Fashion and coffee – coffee and fashion. fashionistas love a coffee, it keeps them perky. I think they have certain similarities. Paris Fashion Week came to an end at the beginning of the month of October. Along with the usual glitz and glamor of a fashion based celeb-fest, something else caught my eye – layering. A staple of the fashion industry, layering is a way designer can add a dash of color to a collection, great for fall/winter dressing to protect against the cold and is always a great outfit option. It is also something that is being seen in coffee shops – be they independent or one of the big multi-nationals. You see, I told you I was onto something here. Stay with me.
The effortless elegance of a model seems to me similar to the tall glass mugs full of hot coffee, intricately layered with milk and velvety chocolate or whatever taste takes your fancy. Artisan coffee is a fairly new-fangled concept for me and is a movement I can’t embrace fully enough.
Coffee has been a staple of the American way since the nation’s inception. A drink of utility, sending people off to work with renewed verve and vigor. This utility has had a much-needed makeover in the last decade or so. Baristas are finally getting the respect they deserve, putting them somewhere in line with the highly respected mixologists (it’s a posh name for the person behind the bar that makes your Martinis). Coffee got its game back and I like it.
There are a few types of coffee that use layering to their advantage. The cappuccino is the obvious example; a thick pillowy froth floating like a cloud on rich and creamy coffee is a caffeinated classic. There are other examples of layering being used, such as the #dolcegusto Chococino. This drink starts with a base layer of rich and velvety chocolate on top of which is placed a thick and sweet coat of warm milk. As a final cap on top, there is a frothy head of creamy cocoa.
I think there is an even better example of where the fashion and coffee world collide, the Latte Macchiato. A coffee that literally means ‘stained milk’ it is differentiated from a latte in that it has layers as the espresso is added to hot milk; a plain latte is a hot milk added to espresso. An example of this drink can be seen below alongside an image from Luis Vuitton’s Fall/Winter collection 2013 as showcased in Paris Fashion Week. Tell me you don’t see the relationship.
Fashion is undoubtedly a form of high art and should be respected as such. I don’t think there is any reason why coffee lovers and makers the world over can’t look at their chosen art in such high regard. It certainly is a challenge to get a drink that looks great, tastes good and invigorates well. Now I’m not trying to relate Karl Lagerfeld with the barista in your coffee shop, that would be absurd but I am trying to throw the cat amongst the pigeons and get you to consider the thought and effort that goes into your next cup of Joe.
Do you know any coffee shops that layer particularly well, link to a picture of this in the comments below?
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