It’s a bitter cold January morning. The sky is gray, slightly ominous even. In an empty parking lot off N. Decatur Road in Atlanta sits a rattletrap, one of those old VW vans, a Westfalia the perfect junky color of orange rust, just like a jacket I had back in the ’70s. Three guys are hanging out inside the crowded van, puffs of smoke (or is it steam?) appearing every few minutes. Surely they’re up to no good, right?
Well, turns out, they are up to good. That VW Westfalia is packed with a nice old La Marzocco churning out espresso from Intelligentsia Black Cat beans (one of my favorites). Jordan and Dale and friends are staked out in the parking lot, serving up stealthy shots of espresso while their nearby coffee shop awaits the slow progress of city inspectors. You can feel their eagerness, anticipation, to graduate from the tight confines of the Westfalia (christened “Rattletrap Coffee“), parked catty-corner to Emory, into the full time space that used to be occupied by Octane Emory (and Method before that). The new spot will be named Steady Hand, which surely they are perfecting as they stretch to pour a perfect shot of espresso inside that little van. Despite the turnover from Method to Octane to Steady Hand, this space is a proven spot for a neighborhood coffee joint, and Jordan and Dale’s experience with Method previously has paved the way for some improvements that will make the new shop even better. The space is almost unrecognizable from Method days, in fact, as they’ve opened up a wall of windows and reshaped the counter to allow more seating and light. And these guys are clearly coffee addicts/enthusiasts/geeks – they are dedicated to making a great cup for folks who have figured out that they can do (much) better than the Starbucks just a few doors down.
Once Steady Hand is open, look for the Rattletrap around town as a mobile dispatch of deliciousness, but in the meantime, go hang out in the parking lot around the old VW van, and bring your best ’70s jacket to keep warm.
Rattletrap Coffee / Steady Hand Pour House
1593 N. Decatur Rd.