Handsome Coffee Roasters (CLOSED)
I first heard about Handsome Coffee before it officially opened and went a few times to get espresso from the back in the unfinished roastery where they had set up a temporary, unofficial coffee shop. Today, when I go back on the weekends the line is out the door and I can't even find a seat. The ever-present "Eggslut" food truck is equally busy outside serving people eggs on eggs. I would have expected Handsome Coffee to only have gotten better from that first time I tried it while they were still under construction, but unfortunately I haven't had the best experiences since then. Their coffee falls into two categories: Comfort and Adventure. The obvious distinctions are that comfort will be softer notes and adventure is more intense flavors--probably ones that you wouldn't be drinking every day. Their options for the drinks itself are incredibly simple-- epsresso, espresso+milk (3 sizes), and drip coffee. Some may view this as very efficient and purist, but I see the lack of quality coffee brewing methods (chemex, siphon) as simplistic--even as a non-coffee drinker. When I went back this past Saturday I was pleased to see the world-renound barista and co-owner of Handsome, Michael Phillips, pulling my espresso shot. I had high expectations. Alas, the espresso tasted pretty boring. There were no great flavors that jumped out at me and I was quite overwhelmed by everyone and their bikes and their fresh pressed juice and Eggsluts bouncing around the store to really relax. On a less busy day, one will notice the intricate carvings in the wood bricks or will be able to relax at the few tables around the store and actually find a seat. It's no lie--Handsome is an expanding business and one can find its coffee all over the US, but I hope they return to focusing on their quality and less on their branding image.
Recommend: Although the Eggslut food truck is almost taking more business than Handsome and over-crowding the quiet coffee shop, I would recommend their food for breakfast or lunch.
Note: Good place to study on a quiet weekday. Cool places to eat around here for dinner, such as Bestia (my favorite!!) or Little Bear.
Espresso Rating: 7/10
Overall Rating: 7/10 (for now)
Hours: Mon-Fri: 7am to 6pm, Sat-Sun: 8am to 6pm