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Coffee Disloyalty Sweeping Southward Along East Coast Into Washington D.C.

D.C. Disloyalty Card front

The past year has seen a revival of the disloyalty card concept all along the east coast, from Boston to Baltimore, and now Washington D.C.

The D.C. disloyalty card program brings together Peregrine EspressoBlind Dog CafeLa ManoFilter CoffeehouseThe Coffee BarChinatown Coffee Co. Once consumers get a drink punch at each of the participating shops, they get a free drink at any one of them. Former World Barista Champion Gwilym Davies is widely credited with devising the first disloyalty card program in London in 2009, and the idea has since taken off in the United States, typically as a one-time-only, limited-run deal.

Peregrine Espresso D.C.

Peregrine Espresso, where D.C.’s disloyalty card concept was born.

According to a Washinton Post report, D.C.’s disloyalty program was organized by Dawn Shanks and Christy Pelton of Peregrine Espresso, who created a Tumblr to help consumers understand the concept, writing:

DC’s coffee community is a friendly, thriving one; area baristas have fun serving customers and each other. A scene like this deserves not a loyalty card but a disloyalty card, which encourages people to visit different neighborhoods, try coffee from different roasters each shop presents on their menus, and meet some awesome coffee professionals.

Also, some housekeeping notes and disclaimers:


Participating shops have the freedom to define what constitutes a free drink. In the spirit of the disloyalty program, please respect each shop’s parameters.

This card is by no means a definitive list of the best coffee in DC, ever, merely the first six shops approached in a program we hope has a second round. We’re sorry to leave out some great places, and sorry if we missed your favorite haunt. Once you’ve finished the card and you’re looking to explore some more, check out District Bean’s shop guide.


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