How to Look at a Cappuccino

© Copyright 2021 Patricia Lucreziano, Ryerson University
A cappuccino with a heart milk foam design. In a white cup with the lid to the right of it, on the counter. The Café's logo is stamped on the white cup in a grey colour, has the letters HC in a circle on it. The counter it is placed on is white with grey marble and there is a reflection of a chandelier on it.
Lucreziano, Patricia. “How to look at a Cappuccino.” February 10, 2021. Digital Photograph. Canada. ©Patricia Lucreziano.

Something as simple as a morning coffee can change the course of someone’s whole day. There are two ways to look at a cappuccino, with two grander pictures in mind. In some cases, the morning coffee is an imperative part of one’s start-of-day routine, and for some; they could go either way, skip it or replace it with something else and they are not affected. The idealized conception of the cappuccino and the happy milk foam art that usually accompanies it is a trend for the masses. When you look at a cappuccino, or even simply a photo of a cappuccino, it is not just about the cappuccino itself. To look at a cappuccino for exactly what it is; a single shot of espresso accompanied by hot milk, and foamed milk, and in many cases the milk foam is used to create an artistic design. To look at a cappuccino in the grander scheme; you look at the ambience of the establishment that the cappuccino is set, the cup or mug that it is presented in, and taking into account the talented barista that had been able to execute the milk foam art.

      With this photo of a cappuccino, we see a plain white cup that has a stamp of the café’s logo on it – thus, being able to identify where it is coming from, providing context. The cappuccino is served with the cap off so the customer can appreciate it and even snap a photo of it (as I did) and could lead to it being posted on social media (as I also did), or leave a review, because of how pleasing to the eye it is. The cappuccino is set on a white and grey marble countertop – this is a colour way that is extremely popular and adds to the ambience of the overall presentation. One can also see the reflection of the chandelier on the shiny counter. That also elicits the idea that this establishment is not one in which is like all of the others, there is some unique characteristics to it. To some, they would look at this cappuccino and simply see it as their daily coffee, slap the lid on and get go on their day. However, there is something to be said for allowing a moment to truly appreciate it The most prominent observation to note is the foam milk art on the top; although a basic execution of a heart, it is to be appreciated that there is much more that could be done. The articulation of the foam milk heart is quite flawless and to that we can assume that the barista may have the expertise to do more complicated designs. This simple design is the starting backbone to this trend and with that, cappuccinos have brought in a new wave of interest for consumers.

I believe that in the grander scheme of things in regard to the cappuccino, the overall feeling that is associated with receiving one and appreciating it for all that it is, is special. To that, it is worthy to note that this is subjective to the person who is receiving it. The idea of grabbing a daily cappuccino, has the potential to be so mundane and everyday but also can symbolize catching up with a friend, a simple good conversation. For many, their preferred place to get coffee can lead to them becoming a regular there. That experience in itself is extremely special because it is then so much more than just picking up one’s daily cappuccino, but now, it can be as if you are visiting some friends – being the people that work there. Often with a cappuccino bought at an establishment in which sells them, there is a friendly face handing it to you, all in effort to contributing to your overall experience. Furthermore, you are appreciating the experience of “the cappuccino” to a new degree.

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