BRL Coffee Company's "Friends & Family" w/ Mario Espinoza

April 05, 2021

BRL Coffee Company's "Friends & Family" w/ Mario Espinoza

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We’re back with another BRL Friends & Family playlist! This week the tunes will make you want to start your day strong and strut. your. stuff! It’s brought to us by one of my dear friends: Mario Ismael Espinoza  

Mario’s playlist infuses the much desired energy they want to bring to their day. Their days often bring unexpected challenges so those are best met with high-energy and a “you’re no match for me” attitude. This playlist gets them there from the start!

Check out the conversation Mario and I had to help you get to know them, what their experience with coffee has been like, and what they’re goals are for 2021.


Name: Mario Ismael Espinoza
Instagram: mario__del__barrio
Hometown: Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico (born), NYC (resident), Southern West Coast (current Location) 
Occupation: Social Worker, Former Dancer
BRL Favorite & Brew Style: Kiss of Life, Drip

JM: Hi Mario! Thanks for sharing a cup of coffee with me and answering a few questions for F&F. Would you mind telling us a little about yourself? 

MIE: Thanks for having me! Of course. My name is Mario Ismael Espinoza. I was born in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. NYC is usually where I reside, but have been spending time with my family in the Southern West Coast over the past year.

JM: I’m glad you’re able to recharge around family and with some beautiful west coast sunshine. What do you do for work?

MIE: I’m a social worker for the Actor’s Fund - Dancers’ Resource Program. I was also a former dancer for Ballet Hispanico for 7 years so this is a program that is very special to me.

JM: That’s amazing! It sounds so fulfilling to provide support with your expertise to a community that you are so close to. Social work seems like a field that requires a lot of mental and emotional strength and toughness. I’m guessing coffee plays a big role in how you prep yourself for a day in your line of work! How do you take your coffee and what does your morning routine usually look like? 

MIE: Definitely. I take my coffee with almond milk. My morning starts with music and my skincare routine. That's normally when the first song on my playlist is played (at a low-volume). Once that's done I'll turn it up and go for a walk with my dogs. Next I drive to work, enjoy my coffee, and meditate for 20-40 minutes depending on the day.

JM: I applaud you for your meditation practice! I do it off and on and usually make it to 10 mins before I start to doze off...guess I need more practice! I have an important request. Please tell me more about your dogs.  

MIE: LOL! Their names are Max and Jack. Max is a 10 y/o Golden Retriever, and Jack is a 1 y/o All-Black German Shepherd.

JM: I appreciate you. Circling back to coffee. When did you start drinking it? Do you have any childhood memories that include coffee in some way? 

MIE: Four thousand years ago, or so it seems. I remember being an adolescent and drinking coffee for the first time with my aunt. We sat in the kitchen re-filling our cups, talking about all the things. Then the sun started to come up. That was my first experience with coffee and also my first all-nighter.

JM: I can imagine it was an all-nighter! Any coffee after 2pm for me and I am awake until the next which case I’d need to call in “sick” from work. Speaking of which, what’s your favorite thing to do on a day off, Mario?

MIE: Nap. 

JM: Same here. Can you tell us a little about the playlist you put together? 

MIE: Sure, this is only one of my morning playlists. It’s the one that brings forth the energy I want to bring to my day. These songs are my music version of “dress like you’re gonna run into your ex”. With all of the unexpected challenges that arise throughout my day, I find they’re best met with a high-energy and a “you’re no match for me” attitude. This is where this playlist gets me from the start.

JM: Well I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me today. As we bring this Q&A to a close, could you tell me something you want to do or do more of in 2021? 

MIE: Continue to foster a relationship with my emotional and spiritual life. Perhaps get laid, and leave the country, at least for a few days. 

Amen! Wishing Mario the best of luck in all of those goals!

Interview by Jackie Martinez - Contributing Content Creator, Food Instagrammer for @chopwithjax