It’s been a year since Old Town coffee shop ESP Tea and Coffee (1012 King Street) reopened under new ownership following a spectacularly bad collapse.
Killer E.S.P closed in 2020 after its entire staff quit — twice — after alleged misconduct from former owner Rob Shelton. New owner Erik Muendel said the last year has seen extensive menu changes and an effort at revitalization.
A press release from the coffee shop said the last year has seen them “prune” their coffee selections while expanding their tea offerings, along with opening a kava and herbal elixir bar.
“It’s about providing an opportunity for connections and creativity,” Muendel said in the press release. “Let’s slow down a little and build community.”
The shop has a mix of international coffees, like some from Guatemala, El Salvador and Ethiopia, along with local roasters like Blue Elk Coffee. The shop makes its own chocolate “Cacao Bliss Balls”, stocks pies and quiches from DC Pie Shop, and has saltenas and empanadas from Pan American Bakery, among others.
The restaurant also features a set of rotating wall art emphasizing surreal landscapes — fitting the rebranding of E.S.P from espresso, snacks and pie to “extrasensory perception.”
ESP has a rotating roster of events as well, including daily tea tastings Monday-Thursday from 2:30-6:30 p.m. and “ESP Evenings” from Friday to Sunday, 7-10:30 p.m. with Polynesian drink kava.
The shop is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday-Sunday from 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
“It’s been a great adventure since we re-launched last year with our new name ESP Tea and Coffee on Monday, February 1st, 2021,” General Manager Carl Cabading said in the release. “I remember it so well. It snowed early that morning. We were so concerned that we may have to open late or postpone. Fortunately, we still opened on time, and here we are now 365 days later.”
Photo via ESP Tea and Coffee/Facebook
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