Cafes canâ€™t be underestimated. In them, addictions are formed, friendships flourish, knowledge is acquired, and skills are mastered. From the charming lad in Hackney to the Stockholm latte pappas, we dedicate this magazine to all of you that welcomed and shared with us your world â€” over a cup of coffee or something stronger. This issue is an ode to elsewhere, to telling the stories of those that inspire us, and to our main funding source who called us weird.
Illustrations: LĂŠa Kichler
The Plant That Heals May Also Poison, 1974, enamel and glitter on wood and celastic, five light bulbs. FWA"—"Lieve Van Gorp Foundation for Women Artists. © Estate of Ree Morton
Ree Morton: The Plant That Heals May Also Poison SEP 14–DEC 28, 2018
ICA is always Free. For All. Free admission is courtesy of Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman. ICA was recognized as part of the inaugural Sotheby’s Prize with a commendation that applauds the breadth and depth of ambitious exhibition research for Ree Morton: The Plant That Heals May Also Poison. Support for Ree Morton: The Plant That Heals May Also Poison has been provided by The Inchworm Fund.
icaphila.org Free. For All.
his year saw many that make this magazine move to and through a lot of unfamiliar settings. As I traveled, I had the best coﬀee of my life. To the barista at Café STOR in Warsaw: your pourover blew my palette to bits in the best way. The opposite was also true. Latvian cruise ships have great cover bands and wine on tap, but dole out a dreadful drip. Opting for a breakfast of Coca-Cola and porridge is a choice I’d rather not make again. I continue to travel through coﬀee thanks to our wonderful contributors — Ireland’s windy isles, sunny brutalist Belgrade, Collegetown USA, the infinitely adjective-able Buenos Aires, among others. That is the best part of making a magazine about coffee: coﬀee is everywhere. I am a junior in college, and this is the sophomore issue of Mugshot. In other words, it is two and I am three. It is nipping at my heels. I outpace it, but just barely. Perhaps one day it will pass me. I hope so. Yours always,
P.S. If there is anyone who reads this who can put me in touch with Chad Johnson (née Ochocinco), I can’t stress enough how much I would appreciate it as he has yet to respond to my DMs. His evangelical passion for Starbucks ignited my love of coffee and I would love nothing more than to speak with him for Mugshot.
still don’t love coﬀee. I bring soy milk to Alex’s apartment to cut his meticulously brewed pourovers. I am weary of black coﬀee and those who claim to enjoy it. I still love who I’ve met through coﬀee. This past summer, I worked in a cafe on Drejø, an island in Denmark with a population of sixty. In return for serving cake and coﬀee, my room and meals were free. I didn’t think much about that upcoming stint as a barista until I hopped oﬀ the Højestene ferry and set foot on Drejø. With a dead phone and twenty minutes of daylight left, I walked down the sole road from the harbor, hoping to recognize the cafe I was to work in. A white barn and connecting house with blue trim, a thatched roof, and pink roses that looked like the photos from the job posting online. I knocked. No one answered. I figured that if I couldn’t find my boss, Beth1, I could spend a night outside. Before pitching camp, I went for a walk. I stumbled upon the only other commercial entity on Drejø — a take-out restaurant within a grocery store. Two drunk Danes were eating burgers. Upon opening my mouth to ask if they knew Beth, a middle-aged woman appeared and wordlessly took me by the hands to what I later learned was Beth’s cottage. Upon entering her cottage, Beth served me Drejø coﬀee: Ingredients: - One cup of drip coﬀee - One shot of whiskey - Bailey’s, to taste Instructions: Make this for the newest and oldest of friends at any hour. It is always acceptable to be drinking Drejø coffee. You can’t make this stuﬀ up,
Beth takes her coﬀee with cream — case and point! 1
Our Team Paul Asselin Hometown: Paris, France Position: Photographer Your mugshot is being taken. What did you get arrested for: Bringing in foreign cheese
Pearl Banjurtrungkajorn Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand Position: Photographer How many Edison lightbulbs is too many Edison lightbulbs to have in a cafe: www.consultinginterview.com/guesstimates/ Nadira Berman Hometown: Berkeley, CA Position: Photographer If you could have coffee with one person (living or dead), who would it be: Yara Shahidi Melanie Bow Hometown: Darien, CT Position: Writer If you could have coffee with one person (living or dead), who would it be: Condon Bush, Founder of Bush’s Original Baked Beans (living), or his dog (dead) Holden Caplan Hometown: York, PA Position: Writer How many Edison lightbulbs is too many Edison lightbulbs to have in a cafe: Any, Tesla >>> Edison Lea Eisenstein Hometown: Sea Cliff, NY Position: Illustrator Coffee is a(n) ____ on the Myers-Briggs type indicator: Oh, sweetie, coffee is too good for Myers-Briggs
Alex Fisher Hometown: Buﬀalo, NY Position: Founding Editor Black coﬀee tastes like ____: what a Hieronymous Bosch painting looks like Scott Fisher Hometown: Red Oak, NC Position: Illustrator Your mugshot is being taken. What did you get arrested for: Creative parking Daniel Fradin Hometown: Los Angeles, CA Position: Writer, Photographer, Outfield Best accompaniment to a cup of coﬀee: Hope, hope is always important John Holmes Hometown: Erie, PA Position: Poet Laureate Coﬀee is a ____ major: Coﬀee dropped out of Columbia to form Vampire Weekend Léa Kichler Hometown: Chicago, IL Position: Illustrator Twenty years in the future, cafes will have ____: massage chairs (but we shouldn’t have to wait twenty years for that, come on!) Lori Kim Hometown: Edison, NJ Position: Copy Editor, moral supporter Your mugshot is being taken. What did you get arrested for: Public intox tbh Colin Lodewick Hometown: Woodbridge, CT Position: Writer Black coﬀee tastes like ____: Something I’ve never tried Bobby Lundquist Hometown: Philly Philly Position: Writer, Photographer Black coﬀee tastes like ____: Hot, groundup seed soup
Eric Ma Hometown: Cleveland, OH Position: Writer My first coﬀee was a ____ at ____: drip coﬀee, Toyota car dealership (sad!) Johanna Matt-Navarro Hometown: San Diego, CA Position: Writer My first coﬀee was a ____ at ____: Pumpkin spice, Starbucks (this is actually not a joke, I think I was customer zero when I was like ten) Abigail McGuckin Hometown: Radnor, PA Position: Founding Editor Twenty years in the future, cafes will have ____: designated alcoves for Tinder meetups Prakash Mishra Hometown: Waxhaw, NC Position: Bartender Black coﬀee tastes like ____: lemon pledge Nick Newberg Hometown: Los Angeles, CA Position: House DJ, Writer Twenty years in the future, cafes will have ____: VR hipsters and robot bartenders— the old school places will still use Square Chloe Onbargi Hometown: Darien, CT Position: Illustrator If you could have coﬀee with one person (living or dead), who would it be: Edison, pre-bulb
Naomi Pohl Hometown: Morristown, NJ Position: Writer, Photographer Black coﬀee tastes like ____: the only kind I drink Emma Louise Rixhon Hometown: London, England Position: Writer Favorite celebrity mugshot: Jeremy Meeks Kyle Rosenbluth Hometown: Port Washington, NY Position: Photographer Black coﬀee tastes like ____: nuts and beans Charlie Sosnick Hometown: New Canaan, CT Position: Writer Your mugshot is being taken. What did you get arrested for: Protesting in support of exotic pet decriminalization Nikola Strbac Hometown: Belgrade, Serbia Position: Writer, Photographer If you could have coﬀee with one person (living or dead), who would it be: Vladimir Nabokov Vlad Volochai Hometown: Kyiv, Ukraine Position: Photographer Coﬀee is a ____ major: Chess
Edward Park Hometown: Bellevue, WA Position: Copy Editor Your mugshot is being taken. What did you get arrested for: My outfits in high school Christina Piasecki Hometown: The sweet, sweet burbs of PHL Position: Photographer Give me coﬀee, or give me ____!: kombucha, because I am a probiotic addicted trash lady Sofie Præstgaard Hometown: Carlisle, PA Position: Design Director Favorite celebrity mugshot: Lindsay Lohan, July 2007
Illustration: Lea Eisenstein 7
Table of Contents Foreword :
Letter from the Editors :
Contributor List :
Spilling Coﬀee on Purpose with Tyler Hays :
Zona Cafetera :
Is Water the New Coﬀee? and Other Questions with Saeed Ferguson :
Eating the Clouds and Drinking the Sky at Alma :
Seven Coﬀees in Ireland :
Aﬀogato Politics and Paying it Forward with Stephanie Reitano :
To Many More Cold Brews :
Sin Tiempo :
Love Letter to The Sugar Bowl :
On Quaker Values and Chicken Strips with Zach Morris and Nick Bayer :
The Young Professional’s Guide to Microdosing :
Kyiv is the Capital of Ukraine :
Clark Park People :
Traces of activity at the Bellevue Cafe in Vasastan
Spilling Coﬀee on Purpose with Tyler Hays Interview: Nick Newberg Photography: Paul Asselin
hat does Tyler Hays do? He dyes. He ferments. He paints. He sands. He fires. He tans. He cooks. He hires. He says, “Yes.” He says, “Let’s try this.” He says, “Let’s try that.” And then he passes along the results of those actions through his Bury Your Dead Downwind (BDDW) and M. Crow & Co. outposts in New York, Milan, and Lostine, Oregon. We meet with Tyler at his mammoth studio in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood. Our conversation starts with ceramics and ends with him posting an Instagram of a NSFW muppet party.
You are drinking out of a paper cup today. I lose everything, so they stopped letting me use the nice ceramic ones. You saw how crazy this place is. It’s hard to explain... it’s like a 150,000 square feet. You saw like a third of it. I’ll be drinking and talking and walking and I’ll leave my cup somewhere, so they told me I was going to start using paper. At home, I use the really nice thin wall one. When you pour coffee into a thin-walled mug there is less thermal mass to take the heat out, so it stays hotter. You drink wine out of a cut rim because it tastes better — the same goes with coffee. On our mugs, we have a pinched edge. A big fat one doesn’t roll off the same. It’s why Coke out of a can tastes better than Coke out of a bottle. It’s the way it rolls off and gets oxygen and hits your tastebuds immediately. I’m not a coffee snob, but if you’re gonna do it, you should do it right. Even on our denim, I like a selvedge edge. I love that natural edge on things. Sticking to the mugs, how did you go about discovering clay on your property? I bought my son a backhoe from the 1960s from a junkyard for his 3rd birthday as a bit of a joke, because he was into construction equipment. It was going to be scrapped, but we got it running. So then we started digging; we were doing a little geothermal project, and we got down there. It was all very serendipitous; we just dug it out and plugged in the kiln and started doing ceramics! Joe, who was working in furniture, fired it and determined it was good stoneware. You know, it’s not that hard to find good clay. You just usually need to put some additives in it. There’s pretty much clay everywhere. I love the idea of just digging it outside; it’s amazing to me that more people don’t do it. It’s kinda becoming a thing — if you hashtag “wild clay” on Instagram, there are people doing it. No one used to dig wild clay, you would just buy clay at the store. I love finding where it happens. We are looking at cutting some of our own stone from the hillside. My wife and I panned gold for our wedding rings. That kinda stuff. I love where it comes from — the sources of stuff. If we could grow coffee beans, I would grow them out here. Can you tell us more about how you make your mugs?
