions for fund-raising events.
This does not mean Modern Times is going anywhere.  I'm proud to say that during the search (and beyond) James Bress has been doing a great job taking care of the daily operations at the shop.  We want to continue being an essential part of the neighborhood and the Politics and Prose family.    
I'll keep you posted on the progress.  Wish us luck - these are exciting times!


Time for Tea

(Our guest blogger this week is Kate Lindsey, our linguist-in-residence and friendly barista.  You can keep up with her globe-trotting adventures on her blog.)
Sure, we have fantastic espresso, delicious cold-brewed coffee and the best lattes and cappuccinos in town, but what about when you need a soothing chamomile and lavender infusion to take the edge off the day, or a shay bina'ina' whose minty fragrance holds visions of the Moroccan sahara, or our famous home-made ginger-infused chai to wake you back up? We like to take care of our tea-lovers too - which is why we get our large selection of teas, shay and chai from Serendipitea - high quality organic loose leaf teas.

I was chatting with some fellow tea-lovers the other day and we were talking about all the different words for tea. Tea, thé, tee, te, chai, shai, cha. What is most surprising however, is not their differences, but actually their similarities! The tea plant grows in a vast area that stretches from Assam (India) in the west to the east coast of China and southwards into Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Using the leaves of tea as a beverage is said to have originated in China. Most words for tea found among the world's languages, thus, come from Chinese origin.

Even in China, however, there are slight differences among the different linguistic communities. The Chinese character for tea is, and is pronounced cha in Mandarin. However in Min Nan chinese, they pronounce it tê. The Dutch East India Trading Company, which was the main importer of tea into Europe, had connections in the south of China in Fujian where Min Nan was spoken. Thus, the word they adopted for tea was thee, which spread (along with the tea leaves) all throughout Europe and former Dutch colonies. Communities that traded with China through different ports like Potrugal (chá) who traded through Macao (Cantonese: cha), or Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East who traded overland tend to use forms such as chai.

Below is a map from The World Atlas of Language Structures showing how the languages are divided. While only 230 (of nearly 6000) languages are included in this preliminary survey, it is interesting to see how many words are derived from cha (109), how many from te (81) and how many from other origins (only 40). Click here to interact with the map.


For all you coffee drinkers who I may have lost along the way - here are some fun facts about the origins of the words for latte!

 In Italian latte means milk. What in English-speaking countries is now called a latte is shorthand for "caffelatte" or "caffellatte" ("caffè e latte"). The Italian form means "coffee and milk", similar to the French café au lait, the Spanish café con leche and the Portuguese café com leite

Ordering a "latte" in Italy will get you a glass of hot or cold milk.


Closing Early Today

Lovely Modern Timers,

We will be joining Politics & Prose in closing early today, at 6pm, for a staff event. Food will stop being served at 5pm, though drinks will be available until close. Thank you for your help and understanding.

Happy Sunday,
MTC Staff


on exhibit at modern times coffeehouse

BKAdams - III

We're overjoyed to, once again, host BK(I am art)Adams at MTC.  Aside from the color and vibrancy his paintings add to our space, his pieces beg for close inspection.  They have a certain life of their own and an interactivity built into them.  Enjoy and experience them.
To reach BK:  bkiamartadams(at)rocketmail.com


Fourth of July Hours

OPEN: eight in the a m
CLOSE: five thirty in the p m

WI-FI AND FOOD: unavailable after 4:30

enjoy your birthday, 'merica.  Be safe everyone!  Hope you all have power.


Power's Back. Open regular hours tomorrow, Sunday.

We'll be open regular hours tomorrow, Sunday.  Come forget the stormaggedon and drown your thirsty souls or drench your sweaty brows in iced coffees or Arnold Palmers.  
Unfortunately, the parking lot will be closed all day Sunday for repaving.  So plan on walking or park in the surrounding streets.  We promise we'll crank the AC until we can see our breaths. 
Thanks guys and thanks to all our wonderful staff who helped today - James, Yoko, Stefan, and Kate.  A huge shout out to Buck's, James Alefantis and Vicky Reh, who saved most of our inventory by offering us some their fridge space!  Stay cool.

Power's Out

We lost power in the storm last night and it hasn't been restored yet. We don't know when it will be fixed but I will post an update here when it is. Hopefully we can salvage the day in the afternoon.

