Bah, humbug. Is there anywhere to get a latte around here without all the jingle bells and whistles? Blacktop Coffee, the new project of former Handsome Coffee Roasters founder Tyler Wells, has a no-fuss menu that’s exceptional year-round. Plus, it’s got a cozy spot in the tight-knit community of the Arts District, so you’ll be able to feel the holiday spirit without having to drink it.
If you prefer your coffee black and icy (like, perhaps, the coal you were considering gifting this year), their cold brew is arguably the city’s best. Their tap uses a nitrogen system to aerate each glass for a full, nuanced flavor. It’s the quality and process you’d anticipate from the founder of Handsome, though Blacktop is less rigid—adding milk and sugar is allowed.
But if you’re feeling festive, their chai is a must. The fiery blend of spices, maple syrup, and steamed milk is intrinsically Christmasy, like what you might expect from eggnog if eggnog was cool and foreign and didn’t need alcohol to have a good time.
Looking to defrost a little more? Their mochas are made with tabs of solid chocolate, and are rich, drinkable, and not so sweet that you’d think Buddy the Elf got a day job as a barista.
So skip the line and the artificial Christmas tree at the local corporate coffee house and stop by Blacktop. Maybe skip the lumps of coal, too—your friends and family will thank you if they find a bag or two of artisanal coffee beans in their stocking instead.