We’re not afraid of slip casting or hand building or whatever. We do a couple different lines. With the M. Crow out in Oregon, we’re building a ceramic studio. We want it to be more of a factory where we can make in scale. Then it can effectively be about job creation and economic development. In Philly, we have a limited supply of clay, so it’s more artisanal and expensive. We do whatever it takes to pay people the best. Do you think the BDDW mugs you make are precious? Or is their function more utilitarian? I think both. They’re expensive and precious and there’s nothing sexier than using something that might break. But, they have purpose; you’re not going to go through hundreds in your lifetime. They’re thin and aren’t meant to be washed. They get fissure cracks. They’re definitely not meant to be used if you’re anal, but they’re definitely meant to be used if you’re like me. I once bought a new car with leather seats. When I went to put something in the back it put a little tear in the leather, which made me happy. I like that about using stuff. Whatever it is. Even nice stuff. When my first Giorgio Armani sweater that I got in the 80s started to rip, I was like, “I love it!” The sleeves were falling off, and I loved it. I love the idea of using the shit out of stuff. I do believe that most things should be used, even if they’re precious. In what setting do your mugs thrive? I’ve always imagined a coffee shop that has everything made with local clay dug from underneath the coffee shop. I would love to do that. To actually buy your coffee in a homemade mug that’s hand-painted. To serve a $2 dollar cup of coffee in a $150 mug, that’s what I fantasize about. I have people that collect them in a glass case and never touch them. Some people use them. I’m not sentimental. No matter where they fucking go, somebody paid for them and I can keep paying my people to do them. Why erotic imagery on a mug? (ed. note: Tyler’s sub-line of XXX ceramics has become [in]famous and enjoys a cult-like following) Why not? I now have four artists working for me. They are full-time painting on stuff from the puzzles to the ceram-
ics, and they’re all super talented. There’s a fine line between having an artist work for you and painting your stuff without making them really bored. It’s fun to collaborate and everybody has a great sense of humor, so we’ll be painting this one thing and then pretty soon you turn over the mug and you’ll see some guy fuckin’ a pig. And with the coffee cup as the object for that, it gets kinda crazy — there is all sorts of stuff that you can cram in as imagery. So, why not? Some people will write to us when they come across the ‘XXX’ on the website and tell us they think we’ve been hacked. It’s fun. It’s a secret little layer for people that spend the time to find it. Is it hard to see your designs leave the studio or are you happy to see them take on a life of their own? Super happy. I used to be sentimental as a kid. I am a painter originally, and it’s still my main passion. I used to be so stuck on how I couldn’t let a work go to the point where I couldn’t even finish. Once I figured out how to not be, I just throw them in the river and let them float down. I don’t let myself care. Not in a mass amount of way, but it means the more stuff I can get out there in the world. If I’m making beautiful things, they aren’t meant for just me to enjoy. Thinking about your general store in Lostine, your puzzles, your ceramics, your everything — what decade does your work belong to and from where does it come? I do a lot of junk shopping and collect a lot of stuff that I don’t necessarily know or obsess over who made it. I mean warehouses worth. I like stuff from all eras from America. I’m American. I grew up in super rural Oregon… runnin’ the trapline. I would open fur trapping magazines as a kid and it was as American as you could get in the 70s. That was my youth. This jacket I’m wearing is stretch from the 80s. It must have been some enormous fat guy’s. It’s all worn out. I absolutely love it. I grew up around rednecks and hunters and real Americana. Old pickups from the 70s. I collect all that stuff and just obsess over it. You accidentally spill coffee on one of your handmade garments. What’s your reaction? We spill coffee on them on purpose! We have vats of stuff we make out of leftovers
like white oak sawdust and steel scraps from the metalshop. We make a beautiful black dye that we pour coffee grounds in. So we put our garments into these rotting vats of stuff. Doing this enzyme wash on clothes is kinda like brewing beer. It’s all the same thing; you get microbes in there eating the cellulose. So If I spill coffee on my clothes, you see how I dress, I’m like “oh, cool.” It doesn’t bother me. This is something that has been nagging me: should we even drink coffee at a coffee table? Why do they call it a coffee table? I don’t know. No. You have to sit up to put your coffee down. So no, I’d say no. I have a little table at home that I made that you can pick up and carry with you. That’s my favorite place to put a cup of coffee. What goes down at the studio christmas party? Karaoke, usually. Karaoke competition with cash prizes. It’s a good party. We make t-shirts. This year we did a run of denim for everyone for work pants. How did you started making beer: When I was a kid, I used to mix stuff in jars and bury it, and then dig it up in 10 days. I’d set a little calendar. I’d smell it. Whatever it was. I’d just make up the craziest shit you could imagine like bleach and hamburger, and it would rot. Some of it would ferment. I remember reading in some old country book whose title I can’t remember about sour mash whiskey. I was like, “Whoa you can make whiskey from corn?” So I would pull different grains and bury them. I think fermenting is an instinct. People have been doing it for centuries. Before there was science, people were making wine. The city kids were like, “Who’s gonna buy me beer?,” and the country kids were like, “We’re gonna fucking make beer!” So we would brew it as kids. It’s super easy. They can take a Snickers in prison and make alcohol out of it. Any sugar is fermentable and you can get drunk off of it. There was some Eskimo tribe that used to take a dead seal and collect dead birds in the spring and sew them into the belly of the dead seal. They would let that ferment and take the juice of that. That’s vile to some people. Every sugar is fermentable; every grain is fermentable; every
carbohydrate is fermentable and you can distill that into a spirit and it has residual contaminants that give it flavor. So we’re using every type of wood, not just oak. We’re going to be brewing beers around different storage barrels we’re making which is just interesting to me. I love collecting sourdough starters and wild yeasts from different parts of the world. I love the alchemy of it as much as the science. We’re going to bury these sour beer tanks in the ground — mostly for the geothermal, so there is no equipment to condition and heat. I’m a bit of heat engineer. All these big chillers and pumps and chemicals that they use in traditional breweries is not the way they did it 500 years ago. It’s not the way they’re gonna do it in 500 years. It’s just a blip in time. People think there’s history and there’s today and a future. But no, you can use all to reengineer ways of doing stuff that nobody spends time thinking about. It’s a bit of a leap because it doesn’t look like a viable business plan, but my kids will hopefully own the coolest beer
company that pioneered the way it’s done. That sounds a bit arrogant, but it’s probably true. Hopefully. We present to you this coffee Rorschach test. Tell us what you see: A child. Riding the back of a small dog horse thing — a pet of his. It is leaping up onto either his father or the father of this being here. This looks like a dad. And this looks like his kid — right? Riding on this thing. His legs, his tail. And his genitals. It could be nursing. It looks like a dog, but it could be a big beard on a guy. But he’s nursing, so he’s got a feminine side. Yeah, that’s what I see. Interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. We encourage you to try the Rorschach test yourself, compare your response to Tyler’s and then visit his Instagram feed @thistylerhas to see a drawing based on his reading of it.
Cat Mousam Road to Kennebunk, Maine has a 35 mph speed limit sign abridged to 85 mph with the help of some black spray paint.
Emma Louise Rixhon Illustrations: Chloe Onbargi
only landed four days ago, but as I sit in my new local third-wave coﬀee shop (one of about thirty in London’s Hackney) everything already seems radically removed from my two months traveling through Cuba and Colombia. Though my friend and I had a plentiful supply of wonderful coﬀee shops at our disposal throughout Colombia, from the expat-frequented Pergamino in Medellin to the chic old-school cafes filled with intellectual Bogotanos, I miss the instant coﬀee pouring generously from plastic flasks we found on every street corner, hostel, and homestay along the way. Though Colombia’s coﬀee region only makes up slightly over 1% of their land, it is the third largest coffee-growing country in the world after Brazil and Vietnam. The infinitely lush hills of the zona cafetera yield seemingly infinite crops of coﬀee, banana, plantain, and sugar cane. As someone who obstinately refuses to write, work, or even really wake up without a cup of coﬀee, it was unthinkable that I visit Colombia without understanding the process behind what may be my greatest regular consumption. We had the time to visit two towns in this Eden-like corner of Earth, and ended up touring both a National Federation coﬀee farm in Jardín and, a few days later, an independent one in Salento. We arrived in Jardín without the intention of doing a coﬀee tour. It was a surreal bijou overflowing with visual stimulation, from the flora which explained the town’s name (Spanish for garden) to the local cowboys taking shots of aguardiente on horseback. To sit in the main plaza and take it all in for two days would have been enough. The family in whose home we were staying, however, had diﬀerent ideas. We had booked what we thought would be a hotel, but Jardín still being somewhat of a hidden gem, and everyone we met in Colombia having been overwhelmingly welcoming, it turned out to be more of an accidental homestay. We were soon whisked away on a tour of the owner’s coﬀee finca with the promise that we would understand the whole coﬀee-making process by the end of the afternoon. As we were being shown the process, Hernan, our host-cum-tour-guide, explained each step with pride, disclosing how he chose the saplings to buy as if it were a cherished family secret. He explained, with a tone of disappointment, that although he tried to keep his coﬀee to the highest standards, others would not, and in exportation, all Colombian coﬀee is combined, regardless of how it is farmed
and cultivated. Hernan is registered in the Colombian coﬀee grower’s federation, meaning that although he may be paid less per bag of coﬀee than if he sold privately to Japanese exporters, the biggest local competition, he receives incentives such as health insurance and a pension, as well as support in case of crop-related emergencies. Competition seems like a strong word; however, considering we toured the Japanese packing facility (his was closed) and he knew everybody personally. In a small town like Jardín, fraternising with the competition is status quo, not tactic. Everything he explained, he did with the calm wisdom of someone whose knowledge runs in their genes. He deftly chose a coﬀee fruit from the side of the road, squeezed it open, and to our horror, a tiny maggot was lodged comfortably in the centre of the fruit, in between two now-tarnished beans. The maggot will eat the coﬀee fruit in order to sustain its growth into a coﬀee borer beetle, known locally as broca. These aﬀected coﬀee beans turn hollow, and when dried, go a dark brown rather than the desired olive green of a healthy pergamino – the name for dried, unpeeled, unroasted coﬀee beans. This brown coﬀee is called basilla, to avoid simply calling it basura, or trash, and Hernan informs us it will still be sold, but for a lot less, and will remain in Colombia. The litres of thermos-served instant coﬀee I’d been drinking were almost definitely a young beetle’s meal before. At this finca we somewhat anticlimactically didn’t have coﬀee, fresh or instant. But, we were enchanted by our afternoon tea of hot chocolate and arepas grilled by Hernan’s sister-in-law. As we sat in silence eating what felt like our thousandth arepa of the trip, we witnessed an eruption of family tension, or perhaps it was just preliminary bubbling. While we were being shown the fermentation process of the cerezas, ripe coﬀee fruits, a coﬀee picker approached Hernan to discuss money issues. Though I had not cultivated the illusion that the coﬀee industry was a beacon of equality and labour rights, any chance of that image was now truly erased in my mind. There was trouble in this plantain palm paradise. Now our kind host-turned-guide-turned-temporaryfather-figure was berating his brother and all memory that we did, in fact, understand Spanish, seemed to have vanished as he demanded to understand why his workers were being underpaid. When our jeep chugged up the hill back to town, he performed the classic dad joke of pretending to drive away
without my friend as she closed the gate, and awkward chuckles reinstated a sense of calm. Uncaﬀeinated but far from unsatisfied, we left Jardín with an understanding of coﬀee farming and more than a glimpse into family business feuds. Salento, on the other hand, is the touristic heart of the zona cafetera, and so we wandered on the winding road outside the town which leads to every finca. We dubiously stumbled into the first coﬀee finca we found, lured in by a young man oﬀering free coﬀee and repeating a few times that he would get a commission depending by which door we entered. Scepticism washed away as the smell of brewing coﬀee overcame us and we were greeted not only by our beautiful, beaming tour guide, but also by a friend we had met earlier on our travels. Already satisfied with our first few sips of freshly roasted coﬀee, our enchantment grew as our guide explained how this organic family business made sure their coﬀee got the attention and appreciation it deserved by not exporting it. Though the tour itself was far less intimate –– we were a large group of 20-somethings from almost every corner of the Earth rather than two close friends being driven around in a rickety jeep by the owner –– there was something romantic about the integrity of these tenderly cared-for coﬀee beans being valued over the profit that exportation would bring. Much of what we learned had been vaguely explained before, such as the versatility of coconut palms in coﬀee fincas –– they provide shade, as well as moisture, and become much-needed organic compost –– but we also got an in-depth explanation of the origin of Arabica beans in Colombia. Genetically modified to be resistant to coﬀee rust, or roya, a disease which causes coﬀee leaves to fall, killing the plant and instantly depleting crops, a specific strain of Arabica coﬀee was introduced to Colombia by investors when the Colombian crops were all but wiped out in a roya plague. When asked where these investors came from and why they chose Colombia, the answers “Arabia” and “money” weren’t really explanatory, but gaps in knowledge are inevitable, and hey, we even had two cups of lovingly cultivated coﬀee at this finca. Buzzing from the caﬀeine and totally charmed by our enthusiastic guide, I eagerly bought a bag to bring back home, excited to introduce my family to the idea that Colombian beans were in fact truly wonderful, and not just the source of instant coﬀee. I’m finishing writing this a week later, my stomach warm from two large mugs of coﬀee from the finca in Salento, unsure if I’m restless from over-caﬀeination or the terrible reality of British weather in Autumn. The enchantment that came with learning about something so essential to my everyday life in an extraordinary environment has not faded, and I hope it never will. Coﬀee-drinking, to those who find true comfort in it, is not just a habit, not even a ritual, but a catalyst for memory-making. My new memories of walking through the hills of Antioquia abundant with ripe cerezas will make every cup sweeter.