UPDATE: Closed all day Saturday!  SAD FACE


June Art Exhibit: Beyond the Park

Thirty years ago, in a derelict building hidden among the abandoned amusement park rides of Glen Echo Park, four young photographers founded Photoworks – with little more than a shared passion for the daily work of seeing, shooting, and printing images of lasting beauty and artistic integrity. The creative day-to-day collaboration, dialogue, and informal mentoring that led those artists to successful careers as fine art and commercial photographers firmly established the values of experimentation and collegiality that define Photoworks today. Photoworks is an arts community in the very best sense of the word.  When an artist is encouraged to shoot it differently, to make it genuine, to take it to extremes, to make one more print, to share it…this is pure, vintage Photoworks. And this is what inspires the artists and teachers whose work appears here.


Coffeehouse Culture on Kojo Nnamdi

Check out today's Kojo Nnamdi's show on WAMU about coffeeshop culture and wi-fi policies. Our friend Rasheed of Filter Coffeehouse and local roaster Qualia Coffee will be on the show.


Modern Times in Washingtonian magazine

Check out the April print issue of Washingtonian magazine. Carolyn Hax from The Washington Post picks Modern Times Coffeehouse as one of the city's "hidden gems". Thank you, Ms. Hax!


etiquette for the coffeehouse as your workplace

The coffeehouse continues growing and the spring winds blow in fresh faces.  You should be outside!  But we understand the appeal (and necessity) of having a space like ours to work from.  We would like to post these common sense rules concerning those working from our, at times, crowded space.  Thanks for remembering that we are a small business functioning also as a community space, serving a varied group of individuals.  We try our best to keep our space welcoming and comfortable to all.

(Found these rules on the mightygirl.com site)

 1. Remember you’re frequenting a business. If the coffee shop isn’t profitable, it closes, leaving you pantsless in front of a Top Chef marathon. You, my friend, are a customer — so rise to the challenge. While you’re working, keep a purchase in front of you, and buy something every hour or so. If you can’t afford that, the library beckons.
2. Don’t bring a picnic. This should go without saying, but you may not bring food or drink to a place that sells things to eat and drink. Not even if you bought a coffee at some point. You can leave and come back if you want, but go eat your PBJ somewhere else.
3. Hang up. The barista is not a vending machine. Put away your cell phone while you’re ordering.
4. Tip well. Tip at least a buck every time you make a purchase. This promotes goodwill and serves as karmic rent. It’s an acknowledgement that you’re using space someone else could fill. Someone who tips.
5. Clean up after yourself. If you spill half the creamer on the counter before you find your cup, wipe it up. Empty sugar packets go in the trash, which is conveniently located inches from your hand. Bus your table between purchases and clear the table before you go. If someone takes your empty glass while you’re still sitting, that’s a forceful hint that it’s time to buy something else or leave.
6. Let the baristas be. If they want to talk to you, they will, and a pleasant conversation may ensue. But if you feel chatty — or god forbid flirtatious — direct those impulses elsewhere. Employees can’t be rude in the face of your attentions, and they can’t exactly leave work to avoid you.
7. Take one chair, and the smallest table available. If that happens to be a large table, offer to share until someone accepts. Don’t wait for others to ask, and don’t cover the table surface with papers in hopes that no one will bother you. As soon as a smaller table opens up, move.
8. Leave chairs free. If the space is busy, your bag goes on the floor, not a nearby chair. That way other people can use the chair without interrupting you. If you’d like someone to clear a laptop bag so you can sit, say, “Excuse me, is someone sitting here?”
9. Don’t bogart bandwidth. No P2P or large file downloads while everyone is sharing a network. Besides, we can all see your porn, and it’s awkward.
10. Respect the owner’s intent. If wi-fi is turned off at certain hours, then your laptop probably isn’t welcome either. Be aware of the cafe’s culture. If everyone around you is reading newspapers, or having quiet chats, this isn’t the place to start coding.
11. Avoid noise pollution. Switch your cell to vibrate, and take calls outside. If that’s not possible, keep conversations brief and quiet. Also, mute the sound on your computer, or wear headphones. Do you have any idea how much time you’re spending on Hulu?
12. Recognize that everyone wants the outlet seat. Unless outlets are plentiful, don’t use one unless you must. Arrive with a charged machine, and consider bringing an extra battery to avoid the whole drama. If you’re sitting at an outlet and you have enough battery to work for an hour or so, offer to share.
13. Don’t tamper with outlets. If an outlet is covered with a plate or tape, are you seriously willing to be the guy who opens it up? Don’t be that guy. What’s more, if there’s a fan, a lamp, or any other electrical device plugged in, you may not unplug it in order to charge your machine.
14. Ask before you pull out a power strip. In some cases it’s fine to bring along a power strip to multiply outlets, in other cases it irritates the owner. It’s more likely to be a good idea at a Starbucks than a mom-and-pop cafe. Another good sign is if the coffee shop has several available outlets, and is clearly set up for laptop use. When in doubt, ask the owner.
15. Once in a while, change your scenery. If you plan to spend an entire nine-to-five workweek in the same space, you might as well get a real job. Perhaps you’d be interested in learning to make a good latte?



