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Our Story

A lifetime of memories and experiences that we promise will be reflected in the energy that we bring to handlebar coffee.

As former professional cyclists, two wheels paved the way to many great opportunities. From racing in Europe, meeting each other, to arriving in Santa Barbara and calling it home. We switched gears in 2011 and directed our focus to roasting some of the best coffees in the world and offering them to you. Our goal is to link our appreciation for the coffee farmers to you, through each fresh roasted bag.

“We were fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue our dreams and race at a world class level. As a result, we have a lifetime of memories and experiences that we promise will be reflected in the energy that we bring to handlebar coffee,” the couple explains. Their ultimate goal as micro-roasters is to provide an extraordinary coffee experience that’s environmentally conscientious and undeniably delicious.

Aaron and Kim Olsen - Handlebar Coffee Roasters

“Our passion for coffee developed over the years as we found ourselves soaking up culture and catching up with friends in cafes all over the world.” They spent years as professional cyclists, participating in races all over Europe, where Anderson won the 2009 Route de France Féminine, the women’s version of the Tour de France.

The couple discovered Santa Barbara while riding in the California Amgen Tour and moved here in 2008. Olson and Anderson purchased a German-built coffee roaster, which they’ve named “Hercules,” and started roasting beans. The café and roasting company opened in November, 2011 on East Canon Perdido Street. Handlebar Coffee is a welcome addition to the area that has become a popular destination for foodies.

Our neighbors are top rated restaurant Julienne, Three Pickles Deli, C'est Cheese, the downtown Post Office and across the street, the oldest part of town, The Presidio State Park, the oldest part of Santa Barbara the Spanish settled back in 1782.

The couple attended the American Coffee & Barista School in Portland, Oregon (Olson’s hometown), gaining in-depth knowledge about specialty coffee and latte art. Also available are pastries from Renaud’s Patisserie, bagels from the I.V. Bagel Café, Smith Teas and local company Twenty-Four Blackbirds Chocolates for hot chocolate and mochas.

Handlebar roasts 2-3 times weekly, with beans purchased from Central & South America, as well as Africa.