A Visit from Tommy Chong

Taking a photograph of a barista might seem like the most obvious thing now, but back when I started taking photos in cafes it was probably the last thing I would ever think of doing. I had a routine when going into a coffee shop which was to take photographs of inanimate objects: the interior design or incorporating the occasional cup of coffee.

But that started to change in May 2014 when Revolver Coffee got their new Victoria Arduino Black Eagle espresso machine. I wanted to get photographs of the new machine and I somehow ended up taking a shot of Tommy Chong while he was steaming some milk. It wasn't a dramatic overnight change where I started to take more portraits of baristas, but it was the first memorable photograph that involved a breathing human being.

So it was going full circle to see Tommy back in town and to be able to capture some images of him preparing to compete in the Canadian Brewers Cup Championships and also working a surprise shift behind the bar at Revolver Coffee.

Tommy Chong | Instagram


Lawrence Leebarista, photos