Drawing inspiration from his favorite culinary-adventurist television personalities such as Anthony Bourdain, James O’Rear has been hosting his own coffee-related program, “Let’s Get Coffee with James O’Rear.”
Based in Southern California, O’rear and a small production crew composed of friends have been setting up video shoots at numerous Los Angeles-area independent specialty shops, profiling owners and presenting the series on YouTube. Despite the professional-level quality of the videos, the project is self-funded, one part passion project and one part experiment in grassroots entrepreneurship.
O’Rear told Daily Coffee News he came up with the idea after he and his wife began planning their day dates around visits to new independent coffee shops, while mutually discovering a love for good coffee and admiration for the independent purveyors who provide it.
“I’ve contemplated opening a coffee shop over the years, but I wouldn’t even know where to start,” said O’Rear, who makes up for whatever experience he may be lacking in the intricacies of coffee with unbridled enthusiasm. “So I thought, why don’t I go talk to these people and hear their stories.”
Over the past four months of filming and meeting with shop owners, O’Rear said he’s learned infinitely more about coffee than he knew heading into episode one. “All the different owners have different stories and they all geek out at a different part of the process,” O’Rear said. “Every business owner has been adding a new piece of the puzzle for me.”
With the project being self-funded and each episode requiring approximately 40 hours of work from the initial contact with shop owners to the finished video on YouTube, O’Rear said he’s hoping to find ways to keep the project growing through potential app development or sponsorships. Eventually, he’d love to find a way to expand the show to include shops throughout the country.
“We’re paying all the royalties for the music and generally just doing everything the right way,”O’Rear said. “Doing it the right way is really expensive and tough, but I’m really interested in doing this the right way because I want it to reflect coffee done the right way.”
For more episodes, check out the “Let’s Get Coffee” YouTube channel.