Explorer at heart
If there’s one Europe-based Instagrammer to watch, it’s Ana-Alexandra Moga of @rhymeswithcoffee. Her stunning feed will transport you on a journey through the elegant and quaint streets of London. You should be warned; Moga’s pictures are bound to incite travel lust and have you planning your next trip closely based on her wanderings and discoveries. You may also start to crave a coffee morning, noon, and night.
If you think Moga’s Instagram is her main gig (you’d be forgiven for making that assumption), think again. She’s also passionate about technology and has spent the majority of her career as a software engineer. So, why did she launch “Rhymes with Coffee”? When the company she worked for in Cluj-Napoca, Romania was acquired in 2014, she moved to London to work as an Engineering Manager and started taking pictures of her adventures as a way to document her life for family and friends. Here, she shares what inspires her most about London, why her Insta is about her personal journey, and what she loves about her new hood, Kentish Town.
Why are you so coffee obsessed?
I think my passion for coffee grew exponentially after moving to London. Back home in Cluj, I’d spend my Friday lunch break with friends at our favorite coffee shop, Booha, and during the weekends I’d explore the local coffee scene or try new blends at home. I like to think of coffee as an experience—it’s not only about the drink itself, but the company you’re in, the mood, the conversation flow and the place you’re at. London has completely taken me by surprise—I love all the cute independent coffee shops, each with their own personalized interior designs, very talented baristas, roasting and grinding their own blends, a magazine dedicated to coffee lovers – it’s such an eye opening experience. It’s also about connecting like-minded people – through Instagram and coffee dates I’ve met so many wonderfully talented folks in London and feeling part of a community is such a rewarding feeling, especially in a new city.
Do you have a photo philosophy?
I mostly use Instagram as a personal journal, to tell my story I guess—I think it all truly started with our trip to Japan in April 2014. It mostly contains bits and pieces of my every day life, you know, those little things that make a moment, snaps that I’d like to remember one year from now—it’s also a great way for my parents to stay in touch with where I am.
Do you have a life philosophy?
As for a life philosophy, I try to keep positive and honest with myself and the people around me, I love learning about other cultures, exploring, traveling and connecting with other people.
Do you have a recent favorite picture? If so, what’s the story behind it?
My favorite recent coffee snap from London is from a quiet, rainy Saturday morning in our back yard. We used to live near King’s Cross for our first year in London and the hustle and bustle of the area really makes you feel like an integral part of this city that never sleeps. So we decided to find a quieter residential area and the first time we laid eyes on this garden, we instantly knew it’s where we’d like to have our coffee on weekend mornings. It’s also so soothing to open those sash windows, hear the sound of leftover raindrops falling off the large fig tree leaves, and maybe spot a fluffy squirrel running on the fence in the back.
Where do you live in London? Can you share your three favorite spots in your hood?
We recently moved to Kentish Town, just north of Camden. The locals truly make this neighborhood: family owned coffee shops, independent bakeries, butchers, flower shops, bookstores. My favorite coffee places are Fields Beneath—they make a mean fruit granola and the cheese and bacon toasted croissant is finger-licking good. Two Doors Down is my caffeine fix on a Monday morning on my way to work. Bear + Wolf is a darling kids friendly coffee place with possibly the best brunch around. When the weather’s nice, I love walking east along Regent’s Canal or biking around the neighborhood and finding cute pastel colored housed and vintage cars to snap.