When Joey Lopes makes a cup of coffee he does it with precision and finesse. “For a (regular) cup of coffee, we use 30 grams of freshly ground coffee, and 425 grams of water,” said Lopes, 25. “Milk is a personal choice, but if I were to prepare a customer’s coffee I would use approximately 2 ounces.”
“He’s a coffee scientist,” said Ben Cordova owner of Coffee Mode on 9th and Market. Before the coffee bar opened on October 2016, Cordova chose Lopes to manage the high-quality coffee bar located in the lobby of the Citizens Bank building. Lopes gets his barista expertise working two years at LOMA Cafe, reading, and interviewing coffee bar owners. He is one of three baristas at Coffee Mode.
“I enjoy serving something good and beautiful to someone,” he said. Coffee Mode embraces a coffee bar movement called third wave coffee that treats coffee as an artisan or craft beverage. A Cortado is one of Lopes’s favorite cups of coffee to make. It is made with a shot of espresso cut with an equal part of hot milk. Served in a Gibraltar glass, the beverage looks like a dessert with white steam milk swirls on top, but the rich coffee aroma gives it away.
Lopes, who a year ago moved from Maryland to Wilmington, said coffee bars are invaluable to the city of Wilmington because they offer an informal social venue for community and cultural enrichment. “We have meaningful conversations with customers about politics, technology, and world issues,” he said.
Most of Coffee Mode’s customers are lawyers or business people who stop by in the morning or later in the day for a break. When a frequent customer walks in, Lopes knows what to serve without exchanging a word. Just a nod and a smile is all it takes, he said.
Besides specialty coffees, which are sourced from Elixir Coffee Company in PA, Coffee Mode offers organic teas, smoothies, ciders, ice brew coffee, and fresh baked goods-some gluten-free.
919 N Market St
Wilmington DE 19801
Owner: Ben Cordova
By Adriana Camacho-Church ACCpen1@gmail.com
Downtown Visions Contributing Writer