Moving east, trying to look for a coffee shop a little closer to home, I found a little more desperation in my endeavors. The selection of cafe’s quickly dwindles as you enter the Fraser Valley, and, the few selection you do have, have hours that are not entirely friendly to a nomadic, researching night-owl like myself. But, amidst the darkness, there was a single espresso joint in old Abbotsford with reasonable weekend hours: Oldhand Coffee.
One of the only coffee places open on a Sunday for a reasonable amount of time, this little cafe is a cute, minimalistic, rustic-esque shop with plenty free parking around. However, while it might be an easy place to visit, it may be difficult to find a seat, specifically on a sunday. While the new location is quite a bit bigger than their old space, the seating just isn’t efficiently used. This isn’t any knock on the establishment though because they do have only a 25 occupancy maximum for the entire space.
Even so, I oddly always felt cramped working in Oldhand. I have been in establishments with a much smaller square footage, but still felt I had plenty of room around me. It could be a consequence of the small tables, busy time, and a lack of wall outlets, but I felt that someone or something was always too close to me.
No Espresso Flavor to Espresso Flavor Scale
Hot Chocolate Flavor to Cocoa Flavor Scale
Ignoring the feeling like someone’s looking over my shoulder, the barista’s welcomingly bring your beverage to your table after ordering; the mocha that I know is the closest the Fraser Valley has gotten to my ideal mocha. The chocolate does not overpower the espresso, allowing the espresso to cut through the chocolate. The flavor may not be as bold as I would prefer, but I will take what I can get, as even this is a rare commodity. On the other hand, the flavor of the chocolate feels like a 50/50 balanced split between a hot-chocolate and an authentic cocoa flavor. The upside to Oldhand Coffee’s mocha blend is that it lacks any bitterness; there is no bitter flavor from the espresso or cocoa.
Oldhand is easily the best cafe that I have tried in the Fraser Valley. Decades Coffee Shop, Sumas Mountain Coffee, nor (ew) Starbucks hold any ground next to Oldhand’s mocha blend. This is the likely why it is always busy when I have spent an afternoon at Oldhand, but it’s always worth it… spatial discomfort and all.
Amendment: I have recently re-visited Oldhand several times since writing this original blog due to its distance to my home and above-average Mocha. Due to Oldhand’s tables, capacity issues, and popularity, it is usually a luck-of-the-draw if you get a comfortable, outlet accessible seat. So far, I have not had any issues, but I have also been extremely lucky in finding a seat each of my half-dozen visits.