CarloM Senior Member Joined: 1 Apr 2013 Posts: 284 Location: Los Angeles Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Vetrano V2B Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Type A, SJ... Drip: Toddy
Posted Mon Aug 12, 2013, 8:04am Subject: Santa Barbara: The French Press and Handlebar Coffee Roasters review
Just wanted to give a heads-up to my fellow CG'ers who may live in/near or travel to Santa Barbara, CA often. For many years I went there regularly (several times a year) and could only find "the chains". It's been about 2 years since my last visit, but Sunday I went back for the first time in a while and decided to really explore the city again. I came across two fantastic, boutique espresso shops:
The French Press 1101 State Street
Handlebar Coffee Roasters 128 E Canon Perdido
I can give both the unequivocal two thumbs up. Both give Intelligentsia, Handsome, Luxxe, etc. a run for their money. Both use great beans (FP uses Verve I believe, and Handlebar roasts their own in-store). Both have a dedication to the craft that one would expect and hope for. Both gave fantastic service and friendly smiles. Both had baristas that were more than happy to discuss the craft with you. Both made smooth lattes which contained enough flavor and were smooth enough that this sugar-fiend didn't need to add any :)
I'm sure there are others around the city. FP has been open about 4 years and Handlebar I think about a year or so. These are relatively new establishments but it shows that good coffee can be had in S.B.
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