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How to be featured on Humans of Coffee

A while back I started a little project to get to know coffee people. People who work in coffee and people who just love coffee.

Since then it’s taken on a life of it’s own and is, to me, perhaps the most rewarding thing I’m doing on the manmakecoffee platform. I’ve been lucky enough to interview coffee industry luminaries, Michelin star chefs and people like you an me.

Here’s how you can be featured too.

First, here’s a checklist of things I need from you:

  • answer all of the questions below
  • send a few high resolution photographs of yourself
  • include any logos if relevant
  • include your social media links
  • include your photographers social media links
  • email everything to humansofcoffee@gmail.com

Before I show you the questions, here are some important considerations:

  • go beyond your comfort zone when answering
  • only do this exercise when you have enough time to give the answers proper thought – there is no deadline
  • dropbox & wetransfer work best to send high resolution images

Ready? Here are the questions:

  1. Who is [ insert your first and last name here ]?
  2. What is your favorite childhood memory?
  3. If you could have a do-over in life, what would you do differently?
  4. What do you feel most proud of?
  5. If you could keep only 3 possessions, what would they be and why?
  6. What do you want your tombstone to say?
  7. What is [ insert your passion project here ]?
  8. What is your favorite kind [ origin or brew method ] of coffee?
  9. In which coffee shops are we likely to bump into you?
  10. What does a perfect day look like?

Your interview will be featured here on manmakecoffee.com in the Humans of Coffee section, on the Humans of Coffee instagram page and in the stories of the manmakecoffee instagram page.

If you need some inspiration to get started, read the interviews already on the page. If you’d like to cut through the clutter, go to Humansof.coffee, a blog I created dedicated to the project.

I look forward to featuring you!

How I spent 48 hours in Amsterdam: Lot Sixty One

When I arrived at Lot Sixty One both the outside benches were occupied. By locals. Always a good sign. Two of them had dogs. An even better sign. I walked inside and perched myself at the bar.

The heat outside inspired an iced coffee. Which tasted like friendship. It had me at hello. Which is how Claye introduced himself. He told me about the shop, the coffee and himself. I liked all three.

And you will too.

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The meal I just had was so good I had to write a blog post about it

I hate malls. God I really hate malls.

But I happily headed to one of the biggest in Johannesburg to have this meal. You should too. I’ve had most of the menu. But this has to be my favourite. So here’s what I recommend you have at The Big Mouth.

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Find them on Nelson Mandela Square. There’s underground parking so you can avoid mall crowds.

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It’s a vibe.

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There’s a great selection of cocktails. Including really noteworthy non-alcoholic ones.

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Service is always on point. In a city where service is notoriously bad, this place is the exception.

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The bread is two things: complimentary and life-changing.

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Our staple order at any meal: sparkling water and enough lemon for four.

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My standard order, the S.U.V.

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I’m sure my wife would choose this lobster roll over me. And I’d understand.

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Ask them for this hot sauce. Ask them for this hot sauce. Did I mention you should ask them for this hot sauce?

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It’s a great spot for people watching.

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Let me know what your favourite thing on the menu is.

Humans of coffee: Ben Richardson

Who is Ben Richardson?

I am a California native and coffee enthusiast currently residing in Omaha, Nebraska, known as @drinkcoffeewithben on Instagram. I write for my own blog @ TheFilter.Coffee and have recently launched a “Limited Release” apparel shop there. Outside of coffee I am Active Duty Air Force and have been in the service for six years. I have been deployed three times to the Middle East in support of Operations FREEDOM’S SENTINEL and INHERENT RESOLVE as well as supported operations in various other regions all over the world.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

When I was around 4 years old, my family took me with my grandparents to Bodega Bay  for the first time. While we were there I remember building a sand castle with my dad and grandparents on the beach. It is my most vivid childhood memory because after building the castle, the tide began to come in and washed away the castle and others’ castles on the beach. My dad took me out in the water after that and I remember feeling afraid. A wave eventually came crashing into the shore and washed over my entire body and face. I remember saltwater being in my mouth and being really upset and wanting to go back on the shore. Today, I realize how small that wave actually was, but at the time it seemed so large in relation to my size as a 4 year old.

