Month: August 2018

Humans of coffee: Andrew Sinclair

Who is Andrew Sinclair? I’m Andrew and I run Mad Lab Coffee in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. I have insomnia but I don’t lose sleep over it. I’ve been a touring musician (like every other coffee person it seems), a 5 year Tesla Motors employee (Elon is my homeboy), and at one point in my life a Dean Martin impersonator for cruise ships (photos exist but I will never share them. I was an ugly Dean Martin). My life is vibrant like the ugly shirts I wear that my wife hates. What is your favorite childhood memory?  So I actually grew up in a 40 piece banjo band in Houston Texas called the Jubilee Banjo Band. I know, random. There was a day that me and my buddy were hired out for a gig, and we ended up playing at ZZ Tops ranch for their Christmas party. We played music with the guys and talked all night about music, gear, and life stories. I was 16 at the time so it was really a rad experience to meet a hero very randomly. If you …

What do you do when your body doesn’t agree with coffee?

Coffee is a peculiar thing. Some love it, some hate it. Some start their day with it, others can’t make it through a day without it.  It can be cheap and incredibly unpleasant or it could be made in a way that resembles art.  For some it is all about the brewing method, for others it is all about the ratio between milk and espresso. No matter what your relationship with coffee is, how and when you drink it, what roast, whether it is organic or fair trade — we all have one thing in common when we sip away on that cup. It’s the intake of caffeine.  I am no coffee connoisseur, but I would say that I certainly know a good coffee from a bad one and I prefer to have good ones (to be precise, a flat white, medium roast, organic if possible, no sugar). When my options aren’t good, I opt out instead and when my options are good, I’ll walk an extra mile for it. I love coffee for the …

Humans of coffee: Katya Katkova

Who is Katya Katkova? A marketer turned a barista and then a coffee-shop owner turned a coffee-obsessed blogger. Also one of those thirty something millennials who can’t function without a new project in mind. What is your favourite childhood memory? Once my dad was teaching me to ride a bicycle. I couldn’t keep the balance and he would support me holding the boot. As I was focusing on pedalling suddenly realised that I’m riding on my own and my dad is far behind. I will always remember that amazing feeling of euphoria mixed with a reverent fear! If you could have a do-over in life, what would you do differently? I’d definitely move to London much earlier. This is my happy place and I don’t understand how I lived without these messy streets, polluted capital air and weekend markets in my early twenties. What do you feel most proud of? I would love to think (and be proud of) that I played my part in gentrification of East London. Although it’s a mixed feelings term …

Humans of coffee: Ashley Els

Who is Ashley Els? I really struggled with this question – it’s something that I’ve been wrestling with for a while now. It’s easy to define ourselves by what we do and what we have. The culture of today tells us this and leads us to neglect the essence of who we truly are at our core, down at the fibres that we have been woven together with. I recently have discovered who I am and will forever continue to do so… I am a teacher, a lover of all things coffee, an amateur writer of sorts, lover of people but above all a son of my loving Father. What is your best childhood memory? Definitely travelling down to my grandparents, who lived in Outeniqua Strand (a beautiful stretch of the Garden Route), early in December. I’d go before the rest of my family and spend time with my precious Nanna. We’d bake, cook, chat, go to the beach and catch up. A week or so later the rest of the family would arrive. I remember just sitting …