I just want a coffee.
I first met Mike Lipschutz at Paper or Plastik in the early days of its beginnings on LaBrea Avenue. Toby Obama, I later met at Hart and the Hunter within the last year and a half pushing out those biscuits and jam on wooden platters that make you rethink what you’ve called biscuits prior to this experience.
I met the two together early fall of 2015, they sat outdoors at Dinosaur Coffee and told me of their new project, a pilot about working in coffee. Today, its here and live. Congrats Mike and Toby for capturing your experiences in cinematic form.
Set in Silverlake, in one of its newer coveted experiences, Dinosaur Coffee, the I Work in Coffee pilot launches at this specialty shop known for serving Four Barrel Coffee, little dinosaurs popping around, a wellness wreath and neon sign above the rear communal table and for being packed, almost always.
The pilot begins with familiar faces in coffee, that is, if you’re acquainted with the baristas in L.A.’s coffee scene from places like Paper or Plastik, Hart and the Hunter and even here where the pilot occurs.
I Work in Coffee revolves around the coffee shop bar and follows the interaction of customers and baristas and the never aging topic of ordering just a coffee, in specialty coffee. There are two barista-customer interactions, the first with a female customer whose commenting on specialty coffee – drink types and menu – while on her phone. The second, is a gent in an eye-catching hat whose request for “just coffee” becomes a parody of customers like himself and interactions like these, that can and do occur across the counter over the idea of oversharing of information, origin name dropping and the ultimate customer experience from personal service to tipping.
“I don’t need a geography lesson bro, I just want a cup of coffee.”
In film, its the act of dramatizing real or imagined events that bring some truth to an idea, concept or culture and allow for broader discussion and at times comic relief. This culture feels I Work in Coffee hopes to do both, with a cue of Devendra Banhart – Mala is a good start – and a lot of coffee.
Catch the pilot below.
Are you a barista or a customer with a similar experience. Leave a comment below. Until then, this culture is waiting for the next episode because coffee, is our friend.