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Monday, July 7, 2014

Annandale Blog readers select Beanetics as best local coffee shop

The 2014 Annie Awards, for  the “best of Annandale/Mason,” were presented at Blogapalooza, the Annandale Blog’s fifth-anniversary celebration June 28. The award winners were selected by Annandale Blog readers in an open-ended survey. We’ll be profiling the winners over the next few weeks.

Beanetics Coffee Roasters, the winner of the Annandale Blog’s 2014 Annie Award for best coffee shop, sells freshly roasted single-bean and blended coffees, along with various kinds of baked goods and smoothies. The small shop offers a pleasant place to relax with an excellent cup of coffee in full sight of the huge coffee bean roasting machine known as “the beast.”

David and Amy Starr opened the shop in February 2007 at 7028 Columbia Pike in the Annandale Shopping Center in a space that was formerly occupied by a cell phone store.

By then David Starr’s coffee-roasting adventures in the garage of their Lake Barcroft home had become “a hobby that ran amok,” he says. So they decided to put together a business plan and opened their own coffee shop. It’s still a sideline, though, as they both continue to work at regular jobs. They are both lawyers—David is in private practice and Amy works for the federal government.

The coffee-roasting room.
“It’s been a lot of fun starting a business and trying to keep growing it,” he says. Beanetics makes about 4,000 pounds of coffee a month, much of it sold wholesale to institutions, other coffee shops, and restaurants, including Perfect Pita and the Cure Bar & Bistro in D.C.

Beanetics gets coffee beans from Jamaica, Brazil, Costa Rica, Yemen, and other coffee-growing areas worldwide, mostly from importers, and the Starrs also buy beans directly from farmers in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.

The Starrs wanted to give local artists an opportunity to display and sell their work, so every month, there’s a new exhibit of paintings, drawings, or photographs. The public is invited to monthly meet-the-artist receptions at the shop. The Starrs also believe it’s important to be involved in the community, so they donate coffee to lots of local events, like teacher appreciation luncheons.

Bags of coffee beans ready for roasting.

As part of a partnership with Falls Church High School, students in the culinary program created their own coffee blend for Beanetics, and students taking a marketing course designed the logo and label. Students sell the coffee at community events. Some of the students in the program are from countries where coffee is grown, so this gives them an opportunity to see the entire process, David Starr says.

People always ask him to consider opening other Beanetics shops, but he’s not interested in expanding. “There’s only so much time in the year to devote to this. We still have our day jobs,” he says. “We’re happy with the Annandale location. We love the community.”


  1. Good coffee, visible roasting operations, friendly staff, WiFi hasn't choked on me once (hi Panera!) - some of the darker roasts can be a bit smoky and overpowering, but that's not uncommon.

    A little puzzled why a place with less than a dozen chairs that mandates the 24/7 use of a single, very generic XM radio station could beat out Matin de Paris, but it's still a nice spot.

    1. Matin de Paris: Stale pastries, weak watery cafe au lait.

  2. Do you drink coffee? If so, you would understand clearly why Beanetics beats out Matin de Paris.

  3. David and Amy are very generous supporting Stuart High School Band with coffee for parent drivers on their Tag day event. We really love Beanetics!

  4. Nice story, nice people, nice break from the drudgery of overcrowding, rezoning, etc.