Coffee And Photography

The term ‘hipster’ seems to have become synonymous with anything artisanal. Dare to care about a process and you’re iron branded a try hard.

In the last decade this has become particularly true in two of my loves: Photography and coffee.

I have worked in both fields professionally for around a decade and still find myself deep diving into the intricacies of both. Following their romantic lore, further and further back trying to find my perfect process.

Coffee and photography have a great deal in common.

Yes, we’ve all seen countless cups posted in various flat lay compositions on hand carved wooden tables on Instagram but I don’t have the word count to explain why Instagram isn’t a ‘real’ photography platform (in my humble and definitely correct(!?) opinion).

Both centre heavily around a community. A shared love of nuance. In photography we can discuss ad infinitum about film choices, development chemicals, pushing, pulling and timings. The same can be said about coffee. What equipment do we use? Is there a correct grind size, how long do you extract for and should you use washed or natural coffees to really experience a bean?

In photography we manipulate images in Lightroom to the point they’re indistinguishable from their original form. In coffee we do the same with processing methods, infusions, and recipes involving ice cream. You can argue this isn’t correct etiquette but the real answer is that there isn’t an answer. It’s about having fun and enjoying your ‘medium’. Staying true to its core values and trying not to deviate from what makes it great.

Mike Sim

Bar Manager / Commercial Photographer