We recently interviewed Jesse Christiansen about his life, love, and music, and it can be found over at IMPOSE Magazine. But we took it a step further and decided to make it a two part series. So while you can find the lead up here, be sure to check out the Q&A below. The man is smart, funny, wicked talented, and sure knows his coffee.
MOSHERY: Your website has its own ambience. The photography, the verbiage… everything makes it feel like a communal experience with friends. How did you come up with the concept for the site? Was it difficult? (I mean, branding on point!)
Jesse Christiansen: Thank you so much! That’s very encouraging to hear. I’ve gotta be honest though…I have very little to do with that. A big part of why I am still able to what I do is due to my girlfriend, the ever talented Karlie Pickett. She is a purebred wizard. She translates my vision behind how I brand myself, my website, my marketing, and provides lots of emotional support. Business isn’t my strong suit and it can so easily stress me the heck out.
As far as the site goes, I use squarespace. It’s SO easy to use. I definitely recommend it! Karlie did a lot of the grunt work, but we both wanted something that was professional and portrayed what I’m passionate about; music, community, and good coffee.
M: Your Easter beard. AND YOUR CHRISTMAS BEARD! Whose idea was that? (You pulled it off quite gracefully, my friend!)
Jesse: Thank you so much! I was pretty proud of that… So it’s a funny thing. It is somewhat of a trend, but you have to be qualified in ways that are out of your control. You need to have some manly genes to have a big enough beard to even consider doing this. Needless to say, I am #blessed with a beard that made the cut. I think I heard the idea from someone somewhere which got me thinking. It was as easy and me saying to Karlie, “Hey, what if I glittered my beard for Christmas?” Then she took it by the horns, sat me down, dumped hairspray and glitter on my face, and voila, my Christmas beard!
I thought of doing the daffodils for Easter in late winter and my beard was already the longest it had ever been and starting to get annoying enough to want to chop it off. But I had to wait until the flowers bloomed. So the day we did the daffodil pictures, was the day I shaved my beard off. It was fun though. There has been talk of doing year round holidays… We shall see. I just like being festive. Haha. Check out @thegaybeards on Instagram. The stuff they do is next level. So good.
M: Your Instagram feed would suggest that you enjoy coffee. (We know another lady named Karlie who also seems to love her brew!) What’s your favorite coffee/coffee recipe/coffee shop? Just ALL THE FAVORITES! (We’re caffeine freaks. Sorry.)
Jesse: YES! Coffee has been a growing passion in me. I’ve contemplated adding a coffee section to my blog and opening a mobile brew bar at some point in my life. I’m not an expert by any means, but I love learning and even more so, educating. Most of the time, I’ll make someone a cup using my v60 or chemex and explain the process and why I am doing what I’m doing while making a friend a cup. Then I have them make ME a cup and I talk/quiz them through it. It’s just nerdy and fun for me.
Whenever I travel, finding a quality roastery or coffee shop is one of the top priorities. I love sitting with my coffee and absorbing the atmosphere of the shop and taking in the culture of a different place. As far as what I order, that changes depending on what I’m in the mood for, but more recently I’ve been getting espresso drinks instead of a hand poured coffee. When I’m home I’ll usually make a cup of coffee at least once a day.
Favorite shop… That’s tough. I’ve found that there are a few different templates for the vibe of a coffee shop and then small variations of original flavor make up the rest of the atmosphere. Ceremony Coffee is a roastery in Annapolis, but they opened a shop in Baltimore last year and I frequent there often. They are the type of shop that is super clean and pristine with whites and greys; it seems like everything is sterile like a doctor’s office…but one that smells delicious with people that dress in denim and may or may not have taken a shower in a week. But what I love most about Ceremony is that they seem like they WANT to educate the customer. Just recently, I went to La Columbe Coffee’s main location in Philly and it blew my mind; they’re a coffee roastery, a distillery, and they serve delicious food! They are apparently the first in the country to have a draft latte, cold pressed coffee mixed with frothed milk that comes out of a nitro tap. It’s absolutely glorious! And then there’s Barista Parlor Golden Sound in Nashville, probably the most pretentious, yet the coolest shop I’ve ever been to. You can’t go wrong with anything there. They’re just so good.
And I just partnered with Honest Coffee out of Franklin, Tennessee and I am beyond stoked about it! They are wonderful people with some exciting plans. So keep your eyes peeled for some Honest/Jesse collaborations…
M: You seem like a pretty grounded guy. What do you think is underappreciated in the world, and why?
Jesse: Thank you for that! An all encompassing word would probably be perspective; knowing who you are and who the other guy is, realizing that you are no better or worse, and separately, recognizing there is more than one way to skin a cat. I realize not everyone has had the travel opportunities I have had, but I cannot tell you how much I have loved seeing the wide range of culture just in my own country, let alone the rest of the world. The east coast is wildly different than the west coast and both are very different from the midwest, God bless ‘em. I am a HUGE advocate for traveling, even if it’s a state away. Give people a chance and open up to new ideas and ways of life.
I love meeting people for coffee, not just to catch up, but to ask questions past, “how are you?” Too often I find myself getting angry or reacting poorly to someone when I don’t know much about them or why they act the way they do. One of the best examples of this is drivers; if someone cuts me off or they speed past me, for all I know they could be on their way to the hospital because their wife is pregnant. Even farther, someone flipping out on your for something small. If I can get to know a person, know what’s going on in their life, and find out what makes them tick, I’ll know why they react the way they do and you won’t be easily hurt or rebuttal. If you know it’s not about you, it’s about something they haven’t processed through or dealt with at all.
I think gaining perspective can make the simplest pleasures and relationships so much more meaningful. Heck, I just love coffee and people!
M: What are you listening to right now?
Jesse: Here ya go! I had fun with naming it…
M: What’s up next for you?
Jesse: What’s next… Well I’ve got some house shows coming up, I’ll be playing at Creation Festival over the summer, drinking Honest Coffee, and I’m planning a tour up into Michigan in late September. I should have some live tracks out soon with some videos! Through all of that, I’m writing, reading, recording, dating Karlie, and playing for a bunch of weddings, which is one of my favorite things on the planet. I can’t tell you how excited I am to share my new music with the world. I really think you’re gonna love it!
Keep up to date on all things Jesse Christiansen right here!
Meredith has spent her life pin balling across America. She is often referred to as an entrepreneur, photographer, writer, and multi-media maven. She would label herself “butcher,” “baker,” and “candlestick maker.” (Hint: One of these is not true.) She is currently trying to find the perfect design for the DIY ukulele her twin gave her for Christmas. You can find her random musings on Twitter and Instagram.