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SteveRhinehart
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SteveRhinehart
Joined: 27 Dec 2009
Posts: 855
Location: Syracuse, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Skerton
Vac Pot: Yama Tabletop 3-cup
Drip: Chemex, CCD, Kalita Wave,...
Roaster: Flavorwave/Stir Crazy
Posted Thu Jun 9, 2011, 9:21am
Subject: Handsome Coffee Roasters
 

Starting a thread in General, as I don't know that there's any particular reason to include them in Espresso Blends at the moment.

If you're unaware, Handsome is the new brainchild of Mike Philips, Tyler Wells, and Chris Owens, all formerly of Intelligentsia. They're all passionate coffee dudes, who are now launching their own brand in LA, and they've got a van!

They have not really started the sales side of things yet, and are just getting into picking beans and developing roasts, I believe; which brings me to the focus of this initial post. Some may be aware of the "Handsome Wager," wherein they decided that they were going to roast a lot of coffee at the beginning that they can't really sell, and can't consume entirely themselves. To solve that dilemma, they offered to their social media constituency, that the first 40 responders could buy into a "subscription", of at least four 1/2 pound bags of their usable roasts. Somehow, though I responded a full three hours after they posted their wager, I snagged one of the 40 spots.

So, I'm curious if any other Geeks were able to get into what might be called the "beta" group. It would be great to compare tasting and brew notes if possible. If not, I'll definitely be posting my findings here anyway, to drum up some interest in what I hope is a great new coffee venture. I don't know when they'll start shipping coffees, but now that the WBC is over, they appear to be hunkering down and getting to brass tacks. I'm still getting excited thinking about opening that first bag of unknown goodness...
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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CoffeeRoastersClub
Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Posts: 4,480
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
Grinder: Breville Smartgrind,...
Vac Pot: Vintage Silex, Nicro...
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster...
Roaster: javaPRO-CRC AIR Fluid Bed...
Posted Thu Jun 9, 2011, 9:54am
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters
 

Steve,

You mention that they are not with Intelligentsia any longer.  I am not familiar with their background.  We they formerly an integral part of the Intelligentsia team?  If so, do you know why they left?

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

Bitcoin Merchant www.CoffeeRoastersClub.com     www.javaPRO-CRC.com
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SteveRhinehart
Senior Member
SteveRhinehart
Joined: 27 Dec 2009
Posts: 855
Location: Syracuse, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Skerton
Vac Pot: Yama Tabletop 3-cup
Drip: Chemex, CCD, Kalita Wave,...
Roaster: Flavorwave/Stir Crazy
Posted Thu Jun 9, 2011, 3:33pm
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters
 

Len, all three were in pretty good positions at Intelly. One was a shop manager, the other two were involved in education/training, etc, and all three are great baristi. Mike is also last year's World Barista Champion, apparently the only American to win so far. They're all very talented people, devoted to good coffee.
As far as the nature of their leaving, I know they all resigned, and that Intelligentsia was publicly fairly cordial about it. I have a feeling this was in the works for a while before they resigned, so Intelly was prepared to lose some of their top staff, in whatever way they could be. There hasn't really been any backlash in the industry that I've seen, mostly just optimism. Those that know these three insist they're good people, so I have a feeling there's no bad blood there, just some friendly competition.
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cerridwyn
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cerridwyn
Joined: 6 Jun 2010
Posts: 505
Location: Inland Empire California
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Thu Jun 9, 2011, 5:31pm
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters
 

Info that it happened was posted in the Western US forum but no more details have been shared. I check their website now and then but I despise Farsebook so would not have known about this.

 
The world needs more outstanding coffee.

do you game?:
http://forum.paxcorvus.info
http://www.outland.org
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SteveRhinehart
Senior Member
SteveRhinehart
Joined: 27 Dec 2009
Posts: 855
Location: Syracuse, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Skerton
Vac Pot: Yama Tabletop 3-cup
Drip: Chemex, CCD, Kalita Wave,...
Roaster: Flavorwave/Stir Crazy
Posted Thu Jun 9, 2011, 7:31pm
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters
 

I agree about Facebook, I find it tired and oversaturated for the most part. Still, I'm a digital media buff, and I can see its use in some venues. Luckily, Handsome is more involved with Twitter, and anyone can follow them @HandsomeRoaster. Speaking of which, I just saw this in my timeline:

HandsomeRoaster Whoa. Made post office cutoff by mere seconds. 40 parcels in the post.

