"Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well" ~ Philip Stanhope
I'm Kyle Sheppard, aka Handsome Wade. My Instagram bio reads like you're average hipster starving artist. I'm a Jesus follower, photographer, husband, and now coffee blogger.
Coffee is a truly amazing plant with its history of legend, intrigue, romance, and global trade. It's grown in more than 50 countries and as a whole possesses a flavor palate that rivals that of wine. It sobered Europe and sparked the Renaissance as the great thinkers gathered in cafes to share ideas over a cup of the mind-sharpening brew. Today, coffee fuels the modern American machine to the tune of 400 million cups a day or 146 billion cups a year. On average, the coffee bean travels nearly 5000 miles from the source farm to the cup in your hand.
This project is the culmination of 4 years working as a barista and countless hours researching, brewing coffee, drinking coffee, talking about coffee, and visiting coffee shops around the country. It's a celebration of the culture surrounding coffee in all its trendy, hipster goodness. A training manual for the every day coffee drinker ready to step up their game and a community of people stoked on coffee.
I'm crazy passionate.
I've always been an all-in kinda guy. When I dive in, I go head first and as deep as possible. As soon as I've decided I'm into something, I want to know everything about it; I read, I research, I experiment, I think, and I talk about it non-stop. It's borderline obsession. Coffee was no different. When I left the world of coffee as a barista to pursue photography full-time, I knew I'd need an outlet for this obsession that wasn't going to go away that easily. Welcome to that outlet, I'm glad you're here.
I'm a follower of Jesus
My faith shapes my world view and defines my outlook. I believe that the same God that spoke the expanse of the universe into existence breathed life into me and placed in me the passion and ability to do the things I love to do. I can't help but want to look at what I've done and say "It is good." It makes me strive for excellence all the while reminding me who is really responsible for the gifts I have. So stay humble, ya dingus!
- Why Handsome Wade?: Part of this project is in honor of my Grandpa Wade, who started my love for coffee and whose name I get my middle name from. I read somewhere that my first name comes from a Gaelic word that either refers to geographical straight or handsome. Obviously, I'm going to go with Handsome here. You can read more about how Grandpa Wade influenced my coffee journey in this post.
- Favorite coffee: I'm a huge fan of coffees with strong fruity and floral notes. Ethiopian or Kenyan naturally processed coffees are my jam.
- Favorite brew method: Upside down Aeropress because it's so consistent and clean.
- What is your tattoo?: On my left forearm, I have a diagram of the glass pieces in a camera lens, specifically the Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH. It's super nerdy and I'm cool with it. I also have three mountain peaks on my left hand ring finger. This design represents myself, my wife, and God as the three pieces of our relationship and our love for the mountains.
- Is that wooden bow tie?: Heck yeah it is and you can get one of your very own from Two Guys Bow Ties (not an affiliate, I just really love it!)
- Professionally, I am a traveling adventure wedding photographer with my wife. We get to travel all over the US (hopefully the world!) documenting awesome people getting married and I visit coffee shops all along the way.
- I love shooting real film and I'm fully aware that further solidifies my stereotypical-ness.
- My wife and I got married at sunrise, so I got up before the rest of the wedding party and made coffee for everyone. I'll probably blog about that experience and what I learned from it eventually.
In the spirit of full disclosure and honesty, the links to products included throughout this website are affiliate links through which I will earn a commission if you choose to purchase. Primarily, HandsomeWade.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, so you should assume that any link, unless otherwise stated, is an affiliate link and I will receive compensation. I only recommend products I use currently, have used in the past, or have express confidence in unless otherwise stated.
If I receive any products for free or payment in exchange for a review, it will be clearly stated at the bottom of the post in order to avoid any confusion.
I use the earnings from this website to keep it running, purchase new products for content, and supplement my income. If you have any questions about anything mentioned here, feel free to reach out to me through the contact page!