It was raining and soggy outside, and that just always seems like the right kind of weather to be cooped up into a warm coffee shop. Conveniently located in old town Fairfax, De Clieu Coffee & Sandwiches is nestled perfectly within the hustle and bustle of Main Street.
The overall vibe of the store is eclectic and quirky. There is a broad menu ranging from breakfast sandwiches, lunch specialties, gelato, and of course, coffee. Chemex, french press, and regular drip coffee are the basics they offer as well as espresso, cappuccinos, and an abundance of specialty drinks.
The seating is scattered with not much room to breath, and close enough to the stranger behind you who can’t seem to slurp their coffee without making noise. This is definitely not the ideal place to study, enjoy a book, or have some peace and quiet especially during the peak hours of the day. It gets way too loud and more of a hangout and chat spot than a get stuff done spot. Although those are minor defects of a coffee place, I believe that the ambiance and overall vibe of a coffee shop is just as important as the coffee itself.
I brought my coffee connoisseur friend named Ben, and he ordered an espresso. He really enjoyed it for its sweet, light, lemon zest like acidity. It was balanced correctly and was shockingly not bitter at all. Except for the fact that it was not served in the right cup, and therefore featured splatter from the machine all along the inside of the cup. it was regardless an okay espresso. I purchased french press, and it unfortunately was lackluster in my opinion. For a three dollar mug of coffee it sure did taste exactly the same as the kind I make from home. That being said, it seems like their specialty coffee drinks were more of what the overall customer’s desire. After trying their seasonal beverages, which taste great and definitely are more of focused on.
De Clieu was alright, but there are better coffee shops out there. Unfortunately, De Clieu is not there yet.