Looks like I'll be getting a lovely little present soon!
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SteveRhinehart
Senior Member
SteveRhinehart
Joined: 27 Dec 2009
Posts: 855
Location: Syracuse, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Skerton
Vac Pot: Yama Tabletop 3-cup
Drip: Chemex, CCD, Kalita Wave,...
Roaster: Flavorwave/Stir Crazy
Posted Mon Jun 13, 2011, 1:14pm
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters
 

And we've got beanage!
Guatemala Huehuetenango, Finca La Providencia Dos
So far, I've had it on a Beehouse pourover, as straight espresso and in a cappuccino, and on Aeropress with Disk, inverted.

Awful, absolutely awful espresso! Way sour, even at a temp that should have brought out the deep and bitter notes. It's just too light and too acidic a coffee to work as espresso, I've found. But that's fine, as I've got some Dolce sitting here anyway, and this coffee is wonderful otherwise!

Up-front sweetness, with a rich chocolate orange profile, and a lingering cocoa or dark chocolate. It's a medium to light bodied coffee, that is absolutely quaffable. My first Beehouse brew was a little overextracted, but had a lovely espresso-like aftertaste before the tinge of bitter set in. Aeropress brought out a more bitter orange acidity (does that make sense?), still fairly light bodied, Dutched cocoa and a lingering molasses kind of sweetness. I think I'm in love...Easily the most enjoyable Guat I've had yet. Granted, I'm not too well-versed in Guatemala, but this is a memorable coffee right here. Not a bad way to start at all!

I'm gonna give an over-ice brew a shot once it warms up a bit more here, I think it will be quite refreshing.
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yakster
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yakster
Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 1,035
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Factory / La Peppina...
Grinder: Vario / Kyocera
Vac Pot: Yama 8 + Pyrex Lox-in Rod
Drip: Brazen / Kalita / Chemex /...
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Mon Jun 13, 2011, 2:39pm
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters
 

So far I've tried this coffee in the Chemex through a metal filter (Coava coffee Kone), pulled two shots in my La Peppina, an Americano for the Wife,  brewed it up in a siphon, and finally in a Chemex through paper.

This is a clean cup and the notes I pick up are predominately orange.  I shared a Chemex with a few others and they noted the dry aroma struck them as peanut butter.  I hadn't picked this up, but once I heard this, sure enough I could see that.  They didn't find as much orange / citrus in the cup, but that may be that I've been informed by previous sampling.

My first SO espresso shot was 14 g of coffee in my 45 mm PID La Peppina portafilter pulled to 23 g espresso at 91 C.  I thought it tasted like an orange cream with a little too much orange rind in there—bitter—so I pulled my final 14 g shot at 89 C to 23 g final weight.  This shot was blood orange without the rind which was nicer, but not up to an SO shot.  I made an Americano for the Wife with 14 grams coffee at 89 C to a final mass of 183 grams.  I sipped it before I put the Splenda in and noted a very enjoyable orange note.  By far my favorite prep has been the Siphon.  Brewed a full 8 cup Yama pot with 1080 ml water and 65 grams of the coffee to drink yesterday morning and put in a thermos for a long car trip with the family.  This cup had the sweet orange flavor that I was getting with the shots and was quite pleasant, but surprisingly the coffee in the well pre-heated thermos later in the day brought out more stone fruits and maybe kumquat notes without unnecessary bitterness that was very nice, perhaps because the coffee sat with a bit of fines from the glass rod filtered siphon pot.

Since I've got a bit of the coffee left, I was thinking of trying an Aeropress with the Disk, maybe updosing a bit this afternoon or tonight.

I'm looking forward to finding out what the next coffee will be from this roaster.

 
-Chris

LMWDP # 272
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SteveRhinehart
Senior Member
SteveRhinehart
Joined: 27 Dec 2009
Posts: 855
Location: Syracuse, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Skerton
Vac Pot: Yama Tabletop 3-cup
Drip: Chemex, CCD, Kalita Wave,...
Roaster: Flavorwave/Stir Crazy
Posted Sun Jun 19, 2011, 2:16pm
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters
 

Two more bags out this past week:
Costa Rica Lourdes de Naranjo washed and
El Salvador Santa Ana Siberia Estate
I haven't had much of a chance to try the El Salv - I brewed a cup, then sent it to the freezer while I finish the Costa. The Costa Rica, though, is quite delightful as a summer coffee. It's a juicy cup, lightly acidic, with a lasting melon background and some deeper dried fruit/raisin notes, and a touch of caramel at the front end. I've been brewing on my Beehouse so far, but I'm going to be experimenting through the week. I'm thinking it would work great on a vac pot to really bring out the depth of flavor, with a cleaner cup than a press.
The El Salvador I brewed was overextracted, so I won't comment on it yet. It was just a product of being rushed to get three pourover cups out at almost the same time, something I can never get right.

