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In our class for babies 0-12 mos, Early Childhood Developmental Specialist Elizabeth McKenzie …



Elizabeth McKenzie,  Early Childhood Developmental Specialist

Elizabeth McKenzie, Early Childhood Developmental Specialist

It’s been a long time since the seeds of Rare Bird Coffee Roasters were planted. It started almost 10 years ago, when owner Bryan Becker received a manually operated La Pavoni espresso machine and began the journey to a fantastic cup of coffee. After modifying a stove top whirly-pop popcorn maker with a probe thermometer, his quest of sourcing great coffee and roasting it to highlight it’s origin became a focus in his life.

In his father’s garage, Bryan set up a small San Franciscan 1Lb roaster, which lead him to learn everything he could about coffee. More and more friends and family began requesting bags of coffee, and he was more than happy to share it with them; his hobby steadily morphed into a business idea. Bryan was determined to offer sustainable, responsibly-sourced coffee to everyone, no matter their level of coffee knowledge, and to reduce the exclusiveness of specialty coffee. This notion prompted a friend to say “that’s a rare bird”— the company was really starting to take shape.

Bryan was determined to offer sustainable, responsibly-sourced coffee to everyone,

In a warehouse located in NE D.C., mainly occupied by artists, he installed his first roastery with his wife, Lara, and began selling coffee. At the time, D.C. did not have a coffee manufacturing classification, and so the roastery was categorized as deli, giving them the ability to serve prepared coffee and espresso drinks to customers. It was a silver lining, and they discovered that sharing great coffee with others was a direction that they could continue in and grow. Inspired, they decided to bring their coffee back to their neighborhood in northern Virginia, and opened Rare Bird Coffee Roasters, a cafe and roastery, in Falls Church.



Today, Bryan and Lara are still in pursuit of creating a great cup of coffee, and sharing it with their customers. As you walk into their shop, you are welcomed by a friendly hello, and the sense of visiting a friend’s kitchen table to enjoy an artfully crafted drink. The neighborhood seems to fill in the space— from the rotating art show installed by area artists, to the locally baked goods brought in fresh daily. The clean, warm design of the cafe echoes environmental consciousness through used coffee grounds available for compost, methods to reduce energy consumption and vivid green plants scattered around the space. Rare Bird Coffee Roasters seeks to provide the highest quality products and services but, above all, is welcoming to all.