That weekend trip to Eastern Market not quite the same since Murky Coffee closed?  Been sucking it up and buying your morning latte from Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts or – perish the thought – making it yourself at home before heading out?

Pressing your nose up against the glass each time you walk by to try to see behind the newspapers that have obscured the shop from view these past few months?  (Don’t judge…I KNOW I’m not the only one who’s been doing this!)

In any event, your wait is over!  This morning Ryan Jensen and his band of baristas threw open the doors of Peregrine Espresso for free drinks from 7-9 AM.  Facebook friends and those who were just passing by were treated to some of the first fruits of Peregrine’s gleaming La Marzocco espresso machine and their impressive micro-brew rig.

Although they’re not yet open for business (they’re waiting on a health inspection which should happen this afternoon), Ryan hopes to be ready to meet the morning rush at 7 AM tomorrow and then be open for business all weekend.

Images and more details after the jump.

As you might expect from someone with Jensen’s pedigree (a barista and later general manager at Murky from 2003 to 2006, DC Customer Relations Rep for Counter Culture Coffee, member of the US Barista Championship committee since 2006), Peregrine is taking their coffee pretty seriously – though they assured me they weren’t planning to punch anyone anywhere regardless of what they order.  Working with his wife, Jill, Ryan will be running Peregrine as a coffee-lover’s paradise that will feature brewed coffee and espresso as well as pastries and cold drinks.

Of particular interest to hardcore coffee-lovers may be the micro-brew setup that allows the servers to hand-brew individual cups of specialty coffees.  The process: set a filter into one of the receptacles at the top of the rig, add the appropriate amount of ground coffee and pour the hot water over the coffee.  This results in a truer representation of the coffee’s flavor, as it doesn’t have to pass through a system that has processed a range of other coffees before.  Ryan indicated that prices for cups of micro-brews will vary depending on the coffee itself, but he expects most to fall in the $2.50-$5 range…competitive with the over-roasted offerings of some national chains.

Jensen has gone out of his way to distance Peregrine from its predecessor – gone are the cramped feeling and the dark interior of Murky Coffee.  Peregrine feels lighter and brighter, with blond wood and marble counters, fewer tables and pieces of an old door repurposed as wall art.  The walls themselves add to the atmosphere, with white and a cool pistacchio green helping to further open up the space.  A POS order system suggests that they may even be accepting credit and debit – a welcome improvement over the cash-only policy of Murky.

At this point I don’t have all the details on their anticipated hours of operations or price points, but I know that they plan to have all of that information up on their website as soon as Peregrine Espresso is open for business.  Free wifi and outdoor seating are already in place.

For now, it’s just good to know that our weekend trips to Eastern Market will once again feature great coffee from a locally-owned business.  We’re looking forward to checking it out this weekend…hope to see you there!

Peregrine Espresso
660 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC  20003
(202) 629-4381
Peregrine Espresso on Urbanspoon