I will also say, from a design perspective, that Handsome does need to work on some consistency. All the tags that went out with coffees so far have been different layouts. It may be that they're experimenting, but in this very socially networked world we have, their brand is already out there to be seen, tags and bags included. So, design inconsistencies at this point are still confusing, and should generally be avoided; at least, that's what a marketing professional would say. There have been two bag designs thus far as well (seen here), which is...well, it's an interesting move to make. I like the logotype they have (logotype = words/typography meant to serve as a logo, in this case "Handsome Coffee Roasters"), and it would serve well as their main branding. However, secondary icons or logos are sortof a design love for me, so I can't help but smirk at the use of the cross logo they have as well. Still, the cross should be mainly secondary branding, never a replacement. I could see it on its own on, say, a mug, but it would do better if paired with the Handsome logotype. Rather, a mug with the cross on one side, and the logotype on the other would be a complete brand mechanism that completes the connection with Handsome. On a retail coffee bag, the cross can just go; the print space available should simply be used for their logotype, and encompass the clean design of their brand. The cross alone on the bag means little, and since it's far too early to create a connection between the image and the brand (like the Pepsi "smile/wave" emblem, or the Chevy cross), it requires the logotype to be present as well. I wonder if they need a brand coordinator...
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CoffeeRoastersClub
Senior Member
CoffeeRoastersClub
Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Posts: 4,480
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
Grinder: Breville Smartgrind,...
Vac Pot: Vintage Silex, Nicro...
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster...
Roaster: javaPRO-CRC AIR Fluid Bed...
Posted Sun Jun 19, 2011, 2:45pm
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters
 

SteveRhinehart Said:

I will also say, from a design perspective, that Handsome does need to work on some consistency. All the tags that went out with coffees so far have been different layouts. It may be that they're experimenting, but in this very socially networked world we have, their brand is already out there to be seen, tags and bags included. So, design inconsistencies at this point are still confusing, and should generally be avoided; at least, that's what a marketing professional would say. There have been two bag designs thus far as well (seen here), which is...well, it's an interesting move to make. I like the logotype they have (logotype = words/typography meant to serve as a logo, in this case "Handsome Coffee Roasters"), and it would serve well as their main branding. However, secondary icons or logos are sortof a design love for me, so I can't help but smirk at the use of the cross logo they have as well. Still, the cross should be mainly secondary branding, never a replacement. I could see it on its own on, say, a mug, but it would do better if paired with the Handsome logotype. Rather, a mug with the cross on one side, and the logotype on the other would be a complete brand mechanism that completes the connection with Handsome. On a retail coffee bag, the cross can just go; the print space available should simply be used for their logotype, and encompass the clean design of their brand. The cross alone on the bag means little, and since it's far too early to create a connection between the image and the brand (like the Pepsi "smile/wave" emblem, or the Chevy cross), it requires the logotype to be present as well. I wonder if they need a brand coordinator...

Posted June 19, 2011 link

When I first looked at their website, I came to believe that they called it "Handsome Coffee Roasters" because the 3 guys who owned it believed they were handsome.  Kind of conceited, but heck marketing is marketing.  Personally I thought they should have called it "Three Bearded Fellows Coffee Roasters"; at least that is what their "about us" page alludes to:  
http://handsomecoffee.com/team.html

OK,   Doesn't have the same ring as "Handsome Coffee Roasters"

But seriously, if a logo is what they are experimenting with, why not include the stencil image of the 3 bearded guys.  Makes sense marketing wise.

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

Bitcoin Merchant www.CoffeeRoastersClub.com     www.javaPRO-CRC.com
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DavidG
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DavidG
Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 63
Location: Central Ohio
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: cimbali M32 | pavoni pub1
Grinder: preciso | kyocera cm45 |...
Vac Pot: sunbeam c30c | yama +...
Drip: ccd | woodneck | chemex
Roaster: wbp1 | wepp | bm/hg
Posted Fri Jul 22, 2011, 6:08am
Subject: Re: Handsome Coffee Roasters
 

SteveRhinehart Said:

Two more bags out this past week:
Costa Rica Lourdes de Naranjo washed and
El Salvador Santa Ana Siberia Estate

Posted June 19, 2011 link

@SteveRhinehart, all the rest of us are jealous because you snagged a spot on the #FirstForty... and, I think, by extension in the #InvitedFifty for Wager 2.0.  That is, if I read Handsome's Tumblr page correctly.

Please keep up the great reporting.  We're sipping right along with you... vicariously!

Cheers,
DavidG
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