I really like coffee. I like visiting coffee shops, drinking coffee, taking pictures of coffee, looking at pictures of coffee and coffee shops, and talking about coffee. All the coffee. All the time. It should be noted that ‘coffee’ is also my shorthand for a latte because that’s mostly what I drink. If it’s a hot drink, it’s probably a latte. But if it’s a cold drink, it’s probably an iced coffee, although I have warmed up iced coffee. Let’s just say I have a complex relationship with coffee and espresso. I’ll also mix it up with a dirty chai, regular chai, and tea, we can even toss a hot chocolate in there if we’re going to talk about all things caffeine, but I digress… a post for another time!
But First, Coffee.
No one questions this saying. It is universally understood. Of course coffee first; are you kidding?! The morning ritual of coffee is relaxing, an important moment of pause to gather your thoughts, motivation, and strength for the day ahead, and then again around mid-day. It’s not just a beverage; it’s a lifestyle, a personality, and a ritual as familiar to coffee drinkers as brushing your teeth. People are defined by their coffee order, how they take their coffee, and how often they drink it.
Often people that don’t like the taste of coffee like the smell of coffee. Even if they don’t drink it they want to be around it. Coffee evokes more than just a caffeine fix or a liquid to satiate thirst. Coffee is its own photographic genre. How many times have you seen coffee used as an accessory, a stand-in for a warm hug, or a symbol for the past, present, and future – think soft interior, a person standing at an ever-so-slightly fogged window, their gaze pensive but content as they look off into the distance while the sun begins to rise hazily over the rolling forest hills making the morning dew glitter in the… Ok, you get it.
So grab your favorite coffee (you probably already have) and take a caffeinated journey with me as I reveal the story behind some of my favorite coffee posts.
Without further ado, here are the Top 5 Coffee/Latte Instagram Posts!
This photo was taken at a really great café in Montreal. It was half café / half deli and its charm was equal to that of the hotel I was staying at just down the street. It is just the type of place you want to find when you’re exploring a new city. It was busy and bright and the menu was as eclectic as the patrons, both tourists and locals alike. Usually, I like to try out a variety of different places, especially when traveling, but this café was so convenient and good I went there more than once. I brought a few rolls of film on this trip (Part of the Last Film Project, see my Instagram for further details) and this is one of the lucky shots that came out. I love it – the soft grain gives it that classic feel and there’s nothing too defining in the shot that would date the photo which also makes it feel timeless.
I love it when a photo just presents itself and you don’t even have to stage it! I had some time to kill before my volunteer shift at the Cleveland Museum of Art so I headed over to The Coffee House on University Circle. (Anyone else remember when it was Arabica??) I love this coffee house for so many reasons, among them - it’s unique, diverse and they have good, good coffee and friendly staff! I ordered a toasted marshmallow almond milk latte and blueberry scone and walked it over to a table. The table became the perfect marbled backdrop to compliment the blueberry splotches in the scone and foamy latte swirl. Done!
This photo on the other hand was slightly more staged. I had been to Blackbird Baking Company before but never lingered at a table. You know that time between lunch and dinner when you need…a snack? This is the time for coffee and pastry. I settled in at a corner table with my latest edition of Click magazine. I quickly noticed that the objects on the table all complimented each other; the polka dots on my bag, the dotted ‘i’ in the magazine title, the specked pastry crumbs, and the way the mocha powder settled on the latte. Insta-worthy!
This is also a travel photo, this time in Toronto; another bustling café with a great opportunity for people-watching. This place was attached to a mall and also near what seemed to be a very popular bus station so there was a lot to look at and many customers of all ages and backgrounds. Again, for as busy as they were, the baristas paid attention to their customers with kind service and attention to detail. I certainly didn’t expect the flourish of coffee art on the latte – it was a nice surprise!
If you’ve ever been, you probably recognized this table before I can reveal this photo was taken at Loop-Tremont. Another local coffee place I’ve grown fond of. This photo happened organically as well. The conveniently positioned overhead spot-light created a perfect pattern of squares mirroring the chessboard, and a ripple of circles that complement the shape of the coffee mug and the movement of the fern latte art. The composition creates leading lines that keep your eye wandering around and around the photo.