Cup of Joe: Handsome Coffee Roasters in Los Angeles by

Issue 57 · Haberdashery · February 1, 2013

Cup of Joe: Handsome Coffee Roasters in Los Angeles

Issue 57 · Haberdashery · February 1, 2013

If you're going to call yourself Handsome Coffee, then you kind of have to deliver, right? Fortunately, they do. "They" being the three founders, Tyler Wells, Michael Phillips, and Chris Owens, who share some serious coffee credentials, including stints at Intelligentsia Coffee and a World Barista Championship to boot (that would be Phillips).

A year ago, Handsome Coffee Roasters opened shop in LA's Arts District, enlisting Woodsmithe, a local design/build studio headed by Nathanael Balon, to oversee the renovation of the former print shop. They opened up the space and kept the materials simple and industrial, using copper, iron, and concrete. The result is a renovated space that, much like their coffee, is pared down to the basic elements, no frills—just simple good taste. For more, go to Handsome Coffee.

Tyler Wells, Michael Phillips, Chris Owens of Handsome Coffee Roasters

Above (L to R): Michael Phillips (World Barista Champion), Tyler Wells, and Chris Owens. Photograph via Food GPS.

Handsome Coffee Roasters with coopper pipe shelving and mapel stools and table

Above: The tables and stools are made from white oak; copper piping is used for shelving. Photograph by Elizabeth Daniels.

Handsome Coffee Roasters gooseneck industrial lighting

Above: Gooseneck industrial lighting in the hallway with a wall of maple tiles.

Handsome Coffee Roasters wood wall tiles with laser etched image

Above: Balon came up with the idea of using maple wood in lieu of subway tiles on the wall. He cut the wood in subway tile dimensions and glued them to the Sheetrock; then laser etched some of the Handsome graphics onto several tiles for decoration. Photograph via the Los Angeles Times.


Above: The copper-clad ceiling of the cafe with windows onto the roastery with Belgian roaster. (I happened to be there the day it arrived and witnessed a bevy of grown men beyond excited as they ripped apart the wooden shipping container.)

Handsome Coffee Roasters

Above: It's all about the coffee at Handsome: no sugar, no decaf, no wi-fi.

Handsome Coffee Roasters LA Arts District

Above: A typical day in LA; bench seating offers coffee imbibers a chance to linger.

Handsome Coffee Roasters Van

Above: The way they roll.

For more of our LA finds, check out our City Guide.

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