Fika time at Woodstockholm
Hamburgers and Hamburgerins queuing for their morning franzbrötchen Opposite: A ménage à trois chaise lounge in Milan’s oTTo 29
Is Water the New Coﬀee? and Other Questions with Saeed Ferguson Interview: Abigail McGuckin Photography: Alex Fisher
aeed Ferguson smiles more than he talks, and he’s rather chatty. He holds down the fort at P’s and Q’s on South Street and incites optimism through his guerilla flyer series under the auspices of ALLCAPS Studio. This happiness herald is a core leader at Paratodo and creates campaigns for Yowie, BWC Garments, Pleasures, Carrots, and so many more. We’re afraid to ask how old he is because we’ll be jealous of how much he has accomplished in such a short span, but suffice it to say that he is wise beyond his years. We managed to snag an hour of his time on Super Bowl Sunday (Dilly Dilly) at his South Philly studio.
Illustration: Lea Eisenstein
Abigail McGuckin: The Philly genie grants you three jawns. What are they? Saeed Ferguson: A jawn could be anything. A trip to Europe. I want to move into a place near the city that’s similar size, but maybe diﬀerent. I don’t want too many things. What do I want? Actually, a Mamiya. A medium format RZ67 that you look down into. That’s probably the only thing I really want. I just like working. AM: What about your work do you like? SF: The way I work is fast. I have an idea. I execute it. I move on. I like to be able to do and express quickly and see it come to life. Even if it’s something small like a t-shirt. AM: How do you create dialogue between your products and the people they reach? SF: As soon as people come into P’s and Q’s, we’re talking to them. We’re not trying to sell them anything. We’re just curious who they are. They’re our friends. Same thing on social media; DMs are a big thing. We have full on conversations with people who are trying to start a brand. We just keep talking to them, and sometimes we’ll actually meet up after connecting on Instagram. We love people.
AM: I wish for you your third jawn then! SF: Yes! In the RZ76 you look down and the image is flipped. The camera is heavy. On top of that, you have to worry about all the things that you normally have to for a film camera. It’s a process, but I’m down. AM: Shooting film is like driving stick. It’s a skill. I feel like people our age are trying to learn more skills because there is a market for it. Gig economy, ya know? SF: Totally! AM: Would you rather never sit or stand again? SF: Never sit. I stand all day at the store. The only time I sit is at my desk editing. I walk a lot. I’m moving. AM: If you’re tired, where do you go, literal or metaphorical, to restore your energy? SF: I used to spend 17 hours at a time playing video games. So, video games. You just focus so hard that you forget about what you were stressing about.
AM: That’s amazing. How does Philly fit into that?
AM: That’s why I cook! You use a totally diﬀerent part of your brain. It’s cleansing.
SF: We were all born and raised here, so we just want to see it grow. We just want everyone to hang out and do something.
SF: I’m trying to take that feeling and apply it to anything. Music helps a lot too. So does water. It’s energizing.
AM: Yeah, I called Alex to talk about the interview, and I asked him what’s new with you. He said you’re hustling. And not just for yourself, but for other people — like other Philly makers and creatives.
AM: Is water the new coﬀee?
SF: Yeah — thank you. I have been helping out with some other Philly brands doing photos and creative stuﬀ. I freelance a bunch. I don’t have a day oﬀ. Saturday and Sunday from 10am-8pm I’m shooting. I’m up till 3am editing.
SF For me, yes. AM: Water gives you better skin! But if you had to be a coﬀee drink, what would you be? SF: Mocha. Iced mocha. I like those a lot. Actually, a cappuccino. I’d be a cappuccino. I order that or black coﬀee.
AM What’s your ideal foam percentage?
SF: I just want to get better. The only way I can get better is doing it and I love doing it. I could take photos all the time. It truly makes me happy. There’s something about capturing it. You capture a moment.
SF: 30%… I like a nice froth.
AM: What’s your relationship to film v. digital?
SF: Apartamento and Record. Plant is good too.
SF: I love film. I like how the colors mesh and their softness. The process — the light, set-up, and the colors are all really beautiful. Digital is better for the work that I do, but I want to get into film a lot.
Alex Fisher: Apartmento is our Bible.
AM: I am also a big fan of froth. What magazine do you like to read while you drink a frothy cappuccino?
Courtesy of ALLCAPS Studio
AM: Where do you buy your magazines in Philly?
AF: Maybe Philly will makes it mark by bartering.
SF: Avril 50, and a lot of online. It’s hard to find them around. Ubiq is good. They carry Sneeze and Sneeze is great.
AM: Long live Philly. Ok, Saeed, I have some other dumb questions, but here’s the most important one: have you started drinking for the Super Bowl tonight? (ed. note: it was 10:23am)
AF: Do you print a lot of your photos? SF: No, but I’m working on it. I was never stoked about my work, but now I want to print. I know that I’m my harshest critic. It keeps me going. I just want to get better and better. Maybe I should appreciate the work I’ve done more.
SF Soon! Honestly, soon. Interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
AM: I think it’s en vogue to be self-deprecating. People, especially talented ones, have the greatest trouble talking positively about their work. AF: Can you tell us about the signs you’re working on? They have messages that address what Abby was just speaking to. SF: I don’t know how those happened. I just started doing them randomly. I wanted to make t-shirts, but something was holding me back from making shirts. Everyone makes shirts. I had a printer, so I just typed stuﬀ out in a bold typeface and printed a ton of copies. I leave them on people’s doorstep or tucked in a car window. It’s a weird thing I just kinda do. It’s just another outlet for me and I’ve seen people take pictures of them. It’s beautiful. AF: Is your giving nature reflective of a greater trend towards collaboration in the Philly creative community. How did you find your spot? What’s it like? SF: There’s a lot happening. There’s a lot of independent people with a creative energy, making and doing in the city, but it’s not as visible as it should be. It’s still very underground. It’s not exclusive necessarily, but you only know about it if you’re in it. AM: Is bartering popular amongst Philly’s creative set? SF: Definitely, most people really prefer it. It’s less so for objects and more so for favors. For example, I’ll take pictures of new merch for a brand, and then I can take some pieces home with me. It’s very Philly to barter. I had to stop shooting clothing because I accumulated too much of it bartering.
35 Courtesy of ALLCAPS Studio
Watercolor: Scott Fisher
Five demi haikus on coﬀee by Charlie Sosnick for Mugshot ‘zine.
Mom only drinks decaf. five cups to start the day right, but only decaf.
Dad drinks it black in Thermoses in the Saab on the way to work.
Grandma has not drank coﬀee ever since she got colitis.
Now I drink it black in the neighborhood cafe with the largest mugs.
Five demi haikus on CoďŹ€ee by Charlie Sosnick for Mugshot mag.
