My mission in life, I think, is to make people feel something. I’m more interested in staff being kind and engaging with people coming through the door than being psyched about coffee. I mean, it has to be both, but because coffee has a tendency to be pretentious on the surface — like you almost expect it to be “hipsters” doing some weird thing with coffee — well, if you can engage people with kindness and information and art beyond that, I think it’s a beautiful thing. It’s totally disarming to both the weird art world and the weird coffee world. I feel like we have a fun opportunity to engage people where they’re at.

I’m currently traveling in the US, and doing a bit of a coffee tour while I’m at it. Latest stop: Elixir Espresso Bar in downtown San Diego. Great vibe, and I had a nice chat with the Bulgarian owner.

The coffee is good, but they use a very dark roast, which I’m just not that into any more. At least the place didn’t look like a Starbucks (like most coffee shops do here…) and the owner is genuinely passionate about his craft. That’s great to see.