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If you could have a do-over in life, what would you do differently? 

I would eliminate the crippling fear I had as a child of what others thought of me. Fear in any form is one of the most debilitating challenges that can hold you back in life, and it’s all in your mind.

What do you feel most proud of?

I am proud to be the father to my beautiful and hilarious daughter. She is only 3, but she thinks the absolute world of me as her father. I hope I can be even half the person she sees me as.

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If you could keep only 3 possessions, what would they be and why?

My road bike, my phone, and my camera. My Bike would allow me to travel the world. My phone would allow me to communicate with the world. And my camera would allow me to capture the world around me.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

I haven’t really given this much thought before. At the end of the day to me a tombstone is just a relic. I would hope whatever it said, that it would speak to the legacy I leave behind as a father and friend, because at the end of the day, relationships matter more than business, accolades, or personal accomplishments.

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What is TheFilter.Coffee?

The Filter is my website dedicated to the specialty coffee community. Within it, you can find articles I’ve written during my travels across the U.S. and Globe visiting many many coffee shops as well as my newly release Limited Release Filter Coffee Apparel.

What is your favorite kind of coffee?

My favorite brew method currently is the Kalita Wave. I enjoy how consistent and flavorful of a cup this method produces.

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In which coffee shops are we likely to bump into you?

I know and visit all of the coffee shops in Omaha, but my daily go to is Beansmith Coffee Roasters here.

What does a perfect day look like?

A perfect day would consist of lots of delicious coffee on hand, a beach with extra clear water and mountains in the background and perfect weather in the 70s.

How I spent 48 hours in Amsterdam: Sweet Cup

It’s the driftwood, the succulents and the adorable basset hound that make you feel like you’re in Lisa Rooimans and Paul van Duuren’s living room. And that’s exactly what they were going for. A warm inviting space where customers would receive personal attention.

It’s not often you find a speciality coffee shop (and microroastery) that promotes pourovers over espresso-based drinks. Sweet Cup is that shop. And after I tasted my V60, which Lisa recommended I let cool before my first sip, I understood why.

If you’re in a rush, head buried in your phone, you’ll easily miss Sweet Cup’s discreet but beautiful storefront on Lange Leidsedwarsstraat. And you’ll completely miss one of the best coffee experiences in Amsterdam.

There’s a lesson in that.

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Humans of coffee: Maja Wisniewska

Who is Maja Wisniewska?

A girl with too many interests and not enough time to follow them all! From coffee (obviously!) through history of fashion, rap music, sports, ending on forensic sciences and criminal profiling.

I’m from Poland where I have done my BA in international relations and MA in cultural studies. I have moved to UK and currently I’m living in Southampton. At the moment I am not doing anything related to what I’ve studied which is so common in today’s world. Instead I’m focusing more and more on a career switch as I would love to start working in a coffee related environment.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

To be honest I feel like my brain ran out of memory space and has started replacing older memories with newer ones. Most of my earliest memories are from my teenage years. From really early years I remember playing with my cousin which has always led to massive fights so that we had to be separated from each other. That was until we realised we’re better sticking together against everyone else! I loved spending summer months at the Baltic seashore, watching my dad and his friends windsurfing or kitesurfing whilst I was just chilling out in the sun, reading books or going paddle boarding.

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If you could have a do-over in life, what would you do differently?

Surprisingly (to myself), I don’t think there would be much that I would like to change. I am happy with who I’ve become as a person and I believe everything that happened have contributed to that. Things that come to mind would be not giving up on learning Spanish as now I need to start all over again! And maybe say no to more drinks during certain nights out!

What do you feel most proud of?

