Welcome to Swing's
Swing’s Coffee Roasters has been part of the Washington, DC coffee culture for over 100 years. Swing’s passionate customers have literally traveled the world with our beans in tow, sharing our coffee with others, and relating tales of DC's original coffee roaster. That level of devotion has kept the roasters running all this time. In 2013, Swing’s opened a new roastery and coffee bar with the sole intent of delivering exceptional coffees and unique coffee experience to our following. We hope to strengthen an existing bond and extend our reach to those who have yet to discover what we are all about.
We roast ethically-sourced coffees behind a glass wall of the Del Ray coffee bar – our transparency applies to both sourcing and roasting. Always, we are eager to share our craft and coffee discoveries with those wanting to learn more about the art of coffee.
Who is Swing's
At Swing’s Coffee Roasters, we roast ethically-sourced coffees with artisan efforts developed over generations. We care about the journey coffee takes and the people it comes in contact with along the way, understanding that remarkable coffee is the end result of many.
It is imperative that our cafes remain an integral part of our community. Swing’s offers a friendly meeting place that customers can depend on for the highest quality of coffee products, and an environment that inspires and promotes coffee education for both customers and employees.
We continue to pursue and adhere to best practices in coffee, in order to deliver substantive and sustainable quality. Our commitment is to continually exceed expectations for our customers, employees and our community.
Mark Warmuth had his first cup of Swing’s coffee as a customer in 2001. He was immediately drawn to the authentic nature of the company and its approach to roasting and customer service. Always passionate about coffee and seeking to pursue a life revolving around it, Mark crossed paths with Swing’s again in 2006, first becoming its General Manager and later, owner. He has always held the legacy of Swing’s and the dedication of its founders in high regard and has further committed his energies towards making Swing’s a place where both customers and employees enjoy being part of a total coffee culture.
How We Source
Our commitment to sustainable, traceable and transparent supply chain ensures and encourages not only cup quality from the farm gate to our cupping lab, but ever-increasing sustainable livelihoods for all involved in coffee production and preparation.
Our Home Grown coffee buying initiative commits a year-over-year percentage increase of our green coffee purchases towards family–farmed small-holder farms. Our partners utilize sustainable growing and agronomic practices, as well as re-invest in quality and community fostering long-term relationships.
A big part of our job here at Swing’s is making sure that you are getting the best coffee possible, and we are producing it consistently. That all sounds fine and well, but how is it done? The answer: cupping.
Come by Fridays at 10am to join the Swing’s team in a public coffee cupping.
Origins of M.E. Swing Co
The M.E. Swing Co. was established in Washington, D.C. by Michael Edward Swing and his son, Edward Swing, in 1916. Father and son found a ready market for premium Arabica beans which were imported from Africa, Latin America, and the Far East. In 1920, the company opened its now historic Mesco (M.E. Swing Co.) Coffee Roasters building at 1013 E Street.
The E Street retail store, with its hand-crafted, gleaming mahogany interior and bright-red, wooden coffee bins occupied the first floor of the Mesco Building. On the second floor, M.E. Swing made hand-dipped chocolates, and on the third floor, a huge German roaster turned out hundreds of pounds of expertly roasted coffee every day. The smell of roasted coffee beans became part of the downtown experience for the next 80 years. In the mid-1990’s, we moved our roasting plant and wholesale offices just across the Potomac river into Alexandria, VA.
Fresh Roasted Coffee
The fresh-roasted coffee was cup-tested. Small samples would be roasted, brewed, and tasted to test the quality and freshness of the beans. After the complete batch was roasted, there would be another cupping to ensure quality and consistency. Edward Swing was known and recognized throughout the industry for his expertise in roasting and blending beans. The Mesco Blend was given a patent in 1918 and is still one of Washington’s best selling coffees.
The coffee business boomed in the Roaring 20’s, which saw D.C.’s E Street corridor filled with thriving retail, soda fountains, restaurants, and bustling streetcars. Throughout the Depression of the 30’s, and then the difficult war years, M.E. Swing continued to roast delicious coffee. By the 50’s, Swing’s Coffee was practically a D.C. institution. Ambassadors, members of Congress, and the professional and working people of Washington came regularly to buy Swing’s fresh-roasted coffee beans. As the decades passed, Swing’s has become a D.C. tradition.
The now legendary Swing’s Coffeehouse was opened in 1994 at 1702 G Street, across from the historic Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Swing’s at G Street is filled with the original mahogany and mirrored fixtures, vintage burr grinders, wooden coffee bins, and counter-weight scales that graced the Mesco Building on E Street. Today’s M.E. Swing Coffee Roastery, located in Alexandria, VA, still operates vintage Probat roasters, with the same craft and artistry as before, continuing the Swing’s tradition to this day.