Who is Keet Veylupek?
That’s something that I’m still trying to figure out. I think the answer probably changes pretty often. In any given week I can occupy a variety of different roles. Some days I’m a barista, some days I’m the owner of a start-up company, somedays I’m a graphic designer or a photographer, and yet other days I’m just a guy that wants to hangout in San Diego. I probably take on too many projects. I guess I just love having my foot in a lot of doors, collaborating in one way or another with people I admire. If I slowed down and focused on just one or two things, I might be less stressed, but thats no fun. I like being pushed to be creative in new ways, to finish projects I’m under-qualified for, and contribute something to the local San Diego culture.
Where are you right now?
Right now I’m sitting at a kitchen table at a friend’s house in North Park, San Diego. It’s raining pretty hard out side on accord of El Nino, but the weather makes for good creative vibes. I’m currently drinking a cup of oolong tea while I plan out some new art direction for Coffee & Tea Collective.
If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?
There aren’t a lot of things I would do differently. I like to think that everything, good and bad, has happened for a reason. Without the decisions I made in the past I might not be where I am now… I like where I am. The only thing I can really think of is sports. It sounds a little silly, but if there was one thing I could “do-over,” it would be my involvement with sports growing up. When I was 6 years old, I had a surgery to correct my scoliosis and because of that I never participated in sports as a kid. Currently, I have a fascination with early American baseball and with skateboarding. I could still learn to skate, I just wish I had started years ago.
What is Port Coffee?
Port Coffee is my current start-up: part personal project, part experiment. As of now, Port Coffee operates as a mobile coffee cart, popping up to serve specialty coffee at private events in San Diego. I try to put a focus on education and quality; teaching people the importance of buying specialty coffee and then revealing how coffee can be prepared in ways that go beyond people’s expectations. Right now, the customer favorite is our selection of coffee cocktails. People are usually positively surprised by the ways we can use coffee as a base for a variety of cocktail inspired drinks. I’m running the company with my business partner Nathaniel Weir, and at this point we’re still learning how running a company works. Our goal is to build out a permanent shop in San Diego by late 2017. Follow us on Instagram (@portcoffeesd) for updates.
What’s your favorite kind of coffee?
Right now my favorite type of coffee (or way to prepare coffee) is the coffee cocktail. It’s still a new concept for a lot of people, so there’s a lot of room for experimentation and development. It’s one of my favorite types of drinks to make because it can take the perception that people have of coffee and provide them with something that is completely unique, breaking down their expectation of what coffee has to to taste like. With coffee cocktails there really aren’t any limits to flavor combinations. I can make a coffee mule one week and my version of a whiskey sour the next, all using the same coffee I would make a pour over with.
In which coffee shops are we likely to bump into you?
I’m almost always at Coffee & Tea Collective in North Park. I work there a couple times a week as a barista, but I also run their art direction, so it doubles as my creative office. When I’m not working, I love to visit as many other shops as I can. I’m a firm believer that supporting other shops is of utmost importance in the coffee community. I’m a frequent visitor of James Coffee, Lofty Coffee, and Copa Vida, to name a few.