Archives for posts with tag: Art

The other day a barista served a take away cappuccino to a customer. The comment we heard was “what is the point, I am going to drink it“.

It is true without a doubt, the customer will drink the hot beverage! However, latte art is an art made with milk. It is the finishing touch – the icing on the cake.

This particular person was a drinker not a taster: in other words didn’t actually appreciate the skill of the coffee maker. It is craft, it is handmade, it is unique and beautiful but it is never good enough for some.

Latte art - rosetta and tulip

Latte art – rosetta and tulip

A barista is generally ending the flat white, cappuccino or latte (even chai latte) with a rosetta, heart, tulip. What does this show and why?

It is a guarantee that the milk is perfect for the drink: having been stretched, spinned and texturised – it means that the barista knows how to produce a great coffee with just the amount of froth required.

Sometimes people seem annoyed by everything even if what they are waiting for is for themselves. Everything has to be fast and instant…but quality takes time.

The internet is never fast enough despite all improvement from 3G to 4G…it has to be faster. But what do people want?

Patience could be a forgotten word from the 20th century. Look around you when shopping or waiting for something. Individuals look frustrated and angry because the queue in front of them is not moving. However, when it is their turn they want all the attention and take their time to decide, pick and order. Is this not slightly selfish and inconsiderate?

Now, let’s imagine that when ordering a dish the vegetables, fish/meat, salad are just piled up on a plate without care. Surely, this would trigger a complain. So why, attention to detail when it comes to make latte art can be perceived as pointless but when the food is badly presented, it is then unacceptable?!

Would this mean that coffee is seen as a quick fix – or do real coffee tasters want it well served…even if that rosetta will go? Latte art is part of it, isn’t it? We could then ask whether packing birthday presents is also a waste of time, money and effort as this paper will be binned! Overall, it is about the visual effect and showing that there is a real dedication to give something crafted by one person for another.

Producing coffee for let’s say 10 hours a day can be seen as something rather easy and straight forward. But each time – for every drink – it is a new start.

It requires real skills, focus/concentration (yes indeed) and passion. The barista doesn’t just make A drink. He/she will prepare it for you – a bespoke beverage made to order with quality ingredients when it comes to speciality coffee! La crème de la crème!

Pouring Latte Art - close up

Pouring Latte Art – close up

Finally, it is not because you are requesting a take away hot drink that you will be served quicker – the queue is the same for everyone, unless you have decided to go to the express lane of a well known fast food. There is no priority for the paper cup queue as everything has to match the ethical way of making good coffee.

For more details about latte art competition visit SCAE UK page HERE.

Enjoy…turn the volume right up!

By now we do know that coffee shops and espresso bars have changed from the basic place to have a quick hot drink to a social meeting place.

Customers like to spend time in such places either before or after work – even during their lunch break. The main idea is to forget the daily stress and “recharge the batteries”.

Most places do have daily newspapers. According to the available space, there is even a kind of little library/bookshop corner.

It can go one step further as well: coffee table books. Great quality items, usually related to food and drink, music, fashion, design and coffee.

Coffee table book

Coffee table book

In general these books have been given by the owner or the barista as well. It is a good way to recycle and re-use what would go into the bin.

Customers always like to go through some kind of visual treat, whatever the publication date.

Nowadays, anything related to aesthetic is a win: the image is the first thing that people see and usually make their mind up too.

It works in retail and fashion. How many times in fact, individuals are buying shoes or clothes because the colour and shape are appealing. However, it doesn’t mean that it will be easy to take care of it.

There is an instant welcoming feel when such products are on shelves or tables. In other words it creates a natural harmony – it is neither too cluttered nor too clinical. Finding the right balance in a business is rather important.

More and more coffee places are going for the warm/simple and cosy décor!

This trend is also adopted by publisher. As a prime example Bare magazine/journal.

Bare issue 1 - Death of a dead man by Bastian Gunther

Bare issue 1 – Death of a dead man by Bastian Gunther

…Holding Bare magazine in your hands or flicking idly through it on the tube, you’d be forgiven realising that there was something different about it without being able to put your finger on exactly what that is. Printed on heavy uncoated stock and without a single retouched photograph between its front and back pages, the difference is subtle, but it’s there… Source

Bare issue 1

Bare issue 1

Overall, it seems that layout and graphic design of the actual printed/published edition or issue (whether hard copy or digital) are what potential readers are looking for. Check some book covers by Astrid Stavro HERE.

Graphic design and typography by Astrid Stavro

Graphic design and typography by Astrid Stavro