Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Coffee Art: A History


One does not need to be a coffee person to get this. One does not need to possess pronounced artistic tendencies to appreciate it, either.
Some awareness to narrative styles might help, however.

This is one of the most enjoyable commentaries I've read these past few weeks. No exaggeration. And the tip of the hat goes to the artist responsible for this, whose name is Christopher Niemann. His website is here and the Times-featured piece is here.
A bit says:

"In New York, I was always envious of people who could walk into a coffee place and the guy behind the counter would know them so well he would just start fixing their order, without any exchange of words. It took me more than 10 years to get to that stage, but at the very end of my tenure in New York I finally achieved it: I would enter my little spot on Eighth Avenue and, with nothing more than maybe a nod of acknowledgment, my buddy prepared my personal choice: drip coffee with steamed milk."
And those of who 'get' the text behind this kind of familiar anonymity, so 'get' this.




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10 comments:

Nicki said...

Venti Nonfat Caramel Macchiato is not just a drink. It's a text. Or that's how a certain someone puts it. This piece sheds good light. I liked....

Nicki said...

I loved the way it read, too. Like a discovery process, or something. The young person who comes to term with his/her own nature and that there is no way out of the getting-devirginised-by-coffee thing.

aflo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aflo said...

Absolutely loved this commentary. I too always felt envious of people whose drinks would already be in the process of being made as soon as they walked through the door. Must confess I have not gotten there yet, but i'm definitely getting closer and closer every day when I make my regular stop my coffee shop and order my drug of choice: a Venti Non-fat extra hot caramel macchiato

dana said...

This is such a clever piece. Healthy context can house a healthy form.
I suppose some people are easier to remember because they're just better at consistency.
My personal favorite though is the following line: "I'm so and so's friend..."
Barista: "Ah, are you having a soy latte?"

Jane said...

The napkin idea is genius.
The thing with coffee is that it represents a much richer text that just a culinary-type experience.

Sra said...

I love art in unique media.

I used to go to Niche every morning before work, and the baristas quickly learned my drink, 8 oz skinny latte, but these days I make drip coffee at work because it's cheaper. Le sigh.

Jenny said...

I've had reason to think about this. It's not just those with European accents and a knack for consistency that get their drinks memorized by others. Sometimes some personalities translate faster than others. It doesn't mean they are better, they are just more memorizable.
And the real art form here is the final act of familiarity that is engendered: the guy's drink is remembered. We create to 'know we are not alone' ..., right?

Jenny said...

And another thing, the 'art' here is all-inclusive. It's not just a Starbuckian text he is referring to. Mom-and-Pops cafe could play the Spiel with just as much ease.
What was Cheers punchline... Everyone knows your name....
These pieces would look good on parchment-like paper. Could be a good gift if one's been in the dog house for a few weeks ;)....

deidre said...

This would cool to print out. I like!!