Eating the Clouds and Drinking the Sky at Alma Alex Fisher Illustrations: Sofie Præstgaard ndonesia and Honduras don’t usually mix. Same with cookbook authors and music producers. But at Alma in Stockholm’s Östermalm district, they do so daily. The former are the countries of origin of the components of Alma’s house blend by Järna Rosteri. The latter are the pursuits of some of the 140+ members who use Alma as their creative clubhouse. It is spontaneous encounters amongst these unanticipatedly complementary forces that alights the Swedish members club. 47
The Concept “When one paints an ideal, one does not need to limit one's imagination.” That Ellen Key quote goes a long way towards describing Alma. According to Fredrik Carlström, Alma’s founder (alongside Anna Behring Lundh) and a devoted Ellen Key fan himself, the premise for the club was to play on Sweden’s long tradition of cooperatives (think HSB or Bohus Stickning) in embracing a love of work. From the curving couch you sit on to the branded grate you knock your boots on, exhaustive eﬀort is spent in injecting the place with warmth and comfort. One could write a thick taxonomy on the design decisions; Alma’s curators are benevolent witches who love throwing a dash of De La Espada furniture and a crayfish party or two into their bubbling creative cauldron. The Ongoing History Alma as a club has been around for less than two years, but in a sense it has existed for centuries. The name of the space references the Latin ‘alma mater’ — an allegory for higher education. The building itself, located at Nybrogatan 8, has a history of fostering talent, as it long served as the home of the Beckmans College of Design. The nooks and crannies where students once pored over sketches now host architecture practices and prototyping firms. Alma’s sharp staﬀ is a faculty in and of itself, populated by current and former gallery directors, journalists, and artists who share their expertise with club members. Communal benches in the restaurant recall those found in school cafeterias. A glass ceiling was built (and metaphorically broken) over the inner courtyard, but the vibe hasn’t changed a bit. Whether it be the sultry bouquets by Mirja Bozarth Fornell that dot it today or the senior fashion shows that took place there in decades past, the atrium exists as a hub for transformative gestures. The past isn’t just remembered at present. At Alma, it is felt. The Roaster Nybrogatan 8’s current tenants are drinking much better coﬀee than Beckmans students of yesteryear. Nothing against Arvid Nordquist, but the rules of the game have changed. Alma organizes their coﬀee program in consultation with Järna Rosteri which is (surprise, surprise) headquartered in the town of
Järna. The roaster is a product of its place and that place forms an integral part of the story. Located in greater Stockholm, the village is the Swedish centre of the Anthroposophic movement — a philosophy that espouses spiritual attainment through inner development in harmony with nature. While that is a bit of a tongue twister, Järna’s anthroposophical legacy has made it the Swedish source of eco-conscious products — goods made out of a commitment to an ideology rather than just to make a profit. A pass through the roastery on Järna’s northeastern edge confirms an absolute adherence to Functionalist principles. A monolithic Probat facilitates production in scale. The bag opener is a MacGyvered homemade solution to packaging fresh coﬀee eﬃciently, yet still by hand. The orange detailing found throughout the space and in Järna Rosteri’s branding recalls the exterior of Gunnar Asplund’s Stockholm Public Library — functionalism’s greatest local icon. In partnering with Järna Rosteri, Alma taps into a historic line of making. With each handoﬀ of coﬀee from roaster to barista — always in person, never through the mail —the connective tissue between creator and consumer grows stronger. The Roasts Building the right blend is a process rich in symbolism. In our factionalized world, coalescing beans from disparate places like Brazil, Ethiopia, Colombia and Mexico into one cup is a quiet act of international solidarity. An implicit acknowledgment is made that we are better together than we are apart. At Alma, the blend is a soft one with a pronounced caramel note (thanks to the Indonesian) and traces of tartness reminiscent of a berry jam (thanks to the Honduran). In a club like Alma that is defined by contrasts, a single origin coﬀee would be out of place. Single origins are hyper-specific and resist adaptation. A blend is a constant work in progress. Ratios are tweaked and components are changed to reflect what’s best that season. Alma’s evolving blend follows the development of Alma itself. As a Nicaraguan bean may come to replace the Honduran, a young startup may join the house when another expands and outgrows the space. As the roast gets darker while the weather gets colder, cozy ochre accents appear in the atrium.
Alma’s coﬀee is linked with tradition, but the machine that brews it is a harbinger of the future — the Steampunk by Alpha Dominche. It would take an engineering degree (and lots of coﬀee) to unpack the specifics of Steampunk’s proprietary extraction system, but in practice it allows baristas to dial in with total control. In other words, there is nothing stock or standard about the drips that are drunk at Alma.
The details are the scene stealers at Alma. The pièce de résistance is the earthenware — specially designed by Gustavsberg-based ceramist Rikard Palmquist. Each object that Palmquist throws has its own personality. A beige plate wears a regal sash thanks to a stripe of green glaze. A steep-sided bowl is a hatched robin’s egg thanks to a bath in a vat of blue. Many works are turquoise and white — the result of Palmquist’s desire to bring the sky and the clouds indoors and let you eat and drink from them. One plate that several members call their favorite is a beautiful error — glaze splattered when it wasn’t meant to. Upon firing, the infamous plate has a Pollock-like dapple; a mistake that wasn’t so.
The Steampunk is a statement piece with a superhero’s name that reflects the agenda of its operators. It is a sign, written in big block letters, that Alma enables risk-takers and those with a commitment to craftsmanship. The Steampunk is located on the border of Alma’s street-facing boutique, which sells the wares of club members, collaborators, and the workspace itself — a spot that Carlström terms a “point of friction.” For visitors, ordering a coﬀee presents an opportunity to appreciate Alma’s design dogma in action. For members, the walk to the Steampunk is a departure from the day’s demands. While they wait for coﬀee, they are surrounded by products made by their peers and the passersby popping in to have a peak and maybe make a purchase.
Palmquist’s mugs are low in height with a dangerously wide opening. It is amazing they manage not to tip over at the slightest breeze; they have great core strength. Their walls are thin, allowing the coﬀee’s warmth to heat the hands of the cup’s holder. The handle is a small loop extending oﬀ the brim, but a finger in that hole is not enough to keep the cup balanced. Two hands and a steady step are needed to transport the coﬀee back to the table without spillage. The cups don’t stack nicely; they form topsy turvy mounds when layered. They prefer to stand on their own. This is a country in which appliances come in kits. Each item tends to look like one another and fit exactly with the next. Alma’s mugs don’t subscribe to that Swedish stereotype; “In every cup I write a book,” Palmquist says. The Lesson The family tree of fixtures (Artek stools, Steampunk brewing machine, Mirja Bozarth Fornell floral arrangements, Järna Rosteri coffee, etc.) at Alma is well-rooted and continuously growing. However, at the end of the day, it is not the fixtures themselves that define Alma. It is the mood of the moments the fixtures create that defines Alma. More often than not, that mood is humorous. It is impossible to look cool, calm, and collected while swinging one’s legs over the benches attached to the communal tables. It’s a bit silly stepping over the torso of a Lars Nilsson floor piece on the way to a business meeting. One can’t swagger walk when carrying one of Palmquist’s delicate mugs. It is in these somewhat vulnerable moments that one is exposed to the intricacies of their surroundings. An appreciation of those complexities then becomes a perfect catalyst for creation.
Seven Coﬀees in Ireland Bobby Lundquist and Naomi Pohl
Coﬀee isn’t the reason we’re here; We came for the fields, wool socks and beer. But the beans have surprised us, They’ve been a huge plus, And helped us through that late-winter drear. We’re writing in limerick poems, Those rhymes that call Ireland home. Some do get quite cheesy, But please just bear with me, And you’ll learn of coﬀee cups (and cones)! Brother Hubbard (Dublin) We landed at five in the morn, Groggy from sleeping airborne, When we found this wee shop, And decided to stop, Coﬀee and rolls our table adorned. Coﬀeewerk + Press (Galway) Tasting espresso so biting, It was almost quite frightening. Through Galway’s quaint paths they tore Arms spread wide, ready to soar, Jetlag gone as fast as lightning. Rua Café (Inis Mór Island) On an island lined with ancient stone walls, Beckoned after hearing the calls Of a simpler life free From “It’s all about me!” Paired with simple coﬀee, all worry falls. Bean in Dingle (Dingle) Three buses and six hours more, Under a Dramamine-induced heavy snore, They finally left their seats To find in the town’s three streets The quaint café they’d heard of before. 53
Murphy’s Ice Cream (Dingle) Murphy’s re-opened for the season, With an Irish Coﬀee flavor so pleasin’. But it does pack a punch — Whiskey right after lunch?! It’s delicious, no matter the season. Cinnamon Café (Dublin) Tucked away in a working-class hood, Lies a small café with coﬀee so good. Businessmen catch up O’er McCabe’s-roasted cups, And leave not 'cause they want to, but should. Espresso Beans (everywhere) Always there when you need them the most Chocolate-wrapped and of a dark roast. Bring them on the go, Enjoyed in sunshine or snow, All up and down the Irish coast.
Sketches and Watercolors: Sofie PrĂŚstgaard
Nya Konditoriet, UmeĂĽ, Sweden
Cafe Korb, Vienna, Austria
CafĂŠ Mozaika, Warsaw, Poland
Каштан Coﬀee, Kyiv, Ukraine
Central Market, Riga, Latvia
Interview: Abigail McGuckin Photography: Christina Piasecki
The olive pillows are from a store on 3rd Street in Old City that is apparently no longer there…
Aﬀogato Politics and Paying It Forward with Stephanie Reitano
he ephemeral nature of cooking hooked a then law school-bound, newly-expectant Stephanie Reitano on the food business. With a baby on the way, cooking satiated her longing to create in ways that knitting couldn’t. Her first trip to Italy solidified her and her surgeon husband’s desire to enter the Philly food scene. A bewitching gelato experience evolved into a transatlantic love aﬀair with Italian cuisine. Today, Stephanie and husband John run Capogiro and Capofitto, serving gelato and pizza to Italian standards, all artiginale. 63
Abigail McGuckin: What generation Italian are you? Stephanie Reitano: I’m not! I’m just an Italophile. I’m Russian, Turkish, and original Mayflower stock, but John was born in Italy. I’ve only dated Italians. John’s Dad is from Reggio Calabria and his mom is from Padua, right outside of Venice. Do you guys want breakfast? Don’t be shy; it’s what I do. I’ll cook while we talk. Christina Piasecki: Yes please! AM: What’s your favorite meal of the day? SR: I don’t have a favorite meal, but it’s not breakfast. I’m a toast person, so all I want to do is eat toast all of the time. I love dinner, but I’m a snacker. I love coﬀee, honestly. AM: How many cups per day do you average? SR: A pot. Yeah, I’ll drink a whole pot. I think it’s also the ritual of it. I only really like coﬀee, water, and wine… and bourbon. That’s what I live on. I use a percolator for coﬀee. It’s super strong. I can control how I want it. Ours is actually ready — let me pour you some. You gotta use this creamer. It’s a little cow vomiting milk. I got it from my grandmother. Don’t worry if it spills; old shit does that. AM: Smells divine, thank you. When did you get into coﬀee? SR: College. Every college student needs coffee. Copious amounts. AM: How did you get into food? SR: I went to Temple. I ended up getting knocked up with Michaela, so I didn’t finish my Master’s. I was supposed to start law school in the Fall but had deferred my acceptance. I was supposed to save womankind, but, suddenly, I was home and nursing a baby and had a crisis. A real crisis about who I was and what I was supposed to be doing. It was a privilege to be a stay-at-home mom, but I needed to do something at home with huge stretches of time. I taught myself how to sew and other domestic-y things. I found that food was fantastic because you made it for someone and it went away. It wasn't like art where you would stare at it until you said, “Oh my god it sucks.” John bought me this book when we got married (pictured with creamer). I actually met the author and had her sign my nasty, food-covered copy that I cooked all the
way through. I found that cooking was something I could focus on. It was like therapy. The more diﬃcult the recipe was, the more I wanted to do it. If you’re gonna get any Italian book to teach you how to cook, this is it. John and I got together because of our love of food. It still is the common denominator. We met because of our hairdresser. I used to do crazy stuﬀ with my hair every couple of weeks — super short, platinum blonde, everything. My hairdresser said you should meet this young doctor, but I refused because I had just broken up with a medical student. But the hairdresser whispered that I should really meet this guy, even though he doesn’t have a lot of hair. So, when I was bartending at the Warwick Hotel, a guy had a really nice glass of wine, a good beer, and tipped well. After he finished, he said, “You know our hairdresser said that we should meet.” I asked why he didn't just introduce himself. He said that he wasn't sure which bartender was me. I had a fucking nametag on. He said my shirt was too wrinkly. I was pregnant six months later. AM: You’re cooking. You have my now dear friend Michaela. Where does Capo come in? SR: When Seve, our youngest, was one, John and I went to Italy. I had gelato for the first time. I hate ice cream, but I was floored by gelato. I wondered why it wasn't in the US. Turns out because it’s not quick or easy. John and I just decided that we wanted to work together. When we first started Capogiro, we did everything together. We’re codependent. But, we found that we had no time to do anything else. It was a nightmare at first. We just worked all the time while he was a full time physician, like he still is. I run everything that is Capogiro food and the look of the place. John does everything financial. AM: Was Capogiro the first gelateria in Philly? SR: Yes, and people had no idea what gelato was. They thought it was pudding. I started doing gelato despite people telling me it wasn't cheap. We did a lot of research and found that there are over 30,000 gelaterias in Italy. Italy is the same size as Arizona, for reference. But in each town, there is one gelateria that’s talked about. We want to be that go-to spot and subsequently we hold ourselves to high Italian standards. Gelato is designated artigianale, which means it’s made in-house by hand. We just kept doing research and found out that the way to go is artigianale. It was fun. Philadelphia best matches the Veneto region, so that’s the style we do at Capogiro.
