Est. 1941

Los Angeles, CA • Handsome Coffee Roasters

Monday, July 29, 2013

Date: 07-28-13
Location: 582 Mateo St. Los Angeles, CA.
Words and photography by: Luis Valdizon

There are places that serve coffee and there are places that understand, exemplify and seek to elevate coffee culture. Handsome Coffee Roasters embodies the latter. Their minimalist, refined approach is clear, starting from their branding and interior; however, what sets them apart most from other boutique coffee shops I've visited is their unwavering dedication to a standard most coffee connoisseurs share: no sweeteners, no nonfat or low-fat dairy options and no exceptions—period. Some may call their selection limited because of this, but where some see limitations, I see is an opportunity to demonstrate to unsuspecting patrons that good coffee doesn't mean a convoluted and at times superfluous list of demands. Call it pretension or whatever fancies you, but I think a little elitism within an industry riddled by button-pressing baristas is an ideal worth fighting for.

Hospitality and service at HCR is second-to-none. I let our barista know I've been patiently waiting to try their coffee from the first time I heard of them in my hometown of Vancouver (aforementioned here) and asked if it would be alright if I snapped a few photos of their locale, to which he responded with a welcoming yes. Another one of their staff, an expert roaster by the name of David Lopez, granted me access to the back end of their establishment where their roasting and behind-the-scenes business takes place. Mr. Lopez and I conversed for a few minutes about our crafts and he was even kind enough to allow me to photograph his portrait before I made my exit.

You may not care how your beans are sourced, how they are roasted, the method by which your coffee is prepared or how the final product is executed and presented. That's completely fine—Handsome does all the heavy lifting for you. Unfortunately, living out of a suitcase from state-to-state while we travel the country on tour and staying 35 minutes from the Downtown Arts District while in the Los Angeles area means I won't be able to frequent HCR. But with my very first visit yesterday, an establishment that opened its doors less than a year-and-a-half ago managed to single-handedly reinvigorate my passion for coffee with one perfect cup of cappuccino and outstanding customer service. It's an absolute necessity to stop in if you ever find yourself in the area.

No comments:

Post a Comment