Mark Youd is an artist based in Caerphilly, near Cardiff, South Wales. Before Mark gets to work on his paintings, he starts the day with coffee, which inspired this creative series of photography called “Caffeine Planets.” I asked Mark to describe the process:
It’s a simple, fun project based on the patterns that develop in the crema on my morning coffee…I use Nespresso from a Krups Pixie machine topped up with hot water, by varying the angle of the mug when the coffee is being pumped and/or the speed the hot water is poured, I can influence the pattern that is created in the crema. I take a photo (with nothing more special than an iPhone) very soon after pouring. I then crop the images in photoshop and apply very basic contrast and colour filters (and a healthy dose of imagination) to them while I drink the coffee. -Mark Youd
Last week, I wrote about the grand opening of the DunneFrankowski pop-up coffee bar in London. In an effort to foster conversation around the culture of coffee shops and the habits of customers, they are charting and sharing all of their coffee sales as they happen. This transparent tally will keep track of a daily and continuing sum of all the drinks ordered by customers during their time at Protein.
It will be interesting to see if certain beverages (like filter coffee) become more popular as customers begin to learn more about the coffees being served and have the opportunity to try new things. This is a cool experiment I look forward to following.
One of the newest shops in London is ST.ALi, which carries the same name and a bit of inspiration from a shop in Melbourne, Australia. What I love most about ST. ALi is that they’ve successfully combined a roastery and café bar, with a full menu restaurant. There are very few places I’ve been to around the world that can offer a solid brekkie, brunch or any other meal and compliment it with proper coffee—ST.ALi can.
After a week of experiencing the Costa Rica, Zamorana at Coffee Common, it was nice to also try the espresso blend they use in their shop. Which I found more balanced and enjoyable than the Zamorana alone. The coffee wasn’t the best I had in the city, but the program is young and moving fast, already creating a new venue for people in London to experience well-prepared, progressive coffee. Tim Williams, a fellow co-founder of Coffee Common, has been leading the growth and refinement of the coffee program with help from Baptiste Kreyder, who participated in Coffee Common at TEDGlobal.
The space itself is beautiful with two floors and two coffee bars. The downstairs is outfitted with a lovely Slayer, while a Synesso graces the bar upstairs. The back of the restaurant opens up to a ceiling of skylights high above—which keeps the living wall well fed and the roasting area well lit during the day. The environment is a great way to get everyday customers—coming in for food—to be introduced to coffee in a great new way.
If you’re in London or going soon, your coffee tour wouldn’t be complete without ST.Ali. I would highly recommend planning your trip around a meal as well.
I really enjoy this animation chronicling the childhood and life of a coffee bean, set to the tune “Java Jave”—the 1940′s hit by The Ink Spots. The animation was illustrated and produced by Kristyna Baczynski, an artist from Leeds, UK. It also won the Digital Media Award in 2008 at the Northern Design Competition.
Kristyna’s whimsical, but refined illustration style reminds me of Ren & Stimpy with a more refreshing color palate, I love her unique take on comics and sequential art. Check out more of her work, shop her Etsy, or read a nice interview with her at Pika Land.