Parking Woes 2012

I only had to update a post from June of 2010 to bring you this warning, AGAIN:

A parking enforcement officer visited our parking lot today to inform us that PARKING ON THE GRAVEL/DIRT ABUTTING THE WOODED AREA IS ILLEGAL. I would suggest parking on the paved lot or on 36th St. while we, along with the other businesses on the block, try to appeal this decision since using those spaces has been an accepted practice for several years.

Even though we've dealt with this issue before and our landlord insists that he has an arrangement with the Park Service allowing cars to park in that area, we continue getting visits from the DC Police and Park Police.  I will keep you informed of any developments.


April Art Show: Sharp Shirter

On display at Modern Times through May:

Sharp Shirter is dedicated to creating products that revolve aroundthe relationship between animals and humans. We are intrigued by the way in which humans group animals into different categories. Some we eat, some we protect, some we own, and some we fear. Similarly, animals have a range of intentions when dealing with humans. Some are fearful of us while others love and protect us. Still, others will attack us and view us as a threat to their existence.
We don’t attempt to give answers to any of these relations but rather we are satisfied with questions that we create.


New Shirt Designs Are In!

Here's Alexander and Yoko braving a windy day and a demanding photographer. Don't they look great sporting our new tee-shirts? You would too, I bet. You would have to explain the "treacherous imagery" of the design (drafted beautifully by our friend, Nguyên Khôi Nguyễn) to your jealous friends, but you can figure it out. You are customers of Modern Times Coffeehouse after all.
Available in Gold and Sea Foam Green. X-small to X-large sizes available. Ask your friendly barista.


Easter Sunday Hours.

Modern Times Coffeehouse will be open from 8a - 7p this Sunday 4/8.
Politics and Prose Bookstore will be open from 11a - 7p.


Free Film Screening/Panel: Water Issues in Africa & Bangladesh

Join us on Wed, April 11th at 7:30 for a free film screening and discussion in the coffeehouse. Seating is open but limited to 25.

Meridian Hill Pictures and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting present a selection of new short documentaries on the topic of water and sanitation in Nigeria, Ghana and Bangladesh produced through an innovative collaborative reporting project.

Join two Pulitzer Center grantees — Nigerian journalist Ameto Akpe and award-winning news documentary producer Stephen Sapienza — as they present their short pieces and lead a discussion on their coverage in West Africa. The segments look at issues of inadequate access to safe drinking water in the region and harmful effects resulting in waterborne illness and death. The initiative matched two international journalists with four local journalists to produce the series of reports to be published and broadcast in West African as well as international media outlets. Following the screening, Peter Sawyer of the Pulitzer Center will moderate a discussion with the journalists about their work.


Want to Work for Us?

Come by and ask us for an application or download our application here. You must be able to regularly work nights and weekends, no exceptions. Benefits include generous store discounts and, of course, lots of delicious coffee!

Send the completed application to coffeehouse(at)moderntimescoffeehouse(dot)com or drop it off at the counter.


(DON'T) Stay away from our website

**3/19 UPDATE - the malicious worms have been extricated from the source code and our website is now safely recovering in it's hospital bed. I think that's how these things work anyways. Google is currently reviewing our site and will remove the warning flag soon.***

Our website, moderntimescoffeehouse(dot)com, got hacked. So stay away from it until we figure out where the bug is coming from. This blog continues to be the best way to get updates, news and information from us.