Shouldnâ€™t everyone have a 1936 Model 9h Berkel Meat Slicer in their kitchen?
Depending on where you are, the ingredients diﬀer. For instance, the North uses egg and cream, but the South will use corn or potato starch and milk sugar. Veneto region gelato uses 90% milk, a bit of cream, sometimes egg yolk. Gelato is chemistry. I joke that I’m more like a drug dealer because all I do is use scales. I’m always trying to have all the flavors melt at the same temperature. I’m a perfectionist. The fat free gelatos taste so full because there is so much food in them. If you let them melt, it’d be mostly fruit and a bit of water. AM: How do you feel about aﬀogatos? SR: Oh man, well it got me into so much trouble at Penn. Our employees are purists and insist on the one way of doing things to not bastardize it, like I do. But so many Penn students would ask for an aﬀogato to go, and the servers would refuse or make a stink about it. An aﬀogato is a scoop of gelato and a shot of espresso supposed to be eaten in thirty seconds while standing at the espresso bar. I’d get emails from students once every six months saying, “What the fuck? I just want an aﬀogato to go. The staﬀ was so rude. I’m never coming back again.” I’d have to send an email to my staﬀ saying, “They want it to go. I get it. It’s wrong. We can all agree it’s wrong. Just give them their fucking aﬀogato to go. They’re students. They’re in a rush.
Maybe they’re swirling it around in the cup and drinking it. Who gives a shit. Just give it to them!” AM: Hahaha I can easily picture that. So, what are appropriate flavors to pair with aﬀogato? SR: Anything milky. Niccola is a classic. With fiore you can taste the coﬀee the most. People do dark chocolate, but that’s wrong. AM: This has been the best morning ever. OK, theoretical situation, you’re Italian now. What part are you from? SR: We were just in Puglia this summer, and it’s my spirit animal. It’s magical. It’s like no other part of Italy. Food is ok. It’s better nearly anywhere else, but the wine is fantastic and cheap. The style of food is Cucina Povera — meaning poor kitchen. It’s not a wealthy area, but the fresh cheese and wine are fantastic. AM: My Italian family is supposedly from somewhere within a day’s donkey ride radius from Bari, Puglia. We’re going searching for them this summer. SR: The Pugliese are great — like Californians. Chill but sophisticated, not the stereotypical crazy Southern Italians like Sicilians or Calabrians.
AM: What’s coﬀee culture in Italy like? SR: Cafe culture is huge. There are a lot of rules. It’s not like in the US where you can do whatever you want and make up drinks and all that crap. There’s one kind of coffee. It’s across the board. The rule is that you pay first. They hand you a receipt and some change. Tipping in Italy is included in everything except at the coﬀee bar. It’s customary to leave a coin. Nothing more than a Euro. You can just leave your change on the bar with the receipt. The receipt comes because business owners are notorious for not paying their taxes, so it’s to prove that they have receipts. It’s a law because, you know, Italians are always trying to short the government. You do not drink a cappuccino after a certain time of day. It’s considered poor form, and in some parts of Italy they’ll refuse. It’s strictly a morning drink to be enjoyed standing at the bar. It’s not something you sit and contemplate, but if you do, you sit at a table and pay more because you’re paying to dirty the table and take up space in the restaurant. To-go is also poor form. The only thing you’ll see an Italian walking and eating is a cone of gelato. To walk with stuﬀ is an American thing. If you’re at a coﬀee bar in Italy, ask for a cornetto, an Italian brioche. They can come con crema (with cream) or con cioccolato (with chocolate). You stand with your brioche and eat it. Look at the floor, the crumbly brioche bits will cover it. The brioche in Italy are drier. The floor is covered with flaky bits, and that’s ok. People come in work clothes; they just want their coﬀee. If you say un caﬀè, you’ll get an espresso. If you want milk, get a macchiato. If you go too far up North, it’s bad.
sells for $180 in the US. An expensive wine there is €9. In Southern Italy, this thing, that is now happening in America, came about called “pay it forward.” It’s huge in Naples, which everyone is so scared of. The city has a very unique coﬀee culture. They keep all of their cups in these basins of boiling water, so you almost can’t touch them. The coﬀee cup is about 1000 degrees. The coﬀee is ridiculously hot and they like it very sweet. They will put the sugar in and stir it for you. The people in Naples are densely packed and are the origin of “Guidos.” They always have a look on their face like they’re pissed oﬀ, but if you talk to them, they are the warmest, nicest people, and they’re very family oriented. You have to elbow your way into a bar, but they’re the people who buy themselves and the next customer a coﬀee. All the people around who don’t have money, homeless or just hard on luck, can come in and ask if they can have a coﬀee. The cashier will pull a receipt and just hand it to them because someone has always double paid. This originated in Naples coﬀee culture, paying it forward. Interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
AM: Because it’s influenced by the French? SR: Yeah, yeah. AM: I had a lot of bad coﬀee in the French Alps. (ed. note: On a gondola ride to the highest point in Chamonix, a 60 year old Irishman told me he was skiing over the border to Italy for a proper espresso because French coﬀee is so bad.) SR: Yeah, the North is much richer and can aﬀord to export their good stuﬀ and get a premium. The South keeps all of their good stuﬀ because they can’t aﬀord to export it. To export products from Italy you have to do these backflips with the government and pay for inspections. Some of the best wine I’ve had in Italy is from the South. You can’t get the majority of it in the US. An €8 wine there
Colin Lodewick Photography: Alex Fisher month later, my Philly AIDS Thrift gold pants hang in my closet between a black winter coat and a satin shirt from the summer. I haven’t looked at them in a while, but I know that there’s a light, dry stain running down the front. It’s a mix of coffee, I believe vodka, and that memorable elixir: unsweetened oat milk.
“Check your doorstep this morning,” she texted me. And so I began planning my eveningwear and preparing myself for sacrifice. A pashmina and silk scarf, red with a lighter red weave. A dusty pink t-shirt. Gold pants of some type of synthetic fabric. “Dress code: no black,” read the invitation. Perfect. I’d be luminescent. I waited patiently.
“This is a sponsored party” are words that will haunt me for years to come. Sponsored by whom? Why? Who is this tall man taking photos on a grandparent’s camera? I still have questions. I chant them to myself at night. Within the first minute of standing in the dim light of that converted Victorian, I was oﬀered an iron-on patch that displayed the logo of some death metal coﬀee company. “This is a sponsored party,” voices chittered into my ears. I know, I’ve heard. And until that night, I’d neither tasted Suke Quto brew nor oat milk before. XXX jug after XXX jug, poured into mixed drinks. Delicious on its own. Oat milk added. “Have you tried the oat milk?” “Have you seen all that oat milk?” “I’m going to try and steal a carton of oat milk.”
And then, a quick degeneration: a spill on gold pants as I reached to hug a friend. Then a bout of screaming with an old roommate whom I hadn’t seen in months and wouldn’t see for months to come. At one point, towards the end, I was confused for being a friend’s lover rather than a friend.
The pants are dry-clean only, and as I consider the oat milk stain, I wonder if I should just throw them away.
Illustrations: Lea Eisenstein
Risoelatte, Via Manfredo Camperio, Milan
Holden Caplan Photography: Nadira Berman n our strictly business-centric culture, it’s hard to just sit down somewhere for an extended period of time with no objective in mind. We don’t have time — or at least we don’t have time to waste on nothing. Time is of value; it must be used, abused, and cheated out of other instances of time in order to somehow gain more of it. With no end in sight, it is constantly running short on us, and we are always making it up. We don’t have enough time; it’s a fact. Or is it? Argentines don’t use time like we do. Clocks are more of a stylistic piece. There is no definite start or end to events; things just go. The same goes for coffee. No one grabs a coffee in a rush, for there is no rush. People enjoy a coffee. Well, they don’t drink “coffee” as in drip black tar, but rather an “elegant” espresso. The city of Buenos Aires veils itself in a European facade. Annoying, but it is a great facade to have if one were to have one. A majority of the time, the coffee sucks. No matter, everyone always drinks it to take in beauty of the moment. To grab a coffee with friends would be to commit myself to at least an hour. Those were some of the best hours of my life. I could have spent forever. They were wrin-
kles in time; nothing was too important. I felt truly carefree, and it was all centered around a small porcelain espresso cup. Each trip to the cafe was a social gathering, a time for friends to catch up, enjoy the beautiful weather and sip. I dream about that. I can still feel the handcrafted mugs filled with perfectly-leveled cappuccinos from my favorite cafe as friends enjoy cigarettes and tiny croissant-like pastries. It was always one great conversation that never came to an end. Cafes created excellent backdrops for friendship, ones that I will never forget. These moments could have occurred anywhere. Who’s to say that a warm day in the park wouldn’t have created the exact same sense of joy? The only element missing is a drink, and hell, I could have brought my own warm beverage if I wanted to. Despite contextual leniency, it is unfortunately not the case. The cafe carries a magic inside its walls, and the coffee is the facilitator. Time didn’t stop. It just carried on, as if it were extended for those moments so we were never losing any of its previous value. I learned something important from those moments staring into cinnamon-coated foam amalgamations: sometimes it is more important to put the watch down than it is to wear it.
hot or iced, you ask? hot coﬀee? homophobic! iced, please and thank you (a haiku)
gays drink iced coﬀee because the straw protects us from stained enamel (a haiku)
when all the ice cubes are small frozen coﬀee chunks that’s queer excellence (a haiku)
John Holmes Photography: Paul Asselin
Love Letter to The Sugar Bowl 92
Melanie Bow Photography: Alex Fisher Ilustration: Lea Eisenstein
or the past 70 years, The Sugar Bowl has nested in a tidy corner of Darien, Connecticut with the languid tenacity of an oyster. As the New England coastal suburb’s commercial downtown has expanded, the family-owned-and-operated luncheonette continues to meet the needs that beat deep in the hearts of all old towns — consistency, community, and a connection to the past. The Sugar Bowl’s owner, Bob Mazza, who took the reigns from his mother Edna, wakes up at 3:45am every day to begin cooking morning staples — bacon, eggs, and the secular communion of a hot coﬀee and homemade donut special. Bob is somewhat of an institution himself. No visit has passed where I haven’t seen his smile, no season has come and gone where he hasn’t had the same exceptional, theatrical tan. One point for consistency. Bob’s dedication ensures that breakfast will be ready in time for weekday commuters to grab a cup of coffee before their train or for young families to sit down together after a hectic morning and talk to their grass-stained children, who guzzle milkshakes like voracious pilgrims in soccer cleats. Like a more modern version of Hawthorne’s Custom House, The Sugar Bowl is an introduction to two larger stories — one of the town, and, more importantly, one of the individuals who make this town a community.