I am really happy with my persistence in learning English as it has now become my primary language, I would say. Being bilingual is really tricky sometimes as the brain can’t handle it in certain moments and unwillingly I reply in the wrong language!

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If you could keep only 3 possessions, what would they be and why?

Oh, this is really not one of my strong sides as no matter how hard I try, I cannot for the life of me travel light. There are always two suitcases and a handbag.

I think I would keep my phone as it gives me access to almost everything and I could still take photos which I love doing. I would also keep my passport as I love travelling and can’t go a month without going somewhere. Third thing would be a pair of my all time favourite shoes – Adidas Superstar. I can walk hundred miles in them!

What do you want your tombstone to say?

I wouldn’t want a tombstone, this interview is going to be a proof that I’m choosing cremation or if possible, I would like to donate my organs for research. They say nothing disappears from the Web so here we are!

I came across a lovely practice here on the south coast of UK – people are engraving messages for their loved ones on benches overlooking the shore. Sometimes it’s a message from the family but it can also be what a person wanted written. I feel connected to the seas and oceans so that would be what I would want.

The quote? It would have to be paraprahsed in the past tense but the verse that comes to mind comes from an album curated by the legendary rapper Guru – Guru’s Jazzmatazz, Vol. 4 and it’s from the track called State of Clarity, written and performed by featured guest Common:

‘I believe in the route of soul before paper, no gold before labour, truth told with no glaziers’

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What is Beanadonna?

Beanadonna is a space that I’ve created to share and compare my journey and experiences with specialty coffee world.

I have always been drinking coffee ever since I was 12 years old. Funny thing, in Poland many people brew it in a way that only requires two things: grounded beans and water. You just pour the water and drink it after it cools down. Now it reminds me of everyday single cupping of a really bad coffee 😀

I got into speciality coffee around 3 years ago and it has become such a vital part of my life that I decided to share it with others. For long time now, my favourite social account was Instagram so it was an easy choice as I feel comfortable using it and I believe it is easy to get in touch with other people. Back in July when I started Beanadonna, I have posted few articles on the website but because I also have a day job it has become too much so now it’s an Instagram blog.

I’m sharing my experiences with different beans from roasteries all around Europe. I have learned so much in those few months and have also made friends just through that!  It had already opened few doors and allowed me to get an insiders peek into coffee retailers, roasteries and blogs so I can’t wait what 2018 is gonna bring!

What is your favorite kind of coffee?

My favourite brew method is definitely pour over coffee. I don’t think I could decide on one filter device though. What I love the most about coffee is the variety of things that you can change and adjust so that everytime you can brew something new! Beans, water, grind size, brew time, amount of water, amount of coffee, sifter. Tweak one of these and you get a different cup!

Origin wise, I am a huge fan of Ethiopian coffees, they are just amazing almost every time, sweet and fruity or tea-like and floral, I’m in!

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In which coffee shops are we likely to bump into you?

Here in Southampton I often pop in to local mini-chain Mettricks, especially to their Woolston Waterside branch. Close enough from Southampton there’s a lovely spot called Southsea Coffee Co where I go after walking at the beach.

I often go to London as it’s not far away and I have an unconditional love for this city. In there, I go to The Attendant in their victorian Fitzrovia branch, Workshop and Prufrock in Clerkenwell and Curators close to Oxford Circus. My newest finding is Redemption Roasters on Lamb Conduit St but I am going to London next week so check my profile for new spots!

What does a perfect day look like?

I spent hours thinking about the answer to this question but I realised its’s actually the simple things that matter the most. Perfect day always consists of great cup of coffee, sunshine, nice meal and wine! All that enjoyed with my partner and friends and then it doesn’t really matter where it is!

 

 

Here’s where to find the best coffee in Johannesburg: Father Coffee

There’s a Charles Bukowski quote that goes “We don’t even ask (for) happiness. Just a little less pain.” And that’s really all I ever ask for. I mean, if you had to ask me what I look for in a good restaurant, it’s only this: room temperature butter. Everything else will follow if there’s room temperature butter.

