Brandon Lopez, a Denver based photographer and graphic designer shares with us his love of coffee, coffee shops, and coffee culture.
Favorite coffee shop: This is a really hard question — I have favorites for the community, for the coffee, and for the space itself.
My favorite for community is Two Rivers (@tworiverscoffee) in Denver. Eric, the owner, has been a good friend of mine for the last six years and anyone that knows him knows that he would do next to anything for the people around him. I was at his wedding this weekend and it was no surprise to see so many familiar faces from the shop there.
Switchbox Coffee (@switchboxcoffee) in Fort Lauderdale is up there in my favorites for great coffee. The day before they opened, I walked in to share my excitement for them opening the next day. Come to find out they just recently moved back from Denver to open this shop. Long story short — just as quickly as we became good friends — they became a staple in the craft coffee world in South Florida.
Lastly, for the space itself, Its a tie. I’ve always loved ALL DAY (@alldaymia) in Miami. Its tall, open ceilings and clean interior look like they took this place straight out of San Fransisco. The neon menu along with the gorgeous bar are understandably, a focal point. The other would be Black Eye Coffee (@blackeyecoffee) in Denver. By day a coffee and brunch spot, by night a bar call edWhite Lies. From black and gold Art Deco style wallpaper to the white penny tile, this spot is undoubtedly ‘grammable to say the least.
Camera you shoot with: Typically, at least in the past, the only camera I’ve had on me is my iPhone. Recently I’ve been shooting with a Canon 5D Mark II
Favorite drink to get at coffee shop: This really depends on the mood, somedays it’s a cortado, others it’s some method of pour over, and if ever in doubt, cold brew is always a solid choice.
Why do you love coffee culture: Above all, I love the way that coffee brings people together, whether in work, in community, or ritual. Some of my closest friends I’ve met in the coffee community. Its seems to be a common thread that people who love coffee also share a passion for connecting. One of my good buddies, Joe (@coffeenkegs) and I connected through Instagram. He runs an account showcasing the some of the best coffee, shops, and beer — I hit him up one day and asked to hang and I’ll be attending his wedding later this year, haha. Which goes to show, the coffee community is stoked on celebrating craft, authenticity, and connection.
Give us a photo tip: Find the light — for me coffee always looks best in natural light. And I am by no means wildly knowledgeable in the subject but the trick Ive found is finding where light is coming from and how I can use it. Whether it’s a person sitting in a window or sitting in a spot where the light is filtering in, its hard to mess up a shot with good lighting.
What city has the best coffee: Out of the cities I’ve lived in or visited London definitely has the best coffee — but everyone knows that. As far as overall experience, hands down Denver has one of the best communities of incredible roasters and shop goers.
What makes a good coffee shop: To me a good shop isn’t always the one on the forefront of trends or the most aesthetic, its about the people the put up with me coming in everyday and asking questions about their lives outside the shop. The people that share that same passion as the shop goers for community and authenticity. Its about the people behind the counter and the people I’m with. Yeah of course, I love neon menus and marble counters, but if there’s nothing substantial behind them then all you have are some hipsters serving you bean water.