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Handsome Coffee Roasters opens Cafe in LA
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yakster
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Posted Mon Mar 12, 2012, 9:36am
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters opens Cafe in LA
 

Has anyone else visited the Handsome Coffee Roaster's cafe in LA?  I'm curious to see what others think.  I enjoyed my visit and regret that I didn't have more time to spend there.

 
-Chris

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alsterling
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Posted Sun Mar 18, 2012, 6:48pm
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters opens Cafe in LA
 

Chris... I thought I'd seen a Handsome Coffee review from you on yelp. (?) I haven't visited them yet, but am actually looking forward to it; based on the polarized reviews I've read. I accidently found Handsome's page in yelp through cruising the site. Given their address, I'm believing their focus is on wholesaling, which is possibly why they're so focused on serving as close to their vision of specialty coffee as they can in their retail area. I doubt they picked that location to garner a significant walk-in market share. The Arts District is in its' infancy. As most know, it was, and still is, an industrial area, going through a rebirth. I had a fellow Viet Nam vet buddy, who past, and was then memorialized by the City of L.A. in a dedication of the Arts District in his name. He fought for that recognition. And I'm sure he'd be pleased to see Handsome and other retail businesses coming into the area. It's still a destination, even though it's so close to what we know as downtown. And BTW....... I plan on bringing my own condiments. I taste coffees naked, and then if I feel like it, will add my sugars. As has been said, the ultimate judge is our palate. And that's one thing we can't easily share.

 
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Posted Mon Mar 19, 2012, 1:25pm
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters opens Cafe in LA
 

frank828 Said:

my thing about them is their 4 dollar fetco brewed coffee.    if i'm paying 4 bucks before tip, i'd really appreciate someone taking the time to freshly brew me a cup.  i'm not driving into a remote part of downtown la to get in and out with my 4 dollar coffee that was brewed who knows when.

Posted March 9, 2012 link

If you asked them, they would tell you when it was brewed, and then "you'd know when." But, knowing these guys as well as I do, I doubt it sits very long before it's dumped.

Actually, the reason this post caught my eye was the unwritten assumption that "brewed to order" is automatically better than bulk brewing. It is the sad experience of many in the industry that the quality of brewed-to-order coffee is wildly variable, from exquisite to mediocre, even in the better shops, and that Fetco and other bulk brewers may do a better job on average than the painstakingly poured kettle over a Japanese filter device.

So my assumption would be that Handsome chose Fetco to insure a good cup, rather than save a buck.
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frank828
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Posted Mon Mar 19, 2012, 4:03pm
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters opens Cafe in LA
 

MarshallF Said:

If you asked them, they would tell you when it was brewed, and then "you'd know when." But, knowing these guys as well as I do, I doubt it sits very long before it's dumped.

Actually, the reason this post caught my eye was the unwritten assumption that "brewed to order" is automatically better than bulk brewing. It is the sad experience of many in the industry that the quality of brewed-to-order coffee is wildly variable, from exquisite to mediocre, even in the better shops, and that Fetco and other bulk brewers may do a better job on average than the painstakingly poured kettle over a Japanese filter device.

So my assumption would be that Handsome chose Fetco to insure a good cup, rather than save a buck.

Posted March 19, 2012 link

i was actually told by one of the baristas that one of the reasons is to be able to serve as many as possible as fast as possible.  

and being told when it was brewed and actually seeing it brewed is a completely different experience for me.  i'd definitely prefer seeing it brewed when im out spending my money.  i do concede that the fetco is consistent but when you have the clever, aeropress and other brewing devices on display but wont brew out them for you, it's a bit of a letdown.  

also, if the place does a bad job at brewing out of a pourover or other device, that's typically due to the lack of skill of the person brewing.   that's no excuse to me.   i've experienced extremely consistent quality cups from the places i frequent locally(intelligentsia, spring for coffee, demitasse).

on a sidenote, demitasse, that is only a few minutes away does offer fresh handsome roasted coffee frequently for a lower price and expertly brewed(they offer clever and siphon) to order.   they also have much better hours for me so i'm going there much more often even when handsome is only a few minutes away.
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frank828
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Posted Mon Mar 19, 2012, 4:51pm
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters opens Cafe in LA
 

one other thing is that one of their 3 pillars is "uncompromising quality".    

if the flagship store is to highlight their offering, can we assume they are saying that what they're offering is the best possible and that by using the automatic brewer, there are no compromises?   taking that further, am i to take from that that i should be using an automatic batch brewer at home to get the best out of their coffee?  probably not, i would think.  

coming from guys from intelligentsia(im picturing the venice location), it's a bit of a surprise to see the fetco.   i would think that most would agree that each brewing method is a bit different and certain coffee may be suited better for one or the other.  it just kind of bugs me to see things like "uncompromising quality" and then get a batch brewed cup of coffee.

...i really want to get off my whole fetco thing, i feel like i may be overly critical and hung up on that one point.  i do agree that their coffee is excellent.  there is no argument there.  


btw, their number one pillar is:
1-Hospitality
At Handsome, hospitality isn't a commitment, it's a core value. It's not something we strive for, it is something ingrained into our genes that we couldn't avoid if we tried.


i'm reminded of the whole no sugar and no cream thing there...
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IMAWriter
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Posted Mon Mar 19, 2012, 4:59pm
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters opens Cafe in LA
 

MarshallF Said:

If you asked them, they would tell you when it was brewed, and then "you'd know when." But, knowing these guys as well as I do, I doubt it sits very long before it's dumped.

Actually, the reason this post caught my eye was the unwritten assumption that "brewed to order" is automatically better than bulk brewing. It is the sad experience of many in the industry that the quality of brewed-to-order coffee is wildly variable, from exquisite to mediocre, even in the better shops, and that Fetco and other bulk brewers may do a better job on average than the painstakingly poured kettle over a Japanese filter device.

So my assumption would be that Handsome chose Fetco to insure a good cup, rather than save a buck.

Posted March 19, 2012 link

Marshall, a few back at SCAA I had a cup of Rwanda from a Fetco in George Howell's booth!
However, adjusting for the fact LA is not Nashville, where I reside, a local roaster/cafe here does 12oz of Hand pour (Kalita, clever cup, Hario, etc) for $2.50.
I'd say $4 is a bit of a stretch for that, especially if their doing their own coffee in house.

 
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pfeifus23
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Posted Tue Mar 20, 2012, 10:36am
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters opens Cafe in LA
 

frank828 Said:

since i dont ever add sugar to my coffee, it doesnt really bother me.  it's probably not somewhere i'd take a friend that is picky with their drinks though.

my thing about them is their 4 dollar fetco brewed coffee.    if i'm paying 4 bucks before tip, i'd really appreciate someone taking the time to freshly brew me a cup.  i'm not driving into a remote part of downtown la to get in and out with my 4 dollar coffee that was brewed who knows when.

Posted March 9, 2012 link

Sorry but i cannot imagine to drink my coffee without sugar. Then i would turn to cappucino or anything like that;)
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yakster
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yakster
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Posted Tue Mar 20, 2012, 5:10pm
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters opens Cafe in LA
 

I didn't see it while I was there (distracted with family, etc) but they also have a single cup Curtis brewer.

I would rather have properly brewed and held coffee from a Fetco than languish in line at a crowded shop doing hand pour where there's too many people for interaction or even to see your coffee being poured.  I think that batch brewers make sense during peak periods when done right, I've switched from pour-over at home to an automatic brewer in the morning because I now brew for four in the morning and no one has time to wait.

 
-Chris

LMWDP # 272
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frank828
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Posted Tue Mar 20, 2012, 8:56pm
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters opens Cafe in LA
 

i appreciate the whole convenience thing and im considering getting a bonavita for the same reason.  

when i'm heading to a fancy cafe, paying 5 bucks after tip for a cup of coffee, i dont mind waiting a bit.  actually, i'd expect to wait.  

i completely agree with you that in every case, i prefer a properly brewed cup of coffee.   i think, though, that even during peak periods, they should be able to properly brew a cup of coffee for that amount of money.  again, i'm forced to compare to other local coffee shops that can accomplish the same thing at a lower price.  

the curtis single cup brewer sounds interesting.  i've never had a cup out of that.  hopefully it'll be available the next time im out there.   it definitely wasnt there when i visited on the opening weekend.
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Posted Tue Mar 20, 2012, 11:29pm
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters opens Cafe in LA
 

Well impressed with the brewed coffee at Handsome. Could 't fault the freshness and personally have to applaud their decision to use batch brewers. Rate the consistency this method has over the variable results a single cup pour over provides.

Most common pour over inconsistency? Having the person brew your coffee be distracted after the initial soaking/bloom of the coffee and then watch them add the remaining water to what is by now a cold bed of coffee.

Can't beat a well made fresh batch brew in my opinion. Leaves even a Clover standing. Unfortunately it doesn't look glamourous. For that you need a syphon bar and a halogen heat source though  still doesn't of its self, mean a great cup of coffee but the perceived value for money seems to be there.
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