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Apr 8, 2014 09:26 AM

Blue Bottle is Taking Over The World

By the world, I mean LA (and NYC, and Tokyo):

Handsome will be gone. As will tonx. How do we feel about this?

And why is Stumptown still serving Rockview milk when all the other LA boutiques are steaming Clover/Straus?

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  1. My gut reaction: though I've enjoyed Blue Bottle when up North, I've become quite a fan of Handsome over the past couple years.

    And while I'm happy for the crew there - and especially with BB offering all of the employees continued employment - I feel a little let down it's going away.

    tl;dr I'm not particularly thrilled

    1. Handsome is going to go out of bizzzzz ?????

      That's news to my downtrodden ears.

      At least we still gots G and B as well as two guns (which I quite like) in addition to Deux and balconi. Not terribly shabby.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kevin

        To be fair, G & B is far better than Handsome in terms of skill. But they aren't roasters...

        Handsome made my favorite espresso ever (Dandy), so this is tragic news.

      2. Told them they should offer sugar...
        Seriously, perhaps the bigger issue with Handsome was being a little too hip (ster) at the expense of alienating clientele.
        Or maybe they got an offer they couldn't refuse, but since two founders had already moved on, I don't think that's the case.

        12 Replies
        1. re: cls

          they were doing gangbusters. the founders left because they knew the buyout was coming.


          1. re: cls

            Did you read the article? They are purchasing Handsome because they are the most successful roaster in all of Southern California.

            It's not "hipster-y" to not offering sugar, it's just trying to offer the best possible product. Is Father's Office also "too hipster-y"? Or any restaurant that doesn't allow substitutions?

            Why would you want to destroy the flavors of Handsome coffee with sugar anyway?

            1. re: BacoMan

              Beards, overalls, fixed gear bikes, seedy downtown neighborhood, the schtick of no sugar "so you can taste the natural sweetness of the coffee." Seems like the poster child to me.
              No judgement, but being that trendy may hurt as much as it helps.

              1. re: cls

                Seems like "hipsters" know how to appreciate coffee.

                1. re: cls

                  <so you can taste the natural sweetness of the coffee>

                  Reminds me of the conversation I had with a cab driver in The Mission recently.
                  The topic…'hipster'. WTF is the definition anyway? I paid extra for the cab just to have the long, interesting conversation.
                  They're trying not to be pretentious but interestingly they end up SOUNDING pretentious. I've purchased espresso from all over the world and there's sugar offered.
                  Sugar cube. Offer the sugar cube for my espresso or ANY sugar for that matter. I'm not putting it IN the espresso so why do they care what I do with it? So weird.

                  1. re: cls

                    it seems they listened.

                    One of the partner who left Handsom is opening a new cafe. he says there will be sugar:


                  2. re: BacoMan

                    I read it, did you?
                    It's a press release, not an article.
                    In it, Handsome is called a "celebrated roaster" not the hyperbolic "most successful roaster in all of Southern California."

                    Maybe you're missing the point.

                    1. re: BacoMan

                      That should be up to ME.
                      The L.A. dining scene is getting waaaay
                      too authoritarian for this CH.

                      1. re: VenusCafe

                        Then don't go to Handsome.

                        Why should it be up to YOU how a business runs?

                    2. re: cls

                      I don't know about hipster (how to define that term anyway?) but I've always enjoyed a sugar cube with my espresso…and it does nothing to alter the taste of the espresso.

                      1. re: latindancer

                        did you smuggle in a sugar cube to Handsome Coffee, Latindancer ?????

                        Thanks. :)

                        1. re: kevin

                          Yeah, just call me The Smuggler.
                          Gotta have it.
                          I'll do whatever it takes and more :).

                    3. I'm hoping this doesn't effect the quality of my tonx deliveries. I've been pretty happy with the quality and selection of their coffee and I like the bimonthly "surprise coffee" delivery.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: LAgirl2

                        From the article, it looks like your SOL. They are dismantling Tonx in order to create an in-house technology team. =/

                        This is some of the worst news ever to hit the specialty coffee scene.


                        1. re: BacoMan

                          Yup they want Tonx for their online delivery system not for what they physically deliver. Which sucks for a promising startup.

                          1. re: Johnny L

                            Well, it's actually great for them. Bad for the rest of us.

                            1. re: BacoMan

                              I was a little sad when I received my tonx delivery in the mail yesterday. I'm enjoying this new batch of beans from Equator and I'm not looking forward to the changes unless I'm getting this same quality of bean and roast.

                      2. Darn, was quite fond of handsome, they opened my eyes to eliminating sugar from my coffee. Observed some planning meetings a few months back and thought they were in the process of expanding rather than selling. Glad I picked up one of those cool denim aprons!

                        Does BB still skew towards a darker roast?