April 24, 2012
Not too long ago, Handsome Coffee Roasters opened their doors in Downtown LA, bringing with them a talented team of baristas from some of the nation’s top coffee spots. Handsome has done a great branding job, projecting who they are and what they’re about through the use of packaging design, web design, and the opening of their new shop on Mateo Street, highlighted by this beautiful video. It should come as no surprise that when hiring baristas for their storefront, they would be hiring the best.
One of these talented baristas is Christopher “Nicely Abel” Alameda, who has a specialty coffee resume that dates back to 2005 at Espresso Vivace in Seattle, Washington, then on to Intelligentsia Venice.
It’s obvious that Nicely has talent when it comes to pouring latte art – just check out his Instagram feed - but something that’s clear to anyone who has met him or follows him on social media, is that he has a humble generosity that’s obvious and contagious. Seems like Handsome struck gold when they brought him on board.
He’s won multiple World Latte Art Championships at Coffee Fest, and has been knocking down drinks and making people happy at Handsome since they opened their doors. A couple months back, through a twitter interaction, we sparked the idea of a possible collaboration on a tattoo design. To be honest, it was quite humbling to even be considered for this task.
Drawing inspiration from Nicely himself, I tried to capture some places that are important to him, and came up with a design idea using the following phrase:
“NY State of Mind, NW Love, Cali State of Shine.”
I have no idea if this will actually end up as ink on skin, but it was a fun project to work on. Thanks to Nicely for the idea and for being so, well, nice.