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What would breakfast be (or lunch for our coffee die-hards!) without the perfect cup of coffee?!  When Brown Bag thinks coffee, our list is short: M.E. Swing Company (MESCos), otherwise known as Swing’s Coffee!  Swing’s coffee is a DC institution and has been since it was founded in 1916 by M.E. Swing and his son, Edward Swing.  In 1920, the family opened its now historic MESCO Coffee Roasters building at 1013 E Street, and the smell of fresh-roasted coffee filled the air there for 70 years.

The Swing family roasted their coffee using large, German roasters up on the third floor of their E Street building; and today, Swing’s is still fond of German roasters. Now, Swing’s uses huge, Probat roasters to do the job in Alexandria, Virginia, and the tradition continues there.  In their own words, “All [Swing’s] coffees are sample roasted to ideal color and flavor, then craft-roasted just as it was at 1013 E.”

The Swing family saw the company through 90 years of ups and downs, and they never wavered in their commitment to quality and flavor or in their hands-on approach to roasting.  In 2006, after over 60 years of service to the company, Patricia Swing (grand daughter of M.E. Swing), passed the reins to Mark Warmuth, who not only took ownership of the company, he took the Swing’s commitment to roasting the best coffee and he continued moving the company forward.

Now, Swing’s boasts a menu of around 20 different coffees, from decaf to espresso, as well as single-origin coffee and blends, but in their new coffee bar in Del Ray, they sell cups that are exclusively single-origin beans.  The MESCO Blend was given a patent in 1918 and is still one of DC’s most popular coffees, but it’s not the only trick this company has up its sleeve.  Warmuth is determined to keep this tradition-rich company current and vital.  “Right now, I want to showcase some of the good stuff we’re doing with single-origin beans, because it seems to me that the biggest criticism we get as a company is that all we do are blends,” Warmuth told the Washington Post in response to questions about the Del Mar location.

If their reviews are any indication, then Swing’s has succeeded in both coffee cups—blended and single-origin: “Some of the best coffee we’ve ever had. As much as we love the original Swing’s location and their perfectly blended coffees, this Alexandria location’s commitment to /unblended/ [single-origin] coffee is a welcome change of pace.”

Luckily for you, Brown Bag can help you out with your Swing’s addiction!  Come by and enjoy a cup with your favorite Brown Bag breakfast!