That’s why I like Father Coffee. The attention to detail. In their roasting. In their coffee. And in their spaces. One of the co-founders, Nicholas, said it best in a Humans of Coffee interview I did with him:

First and foremost we’re a coffee roastery and espresso bar. We’re hoping to improve the state of the coffee industry in South Africa by helping grow an informed and excited consumer. We put a huge amount of effort and consideration into everything we do, from sourcing, to roasting, to brewing and to our communications with our customers. Father Coffee is also an incredible place to hang out, whether you’re in Braamfontein or Rosebank.

If I had to choose between the two shops, I prefer the Rosebank one. There’s more space to sit, fibre wifi and perhaps the most important feature of all, it’s adjacent to a mall so that my wife can shop while I sip flat whites and google more vaguely relevant Charles Bukowski quotes.

Here are some shots of both shops so you can choose for yourself. First, the original Braamfontein location:

And now the new Rosebank location:

Here’s the best advice if you’re thinking about getting into speciality coffee

I had a serious bout of cabin fever a few nights back. I needed to get out. So I grabbed my camera and laptop and headed to a coffee shop. The plan was to blog.

When I ordered a cappuccino the barista asked me if I’d like to try their festive season blend. And after describing it to me I asked him if a cappuccino was the best way to appreciate the work that went into it. His eyes lit up and he asked if he could prepare it in a chemex. He was super excited about the idea.

I listened carefully as he described each step in the brewing process. Why he was wetting the filter paper. Why he chose the grind size he did. Why he let the coffee bloom. Why the pour was a slow, circular exercise. Why he was watching the timer. And why he really appreciated me giving him the chance to brew me a chemex.

We tasted the coffee together. He complimented my slurp. We talked about the tasting notes. Then he let me go.

I enjoyed everything about that experience. I enjoyed that he was so young. I enjoyed that he was so genuinely excited about talking me through the brewing process. I really enjoyed the coffee. And I enjoyed making a new friend.

That’s the best advice I can give you if you’re considering getting into speciality coffee. Embrace the learning. Ask questions. Be inquisitive.

Yes, sometimes you’ll meet a barista for whom the job is only a job. He won’t be interested in giving you an education. But sometimes you’ll meet Gusty. And he’ll inspire you to learn more.

Go meet your Gusty.

 

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This is my favourite coffee shop in Paris

I’ve been to Paris a few times now. Enough to not need to climb the Eiffel Tower. Enough to not need to see the Mona Lisa. Enough to not need to eat a Nutella crepe. Enough to have favourite coffee shop.

When I first popped into Fragments I had to wait for a seat to open up. I grabbed a take away coffee and waited outside. The notes of caramel and nuts in my flat white were as delicious as the notes of music coming from the big box speakers on the floor.

I finished that cup at a table next to the bar. And before I ordered another, I had fallen in love. As one does in Paris.

It’s not that the coffee was excellent. Which it was. It’s not that the service was thoughtful. Which it was. I fell in love with Fragments for the very same reason I fell in love with my wife. She’s a young lady with an old soul.

Trying to capture everything that Fragments is with a photograph would be like trying to capture everything my wife is with the same. But let me try anyway…

 

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FAQ

How do I get featured on your instagram page?

Either tag me in your shot, or use the hashtag #manmakecoffee. See my feed for the kind of shots I repost. But whatever you do, don’t take credit for someone else’s work.

Where are you from?

I’m South African. I was born in Cape Town and now live in Johannesburg.

Do you have followers only in South Africa?

I have followers from 177 of the 196 countries in the world. The top 5 countries are the United States, Indonesia, India, Malaysia & Australia. Contact me for more detail.

I’d like to send you something. Where should I send it?

Thank you! I’m based in South Africa so please courier the item(s). South Africa’s postal system is notoriously slow. Think 3 months. Contact me for the address.

What are your advertising rates?

You may advertise on my blog and my instagram page. Contact me for details.