Pittsburgh Profile: David Day, Lead Barista, Tonic Coffee


Meet David Day, lead barista at Tonic Coffee in Lawrenceville, founder of Koffee Row (@koffeerow)  and  coffeetography and landscape photographer.

If you’ve been to the newly-opened Tonic Coffee, you’ve seen Dave sling drinks behind the bar, and perhaps he’s shared fun tidbits about the shop’s background, the sourcing of their beans and the creative mocktails. Get to know Dave in our Q&A below!

tonic coffee pittsburgh david day


Tell us about your project Koffee Row.

Koffee Row started out as a cafe reviewer and graphic t-shirt brand inspired by all things coffee. From the lack of craft shows in Pittsburgh and Ohio during the COVID-19 pandemic, Koffee Row was rebranded as a local cafe promoter that would talk about any cafe in Pittsburgh for free to help drive traffic during difficult times that we all faced. Koffee Row is slowly developing a new concept to facilitate its original goal of helping to cultivate not just a coffee culture, but a specialty coffee culture. Specialty Coffee as known by the Specialty Coffee Association is coffee with unique flavor profiles without any infused flavors that once freshly prepared in a brew method suited for the bean, produces unique flavors such as Blueberry Blossoms, Bergamont or Stone Fruits. My goal for future development of my brand is to help facilitate growth in the specialty coffee market with the use of social media, events and specialty coffee products.


What’s your favorite coffee drink?

My favorite is an espresso. A well-balanced espresso can be full of so many concentrated flavors that it can push the conceptual boundaries of what you expect coffee to taste like. 


Who inspires you?

Many amazing baristas and roasters in Pittsburgh that I’ve met and worked with are a constant inspiration. 
In addition inspiration comes from wanting to be on the frontier of pushing boundaries conceptually and technologically. I always say, advancement is a sign of life while stagnation is the cousin of death. You either make advancements or you wait for time to run out.

Catch Dave at Tonic Coffee next time you’re looking for a cup of joe! Visit the website for hours and upcoming special events.