a coffee with… Phillip Di’Angelo at Toms Coffee

When I first met Phillip, it was on the streets of Venice, he was in my circumference and I needed a picture of my coffee date and I.  After a few sentences of exchange, I learned he worked in coffee. When I asked him what coffee would you have me try if I come to your store. He said, “My espresso.”

It was a doppelganger of confidence, as an espresso isn’t often the default drink of many a coffee drinker. So, when I returned to his store – TOMS – I tried it singly as an espresso and along with milk in a cappuccino. It was the fastest I’ve ever drank a cappuccino – gone in at least two times 60 seconds. And, it’s the best cappuccino I’ve had all year. I can’t describe its notes, sorry. But I can describe its feeling. It was like climbing a mountain with beautiful vies all along the way, but reaching the zenith of its height and having an expansive view that was simply, breathtaking. It then inspired this documentation.

“When you come here – at TOMS – we all want coffee, no matter who you are, it’s the one thing we have in common. Coffee is a multi-platform.  As a barista, you become a facet of peoples lives, its as much about the coffee as it is about coffee shop therapy.  Being a barista stuck for me. Was I supposed to be doing something else? Well, what is anybody supposed to be do-ing?”

The Coffee:

“I can make my espresso scream my personality.”

His Cappuccino:


The Philosophy:

“The only thing you can wear is confidence.”

His Style:

“I can’t explain my style as a fragmented sentence. But, I like to transcend what people think.  Why be one person when I can be whatever I want?

Depending on who I’m seeing,  what I’m doing and where I’m going I can have a completely different look.  I’m 6 foot tall, gay and black. So, the hardest part was stepping out the door.  Once I got use to that, I’ve had the time of my life doing whatever I want.”