Feb/March Art Show: Mary Belcher's "In the City"

"In the City" features 13 paintings and prints of paintings by Mary Belcher, who sells her artwork at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill. Her watercolors are known for their strong colors and minute detail. A brand new painting, "606 H Street, Chinatown, D.C.," is among the works now hanging in the cafe. The show also includes three of her watercolor maps available as limited-edition prints: "Rock Creek Park;" "The Potomac Gorge of Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia;" and "A Watercolor Map of the Neighborhoods of Washington, D.C."

A former journalist, Mary has been a full-time artist for 17 years. Her clients have included The Nature Conservancy, Stephen Decatur House Museum, U.S. Forest Service, DAR Museum, Politics & Prose, Smithsonian Institution, Reading Is Fundamental and many others. Since 2005, Mary has worked with Howard University archaeologists to preserve two unmarked 19th Century cemeteries--one African American, one Quaker--in her Adams Morgan neighborhood.

Mary’s cards and prints are on sale in Politics & Prose Bookstore for the next month. The paintings will be on display in Modern Times Coffeehouse until the end of March.

For information about commissioning a piece or existing artwork, go to www.marybelcher.com


New Local Art Show

The Lady
by Jim Darling

Local photographer and coffeehouse regular Jim Darling is one of six featured artists in a new show at the Studio Gallery, opening March 2nd. We met Jim through his photos of BK Adams, another featured artist and friend of Modern Times Coffeehouse.


February 29–March 24, 2012

Opening Reception: March 2, 6–8 PM

“A Person and a Story” is an exhibition featuring local DC photographers and some of their favorite portraits. Each portrait is paired with the story behind the portrait, written by the photographer—creating a storytelling experience in a visual and textual way. The portraits are from around the world featuring subjects that vary from President Obama to the homeless.

The exhibit will be multi-dimensional exhibition celebrating strangers and friends alike.

Featured Photographers:
Joshua Cogan, Jim Darling, Matt Dunn, Keith Lane, David Lee and Joshua Yospyn


Product Review: Hario Manual Coffee Grinder

You probably already know why burr grinders are better than blade grinders for coffee. Burrs crush the beans into uniform size pieces, resulting in grounds that will extract all their coffee-ness to the best of their ability at the same rate. Blades chop the beans into uneven pieces-- so the little coffee grounds wind up being over-extracted (bitter taste) and the big ones never have the chance to bloom to into their full potential (weak taste). Outside of taking your beans to your local coffeehouse to have them ground for you in a commercial grinder (which, by the way, is totally acceptable if you are purchasing the beans from them), there's few affordable burr grinders out there that are easy to use, easy to clean, and easy to store.

I bought this little Hario brand hand crank burr grinder after my electric burr grinder broke (at the time, the most inexpensive electric burr grinder I could find was a Black and Decker model at $50. It broke after about 15 uses).

The grind can be adjusted by manually turning and clicking the burrs into place-- further apart for a larger grind, closer together for a finer grind. If you don't like to weigh your beans, it makes just enough coffee for a small press pot; or for two hand poured cups. If you want to prepare coffee for a crowd this isn't the device for you, but they do make a slightly larger model that has a glass bottom and is very handsome. The only other downside is that the burrs aren't labeled , so if you forget what setting you want for say, drip coffee, and the day before you made it for french press, you have to grind a little bit, then open it up to check the size.

The best thing about grinding your own coffee by hand is the timing and ritual of it all. Put on a kettle to boil, grind your coffee and set up the pot, put your bread in the toaster. Breakfast is served!



Wondering what Adam has been up to?

Philip Auerswald , friend and regular, forwarded me this article (in which he is also mentioned!): the cover story to Fast Company magazine, featuring Adam Hasler, one of three founding partners of Modern Times Coffeehouse. Many of you knew Adam, and, often, ask about him and his whereabouts since his departure in 2009.
The article starts with his tenure at MTC and follows him, and his restless intellect, into today's world of work and the "four-year career." I'm delighted to see him recognized for his striving for innovation in the field of social media and technology, never losing his idealism, or compromising his ultimate goal to help people.

shout out to P&P in Doonesbury!

View yesterday's comic strip in Slate