The Sugar Bowl often feels more like a roadside antique store than it does a diner. It sits on the only portion of the downtown strip that feels stuck in time, under the watch of nearly Puritanical white steeples, and across from well-preserved colonial style buildings. Inside, its wood-paneled walls overflow with cobwebbed rustic figurines, china, birdhouses, and doilies, much like a box you would find in your grandmother’s basement. Yet, in stark contrast, hundreds of holiday decorations are hung from its ceiling year-round. In July, it shines red, white and blue, with enough stars to put the night sky to shame. In December, it transforms into a charming winter wonderland. In February, it gushes pink; in March, it vomits green. And in October, my favorite time to visit, it gleams orange with the turning maples. If you asked someone who was born in Darien to tell you about their earliest memory of The Sugar Bowl, they wouldn’t be able to, in the same way that they wouldn’t be able to tell you the first time they noticed the light in the morning, or a man wearing salmon shorts. On one hand, it is a cultural product; on the other, it is the physical embodiment of a sense memory. Each cup of coﬀee, each grilled cheese, each holiday decoration takes you back to moments remembered and imagined, moments often unremembered, but nonetheless moments felt entirely.
On Quaker Values and Chicken Strips with Zach Morris and Nick Bayer ach Morris is the brains behind Green Engine, an always-thrumming cafe with huge glass windows and communal tables in Haverford, PA. Morris makes hanging out hip, bringing a usually cloistered, reserved Main Line populus out into the open. He has now shifted his focus back downtown, where he is opening a concept space in Headhouse Square. Nick Bayer is the Founder and CEO of Saxbys, a fast-growing coﬀee company headquartered on Chestnut Street with shops up and down the Eastern seaboard. Bayer is a firebrand innovator who leads his six hundred-strong team while wearing Air Jordan 1s. He moves quickly and thinks in scale, setting the tone for what it means to run a people-oriented business through his Experiential Learning cafes on college campuses. Morris and Bayer occupy equal and opposite positions in the coﬀee world. A friendship was forged between the two while chaperoning a children’s birthday party; as it turns out, their sons are good buddies. Recognizing how hard it is to grab a seat at one of their shops at any hour of the day, each has more than his fair share to add to the conversation. Together, they have coﬀee culture cornered. Our discussion moves from maps to the meeting house to Midtown Manhattan before circling back to what makes a cafe tick — long after the morning rush is over.
Interview and photography: Alex Fisher
AF: How do you take your coﬀee, and how much do you drink in a day? ZM: I am on a two-month bender where I am drinking almost no coﬀee. I recently went to Ireland, which inspired me to drink more tea. I’ve always drunk it, but my palette repertoire for it seemed underdeveloped. I want to understand tea like I do wine, coﬀee, and beer in a geographic and historical sense. So I’ll dial in the espresso and taste it, but, right now, I am a tea drinker. NB: I don’t have the same discipline as Zach. ZM: Nick keeps a steady drip. NB: I am such a creature of habit. I found my thing six or seven years ago — espresso over ice. It’s really my favorite. It’s refreshing. It has a really good mouth feel. It’s a tad bit acidic. So I’ve done four shots of espresso over ice every day for six years. Snow could be blowing sideways snow, and I continue to drink it. I have to stay consistent because it is a pretty jolted start to the day, but discipline when it comes to consuming beverages is not my strong suit. We taste a lot here, so I frequently go over just that. But I like to think that I have a system. AF: There are places where we feel most inspired. Where do you go for motivation? ZM: A new place. And even if it is somewhere I’ve been, I find a new corner. I like vistas. I like to go places that are desolate. Less noise for the people, more noise for nature. I’ve got my hiking boots on today; I’m going on a hike later. NB: I do my best and I am most inspired when I am around people. I like 30th Street Station for that reason. One spot that comes to mind is the lobby at the Ace Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. It’s always so jammed with people doing a million diﬀerent things. I feed oﬀ being in places with that kind of energy.
ZM: It’s like a Manet painting. AF: It’s the modern day Folies Bergère! Now onto the speed round. We’ll start with you Nick. Coﬀee in the morning and ____ in the evening NB: Dry vodka martini or Japanese whiskey. AF: I say Green Engine, what comes to mind? NB: Phenomenal menu and design. That space has such a warmth and vitality. AF: What are you never without? NB: Ibuprofen. I mean I should be without Ibuprofen, but I like to feel good. AF: I have three free hours in Philadelphia, and I can’t go into Center City. Where should I go? NB: I would walk Locust Walk at Penn and get immersed in the importance, history, and success of the people that went there. I would then go visit the Saxbys Experiential Learning cafe at Drexel on 34th and Lancaster — exclusively designed and run by undergraduate students. I would then finish at the Urban Outfitters headquarters, especially the cafeteria. AF: Alright now we’re into the speed round for Zach. Questions are similar, so he’s at a bit of an advantage. Coﬀee in the morning and ____ in the evening ZM: I’m a big aperitif wine drinker. I make vermouth. I drink a lot of vermouth. I just love it. There’s so much variation and it’s one of those mysterious drinks because it’s always a secret family recipe. I am endlessly perplexed by every vermouth I’ve ever tasted. AF: I say Saxbys, what comes to mind:
AF: That lobby is so spellbinding, isn’t it?
ZM: You know coﬀee brings people together, but then you need to do something. Saxbys is built on keeping people happy and doing.
ZM: It’s a perfect place to be a wallflower.
AF: Go-to Wawa order:
NB: And it’s so dark.
ZM: There is something disgustingly good about the chicken strips. I’ll get those with ranch dressing and banana peppers and cheddar cheese on a little shorty.
AF: It takes so long for my eyes to adjust! NB: It’s mysterious. I mean you talk about placemaking. They just crush that. And it is in a place that nobody wanted to be in Midtown Manhattan, so it wasn’t easy pickings.
AF: Trust your instinct or crunch the numbers? ZM: I’m all in on instinct. I’m good at math, but I hate it.
3. Three pictures to describe myself: Nick Bayer 1. Neither my wife Hally nor I got a chance to travel as kids, so we promised one another that we’d do what we love professionally and see the world. This is us taking in the beauty and history of the Pantheon in Rome last summer. 2. Me speaking to a contingent from the Social Innovation Summit earlier this year, including executives from Nike, Boeing and Comcast. Sharing our experiences in trying to make an impact and provide opportunities to those who wouldn’t otherwise get them here at Saxbys with such an accomplished group of impact leaders was really special.
3. My son and I with Marcus Allen (CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters) and Rodney McLeod (starting safety on the Super Bowl Eagles). My son loves sports. It’s important to me that he sees pro athletes and celebrities with large platforms use those platforms for the good of others. Marcus — a former pro basketball player — and Rodney are two of the best and most philanthropic people I know, and my son loves them both.
