There’s a backstory here I have to tell. My Instagram account is a busy one. I get hundreds of submissions every day from folks who want to be featured. They mostly submit shots of coffee. But every so often someone will tag a really great shot of a barista at work. And when I post those they get a fair amount of likes.
Three weeks ago I posted this shot by Boston based photographer, Julie Ciollo. It’s not the first time I featured her work – she’s an very talented photographer. All the photography for this blog post is by Julie, for example. Check out her out on Instagram.
The shot is of her friend, barista, Greg Mucci.
And my Instagram lit up. This shot got so much attention. In fact, more attention than any other barista shot I had posted. 3,056 likes. 53 comments.
Here are some:
Clearly my followers wanted to know more. So through the magic of social media, within 24 hours Greg and I were talking about his story, his passions and his relationship status.
And today I present you with his Humans of Coffee interview.
Who is Greg Mucci?
Greg Mucci is a barista and film reviewer who finds that life is much more enjoyable when it’s spent drinking great coffee with people that he loves, while jumping in and out of movies with reckless abandonment.
What is your best childhood memory?
My best childhood memory is when I was 8 years old, and I had my friend over for the night. My dad brought home a VHS from a co-worker, it’s dark and ominous shape still lingering in the recesses of my mind.
Upon peeling our eyes from the screen, its credits rolling, we went upstairs to bed. An hour later, my friend awoke crying, wanting to go home. After I managed to fall back asleep, I woke up bawling my eyes out from a terrifying nightmare.
For the next 6 years, I would check the behind the shower curtain before using a bathroom. This was the first time the true power of cinema was felt.
This was the first time I saw Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.
If you had the chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?
I’ve thought about which part of my life I would do over again often, and I always seem to linger on the time in my life that I moved from Boston to Richmond, Virginia for a girl. However, I wouldn’t re-do that for the world, despite dropping out of Northeastern to be closer to her. Being with her helped create a sincere side that helped me realize what I wanted, besides her being a great person. So absolutely nothing.
What do you feel most proud of?
I feel most proud of the opportunities presented to me throughout my life; some embraced while a lot unfortunately squandered. Ultimately I’m proud of those that have given me the opportunities to succeed, as my achievements have never been a singular accomplishment. So thank you to everyone that has believed in me more than I ever have.
If you could keep only 3 possessions, what would they be and why?
If I could only keep three possessions, I would have to say my copy of Stephen King’s The Shining, my teddy bear Cookie, and a framed illustration of Frankenstein’s monster. All of these are much more than mere possessions; they are memories and stories, visions and moments that I’ll always have to reflect on. The Shining was my first ever Stephen King novel, which I read when I was in the 5th grade, and it will always remind me of my family, and a trip we took to Oregon where we stayed at the Timberline Lodge (used as the exterior in the film). My teddy bear Cookie is pretty much my oldest friend, so naturally he’d come along for the next adventure in my life. Last is a gift I received from a friend over a year ago, a friend who I’ve since had a falling out with, yet remains in my heart no matter what. I will say that I miss her dearly.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
“It’s been a good life, friends. Roll credits.”
What is www.reelbrew.tumblr.com?
ReelBrew is a moniker I adopted when I first got into coffee years ago, melding my adoration for film and coffee into one name. Since then, ReelBrew has turned into the name of my tumblr where I write about films, be it critical or analytical. Cinema was my first and longest love, and writing/talking about it is something I wish to move into, and as of late I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to write for Harvard’s Brattle Theatre and their Film Notes. It’s another thing I’m extremely proud of that I am only able to do because of others. Also, I’m working on a strictly horror film site called Hungry, Hungry Horror, so stay tuned for that!
What’s your favorite brew method?
My favorite kind of brew method is probably the Chemex, which produces a really clean and balanced cup. It’s also marries that convivial and communal aspect wonderfully, as I tend to use it only when I’m drinking with others. The aeropress is my go-to when I’m making a single cup, as it’s unbelievably versatile in its methods.
In which coffee shops are we most likely to bump into you?
You are most likely to bump into me at Render Coffee in the South End, which is owned by a really great team, Chris Dadey and his wife Allie. I also frequent 3 Little Figs in Somerville, MA which bakes some of the most delicious treats while bringing in some really solid roasters from around the country. However, you will most likely bump into me at Cafe Luna where I work, across the river in Cambridge, serving Verve from Santa Cruz and 40 Weight from upstate New York.
What does a perfect day look like?
A perfect day finds me waking up early and heading to the gym, as I frequently battle depression, so it’s a pretty important piece to my day that I prefer embracing early. I would then come home and enjoy a cup of coffee (hopefully with my girlfriend if she has the day off) while I wrote, listening to a soundtrack as my energy came back. Later I might bike out to a shop and read, though I’m more than content to stay in; I’ll never get tired of staying in with a movie, as I find them to be the greatest forms of escapism and art. I might throw an outdoor run in there however, for good exhaustive measures.
You can follow Greg on Instagram here