Why Handsome Wade?
Story time: A couple months ago, my wife Tori and I were on our way home from a wedding we photographed in Colorado. We met up with my brother at Kiln Coffee Bar in Grand Junction, near where I grew up. As we headed out to get back on the road, both the owner and manager called out and said, “See ya later, Wade! Drive safe!” My brother looked at me inquisitively and asked if they just called me Wade, I just smiled. They sure did. I kind of love the fact that many of the people who know me through this project call me Wade. I like it enough that I don't even correct people. For the record, my first name is actually Kyle, Wade is my middle name, but you can keep calling me Wade if you'd like. So why did I go with Handsome Wade for this coffee project?
I’m a dreamer, sometimes to a fault. I come up with sooo many projects and ideas that rarely ever turn into anything real. For example, some friends and I wanted to launch a Kickstarter to film a documentary. For a time, I dreamed of moving to Germany, just because. That’s just a few out of tons of ideas that never went anywhere. While most of them rarely moved beyond the dream phase, almost every single one of them had a name. I don’t know why, but as soon as an idea gets into my head it needs a name.
The Coffee Blog
The instant I thought about starting a coffee blog, I also started obsessing over what to call it. I don’t remember the exact process that eventually landed on Handsome Wade, but I remember at some point I decided to start playing around with names based off of my middle name. I had a eureka moment when I remembered that Kyle translates from a Gaelic word that means “handsome,” a handy little fact I just happened to know. How could I pass up on such a golden opportunity?
My middle name comes from my late Grandpa Wade (my first name came from Kyle Reese in Terminator. Thanks Mom.). I had a special relationship with my Grandpa. He lived in Michigan and we lived in Colorado, so we didn’t see him and my Grandma very often. Many of my early memories of coffee come from Grandpa Wade, like when I took a sip of his coffee at Carl’s Jr. and hated it. When he passed away my freshman year of college, it hit me hard.
Grandpa Wade took his coffee with two sugars, he said it kept him sweet. In the weeks and months after his death, I’d make myself a cup of coffee with two sugars in his honor. This pre-breakfast ritual, in the quietness of the pre-breakfast dining hall, helped me heal. It also gave me a taste for coffee that would eventually turn into the passion that fueled this project. Naming my coffee blog after him felt like another opportunity for me to honor my memory of him.
I’ve since fallen even more in love with the name, Handsome Wade. I love the personal homage, I love how it rolls off the tongue, and I love that now get to be one of those guys that goes by his middle name. (I actually tried to do this when I first went to college, just for kicks, but too many people already knew me and it didn’t stick). Beyond that though, it reminds me of my “coffee heritage,” so to speak, and inspires me to keep things non-pretentious.
Grandpa’s favorite coffee didn’t come from a local roaster or some third wave cafe. As far as I know, he didn’t precisely measure his ratios or track his extraction rates. In fact, if memory serves me right, he like pre-ground Folgers Classic the best. And yet, he loved coffee. If I sit atop my high horse and assert that your coffee is inferior to mine, I’d be completely invalidating the opinion of the one who inspired me in the first place.
Handsome Wade exists to share my love of coffee with anyone who wants to listen. I love learning new things and I love to share what I learn. If that helps you have an even more enjoyable experience with coffee, then I’ve accomplished my mission. However, I never want anyone to read what I write as the gospel truth. Make coffee how you enjoy making coffee. Enjoy the experience.
In loving memory of Grandpa Wade, #keepcoffeehandsome
Get the Gear. Support the Blog.
This side-project provides supplemental income that basically just feeds my coffee habits, and in turn helps me provide even more quality coffee content. Here are a couple of my personal favorite coffee products. Using the links below don’t cost you anything extra, but they swing me a little commission from whatever you buy. Thanks for your support!