AF: Hobbies? ZM: I have had a long romance with antiquarian maps. I’ll look at them forever. Any map is interesting to me. Any form of mapping is interesting to me. As a teenager, I started buying antique ones on eBay. Now I’ve got a ton of them and am running out of wall space to hang them. AF: Now we’ll transition into open-ended discussion. Tell me how y’all met and what your relationship is now. ZM: Well, we see each other at morning drop-oﬀ and at children’s birthday parties a lot because our kids go to school together. We met at Charlie’s party in your (speaking to Nick) building. I knew who Luke was. I didn’t know Luke’s dad owned Saxbys. So we were sorta doing the small talk thing, and we’re like: “You own coﬀee shops, I own a coﬀee shop. This is crazy!” And we had like a two-hour conversation. NB: It was great. Zach had recently sold a business and was opening up a coﬀee shop. Our sons are buddies, so we see each other all time. AF: You both have the entrepreneurial bug — you both worked on other projects before coming to coffee. Let’s talk about that pathway. ZM: How I landed on coﬀee was that I couldn’t aﬀord a liquor license. Or, I wasn’t willing to take that risk at the time. I’m a sommelier by trade, and there is this misunderstanding that sommelier means wine — it means beverages. So I have always been obsessed with beverages. It is a really quick way to have an intimate, analytic sensory experience. With food, you slowly go through a meal. With a beverage, you get the whole thing in one sip. I saw coﬀee as a way to build a brand that every type of person can experience. A coﬀee shop is unique, but not like retail in which you select a very specific target audience. Everybody drinks coﬀee, even those who don’t go to coﬀee shops. NB: There are some key similarities for me, and the main one is that everyone goes to coﬀee shops. For me, the attraction wasn’t the product side. I don’t claim to have, nor do I have a gifted palette. And I don’t necessarily have as much of an interest there. What gets me going is people. I love people. My parents were teenagers when they had me. They didn’t have an education. I was the first person in my family to go to college and going was a big enlightening moment for me. I tried all these diﬀerent internships — Finance in New York, Real Estate in LA, Logistics in Charlotte. But then when it came time to graduate, none of those spoke to me. The thing that always spoke to me
was people and doing nice things for people. Given the impact I wanted to have in this world, I felt that I needed to create something. I was interested in creating a gathering place for everyone and the coﬀee business lends itself perfectly. At our shops, we’ll serve a guest who sadly slept in the street the night before followed by someone in a three thousand dollar suit because our business is open and inviting. The coﬀee industry’s ability to bind all together is what makes it special. AF: That’s something I think both of your shops achieve so well. I’m thinking specifically about Green Engine where you have commuters, Main Line retirees and students from Haverford College and Bryn Mawr College coalescing as one. There are a lot of intangibles involved here, but what do we gain from these interactions between people from diﬀerent walks of life? ZM: If you look at the current landscape in our country, there is a lot of division. It is all anyone wants to talk about. People go to their separate places to avoid the other side. You can’t do that in a coﬀee shop. On any given day, you’ll have fifty people in my space. You could probably put them in two very diﬀerent camps, but they are still there and they are interacting. Food and beverage is the galvanizing mechanism between humanity. This is almost a pre-civilization idea: breaking bread. We still use it. We say that phrase. When you break bread with someone, it is very unlikely that you are also going to punch them in the face. We sit down. Our blood pressure lowers. The coﬀee shop is an ideal place to find common ground. NB: It’s such a powerful point that Zach makes. I don’t want to belabor it because he said it perfectly, so I’ll take the other angle. The thing I overlooked when I first got in to this business, but am so glad I eventually discovered, was the opportunity we have from an employment perspective. There isn’t a caste system. We employ six hundred people, and for a lot of them, this is their first job. And I love that these people are having their first job in a business that cares about them. Our team members come before our guests. We do whatever it takes to create a team that loves and cares for one another. That positive energy will then just flow naturally to our guests. AF: I think what y’all are pointing to is especially potent in Philly given its reputation as the ‘City of Brotherly Love.’ ZM: There is something peculiar, particular, and provincial in Philadelphia that makes people feel very proud to be here. It’s a complete mythology that Philadelphia is a tough, hardened place where it is hard to get to know people. In reality, there is
a fabric that is tightly woven. Nobody gets a cold shoulder. For the business community, this is a small town. I mean here we are (pointing to Nick). We came together by accident, but it was going to happen eventually. It’s important to remember that, besides Comcast, the biggest businesses here are the institutions — hospitals and universities. That creates a more team-oriented model that is very unlike the stock cutthroat corporate one. NB: I’m from Chicago. I think Philadelphia is Chicago without whatever PR firm has existed in Chicago for the past 150 years that makes people speak so highly of it. Something something ‘Midwestern values.’ We’ve allowed ourselves in Philly to be cast as this rough and tumble crowd — East Coast fast and unfriendly. Yet I walk around, and I feel like I’m in Chicago. We’ve just allowed ourselves to get painted poorly. I’ve been here for ten years and I’ve watched it slowly, and then in the past few years much more quickly, start to change. People are starting to realize just how special this place is. I can’t imagine a global city of this size and scale where it is easier to get connected and make a diﬀerence across industries. We have this Quakerism to us. We like to help people. We like to go out of our way. And when someone’s a jerk, we call them out on it! ZM: That’s a good point. You can’t be a big dog here because people will mock you. The Quaker values thing is an excellent point — you have to sit around the meeting house in equal stance. AF: Why are there not traditional coﬀee houses like those in Vienna or Zürich in the States? Are these places with a long shelf life something we are missing? ZM: Europe adheres to its values forever, which is very diﬀerent from the climate here. This is still the place of innovation. Even if there are those old spaces — I’m about to open something in a very old space, I don’t think it is ever staid. There is always a clean slate. People can reinvent themselves and their business readily. NB: We do like the shiny new thing in America, but I’m thinking more about this point in regards to restaurants. Some of my favorite restaurants in Philly wouldn’t be listed in any top twenty ranking because they’ve been here forever — places like Tequilas and Estia. They aren’t associated with hype. So it’s a double edged sword; I am an innovation person, but I agree we often don’t do a great job acknowledging tradition and legacy. AF: Coﬀee shops have too few ____: NB: There are too few great fresh food options at
coﬀee shops in America, which is something that Zach is correcting at Green Engine. There are a lot of factors that go into that weakness — rent, wages, all that other stuﬀ. ZM: It’s a very dangerous game to play. NB: It is. Oftentimes if you are really good at food in America, people don’t want to go to you for coﬀee or drinks. It’s something we have not addressed well — the one or the other thing. ZM: There is a European tradition that is a good one: places that are open all day and they’ll serve you anything. A place that doesn’t specialize or discriminate. Here, it is hard to be a coﬀee shop that is anything other than a coﬀee shop. NB: In Europe, they do an excellent job creating places where you can go and get your morning coﬀee, afternoon salad and evening glass of wine all in the same space. I can think of two or three places in our country that can level up to that. It is something we’ve been talking about forever. Can the European cafe model be successful here? Some places may appear to do that, but the reality is that they hemorrhage money in the morning and afternoon and then play catch up at night. AF: Coﬀee shops have too many ____: ZM: I don’t want this to sound negative because I like seats to be filled, but there are too many people not noticing all the gifts around them. I see a lot of people really hyper-focused on what they are doing, and it makes me a little bit sad. At the same time, I appreciate so much that people feel like they are being productive in spaces I’ve built. So it’s a diﬃcult balance for me. Typically people don’t bring a laptop to a pub. They interact more with strangers. That’s why I built a living room area out in Haverford. I want people to sit there and have to talk to the person across from them. NB: Playing on the pub idea, coﬀee shops have automatically operated on the Starbucks model where you stand up, line up, talk to someone behind a bar and then detach from human beings. There is too much of that get in a line, order, go sit down by yourself kind of thing. I think there will be a time where people look at that and imagine something diﬀerently — where if you want more of something, you have to commit to talking more to another human being. This means stressing the connectedness aspect in lieu of the traditional transactional encounter where you come together for thirty seconds and then separate oﬀ into your worlds. We’ve all just followed the leader with Starbucks creating that model.
Three pictures to describe myself: Zach Morris 1: I always tell people how magical Galway and the Aran Islands are. My wife Jocelyn has been listening to me yammer about it longer than anyone. Well, she finally went with me. Standing at the edge of Europe looking west is an immense feeling and it was really special for us both. We eat and drink a lot of great things. And we tend to do this outside, on the road, on a hike or bike ride. I actually walked up the road to take some photos of the bay, but I ended taking a bunch of her. This is how I like to picture her/us — well fed, some good drinks, outside with a view, nowhere to be anytime soon. 2: There’s a ton of meaning here for me. First, we’re in a city I adore — Barcelona. I lived there for a year after high school (1999-2000) and fell in love with it. This photo was a few days after the terrorist attack last August. It was a scary time for us since we had been nearby with our children when it occurred. And as the city begins to get back to “normal” we stumble upon a MASSIVE peace demonstration (half a million people
attended) and it was as much of a catharsis as I’ve ever experienced. Watching strangers include my children in a demonstration of peace after such a scary event… it still makes me emotional. The signs they’re holding read “We are not afraid” and “The best response is peace” in Catalan. My kids didn’t necessarily understand the weight of this, but one day I imagine them looking at this photo and feeling some sort of strength and deep understanding of the reason why we travel and immerse them constantly at a young age. 3: I have started nearly every day for the past six years with this 1974 La Pavoni lever-press espresso machine. I could make a better shot with a newer, fancier machine, but I like to do things by hand. I like the physical mental work of doing something the slow, hands-on way. And I like the pursuit of perfection when it’s actually impossible. I’m usually the first one up, with my dog, and this is the first thing I turn on each day. It’s important to me and even if I get a better machine, this will always be in use.
AF: Nick, you teach at Drexel and are an Entrepreneur in Residence at Cornell. Zach, you have been such a valuable mentor for Penn Coﬀee Club and other organizations on Penn’s campus. Can you talk about your approach to mentorship? NB: I am drawn to higher education because it is such a formative time. For me, it is about bringing people in not just to talk about their successes and “Hey look how amazing I am,” but “These are the mistakes I made and here is where I went wrong.” Getting involved in the classroom allows us to share our positive and negative experiences. ZM: I’m on the cusp of being a Millennial, but I identify more as Generation X — born in 1980 with an older sibling. So I see the younger generation, and I sense a bit of a divide. Most of the time when my generation talks about Millennials they talk about detractors, which I think is so misguided. It’s not beneath you; it’s just next in line to take over for you. So I learn a lot from Millennials. The innovators in third-wave coﬀee are mostly Millennials. I think our preoccupation with thinking of things along a linear development is wrong. When I see the Millennials, I see a bunch of impresarios taking advantage of inexpensive tools for advancement. The amount of entrepreneurs in the Millennial generation is going to make that of mine look silly. I’m happy to mentor and oﬀer advice when I can, but I don’t see myself up on a pedestal giving gifts. AF: We’ll end with a bit of an experiment. I’m putting ten minutes on the clock. In that time, I’d like you to collaborate on a business pitch for a company that isn’t coﬀee related. NB: I’ve always been attracted to the laundry business. ZM: It’s recession-proof. NB: And the industry itself is broken and really uninspiring. ZM: You’re right. Where people do their laundry is very segregated; a laundromat and a dry cleaners are two very diﬀerent things. NB: And the industry aligns with people’s desire to present themselves nicely and advance in the world. It’s been lead by people, often first-generation folks, without the institutional support or resources that enable them to innovate. What else can you put into a mod-
ern dry cleaners to make it a hub? ZM: That is the big goal: to not just serve a single purpose. Another somewhat recession-proof business is a bakery. They don’t go away. It doesn’t have to be artisanal. Could you have that? NB: People always want to be consuming something. We know that we’d want the concept to be one that lends itself to growth; you and I think in scale. And we want to create jobs that are excellent entry level positions where people can learn emotional intelligence, working in a team, taking care of guests; power skills to be successful. It’s about quality of experience — on the human side and the product side. We have to be transparent; when people want their items washed and pressed, they should know they are being washed and pressed. People expect to know more of what’s happening. ZM: We need to call it something too. NB: I love simple names that are aspirational, yet incredibly common. ZM: ‘The Dresser’? We need something that gives you an image. NB: I’ve always loved the notion of the ‘spot.’ Everyone has one of those whether it is your neighborhood bar or favorite restaurant. ZM: We always used to call it the ‘perch.’ Like ‘let’s go find a perch.’ Maybe ‘The Hangar’? NB: I love that! People would pick up on it immediately. ZM: It’s great because hangars are places where impressive things are stored. The logo creates itself, playing on airplane wings. Nick: So the name is ‘The Hangar’ and we’ve got the mission statement: a modern, community-centric, technologically-advanced dry cleaner with simple wraparound services that Alex doesn’t give us time to define because of the time limit. ZM: Yeah and the appropriate ancillary ambition is probably in food and beverage, and it is very likely to be coﬀee! Conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity. 101
The Young Professional’s Guide to Microdosing Johanna Matt-Navarro Illustration: Léa Kichler
ot take: coﬀee tastes bad and the spell is nauseating. When I drink more than four sips of coﬀee in a row it feels like my blood is going to vibrate into oblivion. People that say they like the taste of coﬀee are either addicted, fake, or sickos. I will not back down from this. If you agree, I have some good news: microdosing is IN. As we all know, microdosing is traditionally done by taking small doses of LSD or psilocybin to treat a variety of health conditions. And I say, why not bastardize this health treatment for my own lifestyle and agenda? So here you have it: microdosing – coﬀee edition. The important thing to remember is that microdosing is a practice, not a formula. The goal is to ingest enough caﬀeine to stay alert while not inducing an astral projection. Don’t be afraid to experiment with these to see what works for you! Here are my two favorite microbrew methods:
Recipe 1 Ingredients: Coﬀee Equipment: Drinking container Instructions: 1. Make sure the coﬀee is in the drinking container. 2. Lift the container to your lips, keeping your lips firmly sealed. 3. Tip the drinking container toward your mouth. Still keep your lips firmly sealed, but dare the coﬀee to try to make its way in. 4. Breathe in the smell of the coﬀee. I have never looked this up (and don’t plan to!), but I personally believe caﬀeine can enter your bloodstream through inhalation alone. 5. Now, take the smallest sip of coﬀee humanly possible. 6. Repeat as needed, usually 3 times an hour.
