Coffee Love And What it Can Teach Us About Photography (And Life!)

1. In coffee, and photography, magic happens when the right elements come together. It is a magical moment when the right bean, roast, grind, and extraction method combine. The result is a perfect cup of coffee, subjective as that may be. Coffee- like photography- is what you make of it, after all.

2. Coffee is as unique as you are. Your preferences are like a thumb marks. I personally love single-origin beans (Mt. Apo or Benguet, please), light to medium roasts, the french press, and a double-walled glass. As with photography, no person will brew and love coffee the exact same way as the next. It is a faceted pursuit.

3. A good attitude enhances learning. Coffee is a journey and its preparation is an expressive art.  It’s incredibly fun to grow in coffee knowledge and in execution, but we must remain humble, avoiding the know-it-all attitude that gets in the way of learning 🙂

4. As with photography, being pretentious with coffee only robs  joy from the experience, swapping curiosity and wonder for arrogance and puffery. The best roasters, baristas, and coffee growers are often humble, grounded human beings with a love for community and things that grow. The photographers I look up to share similar traits, and are people of gratitude.

Above: That’s my French press, affectionately named Pedro.

5, Coffee teaches you to wait for the right moment and to do things properly. Some coffee methods are quicker, like the espresso or aeropress, but all methods require cleanliness and precision for a successful extraction. It is a lot like preparing for the best exposure- you must wait and do the right things.

6. Enjoying the process of preparing coffee adds to the satisfaction of a good result. This is true also in photography. When you trip the shutter, it is often after you have taken a journey, learned things, connected with people and entered new environments. On a tangent, as I studied coffee history, I also learned about human history and gained insight into how we as people are so unique, yet so alike, across diverse cultures.

7. A parting thought on photography: My study of photography is teaching me to see people- even strangers- in a more humane and warm way.  In seeing a person I hardly know, there is a way to find familiarity, to offer meaningful connection, respect, and even love. That’s pretty amazing.


  1. Just wanted to say this post speaks to my heart! Coffee and photography, my two strong interests! I love how you’ve written what I would love to vocalise. I found this page after just finishing a bag of Bluenotes Mount Apo and wanting to read more about it. Love your photography and your description of the journey for both the shutter and the cup is perfect. I’ll share this page on Google+. Cheers!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *