Coffee Tasting with Team Coco: To Live and Coffee in LA

conan-obrienI love adult field trips especially when they include coffee. Friends, Conan O’Brien and Jordan Schlansky take a trip to Intelligentsia Coffee in Silver Lake – a verifiable cool location from design, coffee practice to its regulars, often documented here. There are a lot of funny and serious truths during their visit highlighting some familiar ideas and thoughts in coffee culture. I laughed the entire sketch and parsed out some of our culture’s truths below. Enjoy!

I Just Love Coffee |

When called a “coffee expert” most coffee lovers will avert the title with something like ‘love coffee or the like.’ An expert often applies to one who knows it all, or is well-versed in a subject. In this wide world of changing coffee culture, most are often too humble to except the “expert” title, submitting to the humility of being a student of the seasonal fruit.

Geeking Out |

When a coffee lover is asked a question about coffee, its rare to answer with a yes or no.  Coffee is so complex! So giving a long form answer can be misconstrued as geeking out, when really it’s the best and complete way to answer a question.

Mind Your P’s |

When cupping coffee, there are some protocols. Over time coffee lovers learns to appreciate flavor. The more he tastes the more his palate can expand. Cupping coffee then becomes like playtime figuring out the subjective notes that allow one to enunciate what exactly they feel is on their palate. So, yes papaya, peaches and plums and pluots and all those things Coco.

C.I.A. |

Coffee Intelligence Agency. Most coffee shops have a name that alludes to something more.   Jordan goes to Intelligentsia and is asked by Conan what the name means. While its defined for him, Conan still asks Jordan is definition and chides him being a wisea$%&.  Specialty coffee has a high IQ and its intelligence is welcomed.

Style |

Specialty coffee shops often develop a clientele that could look like what many may refer to as hipster. This was one motivating reason why I started photographing the  people of coffee to show the diversity of the culture. However, these hairnets are not stylish, they’re just professional.

Hold Me Back |

Coffee is quite subjective. And, so is the palate. While there are some established systems to ascertain ‘what one gets’, “what one tastes’ ‘what one feels’, people in coffee can get a little feisty sometime about their ideas, thoughts and preferences. So, one’s firm stand shouldn’t be taking as a subliminal invite to fight, lets keep the funny and the peace.

Just Do It |

At the end of the day, coffee is about enjoyment from sugar to tannics, milks to whip cream, dial in times to espresso pulls to even wanting a certain barista to make your dream – have it your way.  I love coffee con panna. Cue the handmade whip cream and Tupac’s ‘To Live and  [Coffee] in L.A’.