Recipe 2 Ingredients: Coﬀee Water Equipment: Drinking container Instructions: 1. Brew or purchase a regularly concentrated coﬀee. 2. Make sure that the container holding the coﬀee is at most half-full. 3. Boil or freeze water, depending on whether you want iced or hot. 4. Add that water into the coﬀee. 5. Add some more water to the coﬀee. 6. Stop adding water. This isn’t tea, you narc. 7. Enjoy!
Kyiv is the Capital of Ukraine Vlad Volochai
Ann is a photographer, muse, my wife, and the mother of my son. She loves Districtism and coďŹ€ee.
There is a lot of beautiful geometry in Kyiv buildings.
On the other side, Kyiv is the city of Shanghai-style districts and plastic churches.
On my way to psychotherapist. In Ukraine, caring about mental health is not a usual thing. We are a very shy nation.
Districtism â€” thatâ€™s what I call this strange love of ugly post-Soviet buildings.
Serhiy is a photographer, documentary cinematographer, DJ, reader, and cultural enthusiast. He is one of those people that defines Kyiv as a city. 110
Olga is 19, she is smart and shy. 111
Swedes-dropping Eric Ma Illustration: Sofie Praestgaard
Il Caﬀe is located in the Södermalm neighborhood of Stockholm — a neighborhood exempt from the stereotypical pretentiousness and condescension ascribed to the city. The high ceilings, track lighting, and big windows that let in the winter sun would make any Ikea fanatic jealous. In my time at Il Caﬀe, I’ve overheard a lot while eavesdropping surreptitiously on others’ conversations — some funny, some charming and some… strange.
rom the table to the right of me, I hear a 20-something-year-old British man being tutored on his Swedish. Things seem to be going quite well with his tutor when, suddenly, they reach a word that both of them are having trouble translating from Swedish to English. Without hesitation, the British pupil begins to Google Translate the word. The Swedish tutor raises her shrill voice at him and slaps his hand away from the keyboard. “No! Why would you do that! What am I even here for then!” The entire row of tables near them looks over. Many chuckle. I tune in to the table next to me. A man is reading a scholarly article on String Theory. No thanks. Next table. In front of me, a young mother sits with her toddler. He badgers her mercilessly. Kan jag snälla ha lite kaﬀe?!! Can I have some coﬀee?!! It’s pretty cute. Next to them, at a long table, a group from KTH, Stockholm’s prestigious engineering university is working on a project in Powerpoint. They all speak English with non-American accents — two Swedes, one Australian (I think) and one German. “Shall we go to the slide about the hemorrhoids?” My head snaps over to face them. They look at me. We share a sheepish laugh. Minutes later, as my embarrassment fades, I tune in again. “Well, guys. I am quite proud of us. I think we worked well together today, no?,” the cheery Swede asks. “No, I don’t,” the brash German says, matter-of-factly. Nervous laughter ensues within the group. I have this theory that Swedes are corny. I can’t really explain it. Maybe it’s that I’ve heard EDM remixes of Ed Sheeran songs on three diﬀerent occasions at three diﬀerent clubs around town. Maybe it’s that one of my Swedish classmates tried to tell me a knock-knock joke, and couldn’t stop laughing mid-joke long enough to actually complete the joke. Anyways, at the cafe, while I am leaving, a man in the corner who has been typing urgently and expeditiously for upwards of an hour begins to pack up his things to go home. He closes his laptop, plugs his earbuds into his phone, and bops his head to music. He begins singing. Loudly. “Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?” Corniness Theory confirmed.
Kafeterija Nikola Strbac
y parents’ apartment is in the Old Town, just steps from the University of Belgrade and The Students’ Park. The last time I was there coincided with freshman registration. Among the entering class was my cousin’s daughter, Marija, who had just moved from Montenegro. I met her for coﬀee at Kafeterija, a new breed of coﬀeehouse in Serbia. Although coﬀee culture is one of Belgrade’s most recognizable traits, the actual quality of the coﬀee has historically left something to be desired. The traditional Turkish coﬀee, renamed Serbian coﬀee sometime in the later Milošević era, was always a safe bet. Made by mixing two spoons of finely ground dark roast into boiling water in a coﬀee pot called dzezva — and some sugar if needed (never milk), it has a pleasantly bitter and rich taste. Other varieties included a super foamy Nescafe made with milk or water (popular doing lent) and a usually watered-down cappuccino. Belgrade, an ancient city that has been torn down and rebuilt many times over, can do rundown chic better than anywhere else I’ve been. Post-War buildings, neglected symbols of the Socialist era, sit amongst Viennese Secession or International Style structures. They mix under the weight of history and the heavy shade of chestnut trees. Though everything is thrown together without much aesthetic planning, the eﬀect is somehow comforting. One such building is the home of Kafeterija, though few people sit inside. Outside tables are on a plateau that used to be a gas station. They are bordered by a concrete wall with a huge ‘FAR’ written in graﬃti on one end and a lawn with a couple of trees on the other. This was mid-September and it was still very hot, so Marija and I were grateful for the shade. I chose a Brazilian Black Diamond cappuccino and she picked something sweet and flavored, with Angel in its name. A group of cool city kids at the table near us were smoking cigarettes and discussing their first class. A bearded guy with a baseball hat was working on his laptop, and two middle aged women were chatting while their dogs wandered around, enjoying the sun. Marija, who loves to be photographed, wandered oﬀ to a nearby wall to model for me. A local drunk came over to present the portraits he had sketched of us in blue ballpoint pen and asked if we wanted to buy them. He claimed he was famous on the club scene for doing nightlife portraits. We were not impressed with the disproportionate jaws he gave us, and rejected his oﬀer. 119
Clark Park People Conversations and Photography: Daniel Fradin n a rainy Tuesday this Spring, I trekked out to Clark Park on 43rd and Baltimore. I continued what I started last year: talking to strangers about their lives and coffee, and photographing them using my grandmotherâ€™s Polaroid. My mission was simply to share some stories, but both times I have come away with something more: an appreciation for talking with strangers. Once again, I found these Park People to be friendly and accessible, interesting, and diverse, and most of them coffee drinkers. Here are a few of those people:
Rob & Ramona
What’s your dog’s name? Ramona. We named her after the children’s book.
Which children’s book? Ramona Quimby. It was my girlfriend’s favorite book. She named the dog. We argued for three straight days thinking of names, and then finally she said, “I’ve got it — Ramona!” How long have you had Ramona? Um, about a year and a half. Originally we fostered her. She was so skinny they said we needed to put ten pounds on her before we could even put her on the market. But then we fell in love and kept her. She likes ice cream? (Ramona is currently licking vanilla ice cream from a carton) Loves it. Vanilla’s her favorite. It’s her second birthday, so I thought I’d do something nice for her. (Ramona has now finished the carton and is licking my leg). 121
Hi, do you have a minute to talk? Um, maybe a minute. I have to be at an event in twelve minutes. Okay, real quick. What are your passions? Hmm, well I study social work at Penn. My biggest passion I guess would be building stronger communities. What’s the best way to do that? There are a few. I’ve been looking at toxic and fragile masculinity lately. Masculinity is in the air we’ve all been breathing. It’s important to have more open and honest conversations about these issues, and I think with the #metoo movement we’re finally starting to have these conversations that women have been asking us to have for millennium. Last question. Do you drink coﬀee? (He starts biking away). Oh, no. I hate the taste.
Do you live near here? Uh huh. I moved here to go to school at UArts. Where’d you move from? Miami. My parents immigrated there from Honduras and Mexico. But I love Philly. I really connect with the city. What do you study at UArts? Book art (she laughs). I’m sorry, it’s hard to explain. But I love it. It sounds cool. What are your books about? They mostly deal with issues of liberation. What are you reading? (She shows me the book: Freedom is a Constant Struggle). Do you know Angela Davis? (I shake my head). She’s a political activist. Basically, this book’s about how everyone, even white folks, would benefit from liberating the world’s poorest people.
Willis’ son runs around the playground Do you guys come here often? Oh yeah. During the summer like four or five times a week. You didn’t used to be able to. I grew up around here, and the park used to be dangerous — needles all over the place, and gangs, and sexual assaults. It’s a lot better now. Mhmm. The community got fed up. They said, “one too many needles,” “one too many rapes,” and they fixed it. Before that, you couldn’t come around here unless you had like four or five guys with you, or you’d get robbed. It’s nice now. Do you like coﬀee? Don’t talk about coﬀee. I’m outta coﬀee. I gotta go to the store and pick some more up. My son makes me coﬀee on the weekends, Saturdays and Sundays. He makes it better than me. He mixes pods: Irish Cream, Vanilla Hazelnut, anything Kenyan, Moroccan. He puts in the right amount of cream.
Do you like coﬀee? Love it. (Ina’s currently drinking an iced latte). I drink so much that I think my heartbeat is at a constant 150. What do you do? I go to USciences. I’m studying pharmacy. That’s cool. Do you like it? (She shakes her head). I’m only doing it because my Albanian immigrant parents are like, “Med school, med school, med school.” What would you rather do? Photography (points at my polaroid). I’m actually a photographer, too. That’s awesome! What do you take pictures of? Mostly people. I love portraits. Like really close up. What’s your best picture? I can show you. (Ina pulls out her phone and after scrolling for a minute shows me a picture of a girl laying on a bed. The room is dark and only the girl’s face is lit. She has piercing blue eyes that stare directly into the lens. Her facial expression is one of both hope and despair like a girl in an Edward Hopper painting. It’s a haunting image). Who is that? My sister. She’s my muse. 125
Eric, Paul & Paul’s Son
Do you guys live nearby? Paul: I don’t. I’m visiting from Minnesota. This is my son, and this is my grandson. Eric: We live about two blocks away. Wow, three generations. Do you all drink coﬀee? (Boy shakes his head). Eric: Oh yeah. Paul: Me too. Did you start drinking more coﬀee after having your son? Eric: Not really. I’ve always drunk a lot of coﬀee. Paul: He has. Since he was a teenager. Mug after mug. It’s quite the sight. I don’t drink as much, but I’ve been drinking coﬀee for a long time. Have you always called it coﬀee? Did you use to call it a cup of joe? Paul: No. It’s always just been coﬀee.
Diana What’d you study in college? Visual Studies. I made a documentary for my thesis. What was it about? The Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I actually went to the West Bank for footage. What was that like? Incredible. I had unbelievable access. They didn’t know what to make of me. They never stopped me and would let me in everywhere. Can I watch the doc? I actually never finished it. In the end, it became a way for me to gather a collective memory of that time and place. Do you drink coﬀee? All the time. Mostly black. All Wharton students say they drink their coﬀee black, but I think they’re all secretly adding milk. 127
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Kelly Writers House Student Initiatives Fund Department of Russian and Eastern European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania The Penn Publications Cooperative Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania Enclave PhotoLounge
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