29th Parallel Coffee

Yesterday morning, I texted my dear friend, Jackie, to see if she was interested in grabbing a cup of coffee with me after our children were at school. I figure that since I am currently not working outside of the home, I might as well lean into the stay-at-home-mom-of-school-aged-kids persona. We agreed to meet at 29th Parallel Coffee in Fairfax Station and after throwing my hair up into a top-knot and putting on my best leggings (because stay-at-home-mom), I safely delivered the kids to school and drove to the unassuming shopping center where 29th Parallel Coffee resides.

I’ve heard people rave about this place and it is one of the highest-rated coffee shops in the Washington DC Metro area on Yelp so I was a bit taken aback by the outside appearance. I was expecting Brooklyn hipster vibes – not strip mall chic with abandoned dental offices. But guys? Once we got inside, 29th Parallel Coffee did not disappoint. At all.

My coffee snob tendencies were home. These were my people. Jackie and I chatted with the owner, Amir, and he expertly informed us all about the available coffee. Where the coffee was sourced, the chemistry behind the extraction process, and how the soluble flavors from the coffee are dissolved in the water. Jackie ordered a mocha that was made with fresh ground and tapped espresso on a machine that reminded me of the one I used while working at Harrington’s Coffee Company in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Like I said, I felt like I was at home. To this day, the hissing of an espresso machine remains one of my favorite sounds.

I opted for pour-over coffee. Also known as hand-drip coffee (as opposed to automatic-drip), pour-over coffee involves a kettle with a narrow spout, a special carafe, fresh ground beans, and patience.

I selected the REKO from Ethiopia. According to Amir, the beans had tasting notes of citrus, lemongrass, molasses, and ginger. As soon as he began grinding the beans, I knew I made the right choice and forced myself to be patient as he started the pour-over process.

My patience was rewarded with what may have been the best cup of coffee I’ve had in recent memory. Can you believe that I actually forgot to take a picture of the final product? I feel like I need to be beat with a blogging stick or something…bad blogger – bad!

I enjoyed my pour-over coffee with a splash of fresh cream. It was smooth, lush, and had absolutely no bitter aftertaste that is often present in even the most well-prepared cups of coffee. Jackie and I also each had a spinach and cheese quiche (which I also forgot to photograph but you can see a corner of it in the picture above of her mocha). 29th Parallel Coffee has a daily grind (pour-over), a daily drip (automatic-drip) during peak hours, espresso drinks, nitrobrew (cold strong coffee infused with nitrogen), assorted pastries, and seasonal items. Please stop it for yourself. Bring a friend. Have a chat with Amir. I promise you won’t be disappointed. We certainly weren’t.

29th Parallel Coffee

5616 Ox Rd
5616 Ox Rd, Fairfax Station, VA 22039

10 thoughts on “29th Parallel Coffee

  1. emmaandroseblog October 18, 2017 / 12:01 pm

    I only drink decaf and people ask me why I bother if I’m not getting the caffeine. I actually enjoy the taste of coffee and like trying different varieties. Besides, if you’re half asleep drinking your first cup of the day, you’re not really getting the most enjoyment out of it, right?


    • Karen October 19, 2017 / 11:52 am

      Yes – I don’t drink coffee to wake me up. I drink coffee because I truly enjoy the taste, smell, and experience.


  2. Kimberly (@momgosomething) October 18, 2017 / 2:27 pm

    That sounds like such a fun and quaint little spot. My dad always takes me out for coffee once a week to catch up on things and we like picking random places like this!


    • Karen October 19, 2017 / 11:51 am

      How cool is it that you get to go out for coffee once a week with your dad? My dad also loves coffee shops so if we lived closer, I would totally have weekly dates with him.


  3. Beth October 18, 2017 / 2:36 pm

    This sounds delicious! I love a good pour over coffee! I also love spending time at a good coffee shop, it is a great way to spend a weekend!


  4. ShootingStarsMag October 18, 2017 / 7:20 pm

    I’m crazy, I know, but I don’t like warm drinks. However, this sounds like such a lovely place – and I can see why it’s so popular. 🙂



    • Karen October 19, 2017 / 11:50 am

      Yup, that’s crazy! Ha. 🙂


  5. Charlotte October 19, 2017 / 2:16 am

    Omg this place sounds amazing! There’s not much I won’t do for a good cup of coffee and I love the patience required to have one of these—reinforces the fact that coffee brewing really is an art form 🙂 hope you enjoyed catching up with a friend and that quiche sounds delicious, too!


    • Karen October 19, 2017 / 11:50 am

      Coffee brewing really can be an art form. And like anything else, when the art is removed from the process, the product suffers (e.g. gas station coffee).


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