One of the best things about Australia is our awesome coffee! We’re famous for a quality cup available almost everywhere, with expats even making the trip home just for a good coffee. Many Aussies love their regular routine of meeting friends for coffee at their local cafe, and many baristas are treated like a bone fide rockstars.
We’re also well known for our appreciation of art, with Australian galleries rated amongst the best in the world. We’ve got hugely popular art prizes like the Archibald Prize, our pubic galleries attract millions of visitors, and many artists are major cultural icons (think Pro Hart, Norman Lindsay, Arthur and David Boyd, John Olsen, Sidney Nolan, Brett Whiteley, etc). We love spending hours walking through our public and commercial galleries, and we’re also big collectors of art.
The beauty is these two loves get on so well together. It might be a weekend coffee while on a walk through a local gallery, a night-time cup at home admiring your collection, or simply enjoying your favourite blend while perusing creative beauties online and on Instagram. Quality coffee and quality art go so damned well together!
The Challenge: The inquiring minds at KAB Gallery wondered if we could discover anything about your taste in art based on your coffee order? To find out we joined forces with one of our favourite baristas Peta from Cove Cafe, situated right on the beach of Terrigal’s famous bay known as The Haven. Aside from being the perfect place to hang out this summer (or anytime), Cove serves up a phenomenal number of phenomenal quality coffees every day – the perfect place for our “scientific” study!
It makes sense that our coffee order says a lot about us. Between milks and teas, your sugar content and how you like your froth, there’s a lot to be learned from what’s in your cup. After some serious theoretical hypothesis and data crunching, we’re pleased to present our findings…
1. Representation – something traditional
An art style that follows all the rules. Representation is the most traditional form of art created with techniques that have been formally handed down from master to master.
Peta: When we think of the traditional, we think of a Macchiato or a shot of Espresso. To have the pure shot of coffee is to indulge in the bold flavours of the coffee beans. These coffees are perfect for this who enjoy the craft that the barista has used to create it. The appreciation of a traditional coffee seems to carry into a person’s appreciation of traditional art – pieces that have been created by artists who have mastered their skill.
2. Abstract – a bold challenge for your visual senses
Colour, technique and form are used to create a composition which challenges you to form your own interpretation of the work. Leave the literal world behind and challenge your visual senses with this powerful and popular style of art.
Peta: Latte lovers want to leave the literal world behind. The swirling designs in latte art are eye catching and can challenge the drinker to create their own interpretation of what’s painted into their cup. The same appears to carry though to the drinker’s taste in art – lovers of a well made latte may also be attracted to the shapes and forms within Abstract art.
3. Textured Impasto – thick dramatic application of paint
The thick and heavy application of the paint makes the impasto style of artwork an almost three dimensional painting. Bold, expressive and really stands out amongst the crowd!
Peta: With its thick layer of froth and a domed crema dappled with chocolate, the Cappuccino is a bold and dramatic coffee selection. The bold appearance and strong coffee taste of a cappuccino always stand out from the lighter flat whites and lattes. Cappuccino enthusiasts seem to enjoy the similar three dimensional expressions and bold statements of textured impasto art.
4. Realism – precise and detailed representation of their subject
A respect for detail and precision is the key to the style of realism. Whether it’s the ultra realist style of John Earle or the expressive realist style of Jo Waite, realist paintings look as perfect as a photograph. They often allow the viewer to appreciate the immense skill, patience and determination of the artist.
Peta: Bold and straightforward, a Long Black with a thick crema and powerful taste is the prefect showcase for the strong skills of the barista. Unadulterated by milk or other additives, the long black presents the prefect representation of the coffee beans from which it came. Long black lovers may have a respect for the detail and precision used by realist artists to create their works.
5. Decorative Art – a beautiful functional piece of art
That something extra! Decorative Art is beautiful but also serves a useful function such as a piece of furniture, tableware, textile and so on.
Peta: At Cove Cafe we serve Iced Coffees and Iced Mochas very extravagantly! Layers of coffee and ice cream are served in a tall glass and topped off with a tower of freshly whipped cream. Our baristas love creating these drinks which are often more of a decorative masterpiece than a beverage! Indulgent drinkers may be drawn to stylized pieces of decorative art which serve multiple uses around the home.
6. Pop Art – drawing from popular and mass culture
Pop art is defined by it’s bold and bright pieces filled with energy. They challenge the traditions of fine art by including imagery from popular and mass culture, such as advertising, comic books and mundane cultural objects.
Peta: Have you tried a Beetroot, Matcha, or Tumeric Latte? These beverages really challenge the traditional coffee culture. They are bright and funky and in recent years have been trending within the cafe scene despite often not containing caffeine. Drinkers of these unconventional recipes are going to be drawn to the bright colours and convention challenging themes within Pop Art.
7. Botanical/Flora Art – gorgeous representations of the aromas and visual feast of flowers
This typically soft and beautiful style of art depicts aspects of plants and flowers. The delicate structures of the flower are contrasted by the hard edges of stick, bark and leaves. This classic style of art is just as much at home on the wall of your grandmother’s house as it is amongst your modern art collection.
Peta: Lovers of this style of art often have a soft spot for herbal teas. Cove Cafe serves a large range of teas from Erina’s Montea Cristo which contain natural herbs, flowers, spices and fruits. They are delicious concoctions with incredible aromas and intricate colours & textures. Avid tea drinkers will arouse their visual senses over delicate floral designs within botanical art.
So are you one for bold and challenging Pop Arts or something traditional and realistic? Not sure – well maybe the answer is in your cup! We’d love to validate our extensive study – leave us a comment below, continue the conversation with both KAB Gallery or Cove Cafe on Facebook, or pop in to see both of us when you’re next in Terrigal.
EVENT: Cove Cafe are hosting the 2018 Expresso Coffee Specialists Barista Showdown on November 12th. Six of the best baristas from the Central Coast will be competing (Peta too!) with a panel of judges including Stefano Manfredi. Will be great for local coffee enthusiasts to check out!! More info will be on their Facebook page.