Retail Items

Where to Find Our Coffee

Because we are a retail coffee roaster (the only way we can be sure you get our beans at peak freshness), you will never find our bags on the shelves at a grocery store. However, there are still several venues where you can find it.

Our storefront at 3917 Georgia Ave in Petworth, just a couple blocks north of the green line metro stop, is open 365 days a year. You will find us there, roasting every one of those days but December 25.

If that isn’t convenient for you, we participate in a number of weekly farmers markets in and around DC. We bring out our wide selection of beans, all roasted within 24 hours and can often be found brewing coffee on site (for maximum freshness, of course).

Last, but not least, we have launched a mail order web site where you can find a list of all our current offerings and get delivery right to your door. This is a great option if you can’t make it to one of our other outlets, have moved out of the area or want to send someone the gift of fresh coffee.


Glass Tumblers

In our search for a good travel mug, we tested ceramic, glass, steel, double- and single-walled designs, and found that this tumbler from Grosche had the best heat retention of them all. It also has a good seal between the silicone lid and glass, and the glass itself, while not unbreakable is pretty damn tough. Sure, it lacks the complete fake-takeaway-cup look, but it will fit in your cupholder. We currently carry them in both 12  and 15 ounce sizes, $11.50 and $14 respectively. They also look great with our reusable sleeves. We also have a small supply of French presses from the same glass maker.


Women-Produced Coffee Burlap Handbags

Gold Mountain Bag

We now have handbags and carryalls made by women in Nicaragua. The bags are made from the jute sacks that are used to transport green coffee from origin to the U.S. and bare the logo of Gold Mountain Coffee Growers.

As a social enterprise, Gold Mountain Coffee Growers, LLC conducts social projects in order to empower coffee producers, their families and their communities. 100% of the profits from the sale of these bags are used to fund social projects in coffee producing communities. These projects include free computing classes, scholarships. medical assistance, micro-loans to female coffee producers during the off season and small libraries for rural schools.

We are selling the bags in several styles for $25. The bags are handmade, so each one is unique.


No, they’re not a mythological creature, but a brand new currency that ensures the continued flow of  great coffee and offers a much needed hang-over cure to a world drunk on credit. Anytime and anywhere you use a credit or debit card, the merchant pays both a flat transaction fee and a percentage of the transaction to a processing company for the privilege of accepting plastic. Since merchants are restricted  by the credit card companies from adding a processing surcharge, this cost gets rolled into the base price of all items, which means that those who pay cash effectively subsidize those who use plastic.

For merchants whose business consists largely of daily transactions that are small – say, a $2 cup of coffee – the percentage transaction fee isn’t a big deal, but the flat transaction fee takes up a staggering portion of a small purchase.

We understand that debit and credit cards have become a de facto modern electronic currency. Therefore, as a compromise between those that only carry plastic, and our desire to not fork out nearly the entirety of our meagre margin on a single cup of hot coffee to our lords in the credit card processing industry, we have deployed a house currency called the Quale-Buck (pronounced like the bird)

Quale-bucks are as good as cash, dollar for dollar. You can request that we charge your debit or credit card for an excess of your transaction, and we will give you that excess in Quales that you can use any time in the future (say, for a $2 cup of hot coffee). They also work great as gift certificates.

Quales are currently issued and accepted at our shop, Qualia Coffee, in Petworth.

While it is a lower-tech version of a store gift card that doesn’t require card scanners or a database, Quales do employ a number of techniques to resist copying (you’ll have to figure out for yourself what they are).

We here at Qualia Coffee would be ecstatic if other coffee shops or merchants in the Petworth or DC area would be interested in utilizing the Quale-Buck (or a renamed version) as a community currency. Giving customers currency that inspires them to visit other independent shops in the city grows the exposure of local businesses and specialty coffee, which enriches us all. Please contact us if you are interested.