Thursday, October 1, 2015

Coffee & Chocolate

Located in a large and nicely repurposed garage in an alley in the unassuming DC suburb of Hyattsville, Maryland, Vigilante Coffee may look like an unlikely place for an excellent cup of coffee. While I have only been able to visit the cafe twice, I enjoyed both immensely. On my inaugural visit I was struck by the airy space and sun streaming in through the huge garage doors in the front and a skylight in the back. The cappuccino I savored was certainly one of the best I have ever enjoyed, which is understandable given that the coffee is roasted right there in the cafe.
A friend and I returned to Vigilante for a coffee and chocolate tasting that the cafe and its owner Chris Vigilante co-hosted with chocolatier Puja Satiani.

We were treated to three pairings.  Our three coffees were all quite different - the first was a very strong iced coffee, the second was a smooth cup of high end coffee brewed in a siphon or vacuum coffee maker, and the last was one of the cafe's innovative specialties, a Vigilante Julep, which is an iced coffee prepared with mint and basil. The three chocolates, all beautiful small truffle/ganache-type of concoctions, were a 70% dark (my favorite), one made with coconut oil and bits of coconut, and one with a basil ganache. 

It was interesting to learn about both of these local businesses, and to chat with the owners, both of whom were lovely people. While it was an incredibly enjoyable afternoon, an earlier start would have been preferable, as I could not reasonably finish all three coffee drinks between 4-5pm on a Sunday afternoon. Let's just say I was quite wired all evening!

With the arrival of fall, Puja has created and released her seasonal fall collection, which includes Dark Chocolate Fleur de Sel Caramels, Pumpkin Spice, and Dark Chocolate Peanut Caramels, and sounds amazing. Her products can be ordered directly from her website, and she offers free shipping to DC, Maryland, and Virginia for orders worth more than $40.
If you ever happen to be in Hyattsville during the hours of 7.30am and 4pm, I highly recommend seeking out Vigilante for some outstanding coffee.
Vigilante's offerings available in their Hyattsville cafe.


  1. ...hmmm. Basil in my chocolate and coffee? I think I would stick with the real coffee, and dark chocolate all the way!

    1. They were definitely unique - and the basil mint coffee concoction took some getting used to, but I did like it overall.

  2. Basil and mint coffee sounds really interesting!

    1. It was! I'd certainly never think of it, but as far as a refreshing warm-weather drink goes, I liked it quite well.


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