Barista Cool: Espresso Fashion Transformed
Keywords:Espresso, Barista, Third Wave Coffee, Coffee Fashion, Made in Italy
AbstractIn many parts of the world today, being a barista is cool. Young, bearded hipsters, tattooed artists, and pretty but disaffected teenage girls serve up their latte art specialties while dressed in attire worthy of fashion blogs. Some coffee brands prefer a distinctive uniform that reflects their marketing strategies while others recommend a look or allow for self-expression. Barista cool is a relatively new phenomenon, however. It appears to have been launched in youth-oriented cultures, such as in the United States and Australia and then re-crafted, like artisan coffee, in trend-setting countries, such as Japan, and re-imagined in countries with long-standing coffee cultures, such as Italy, the birthplace of espresso. Historic Italian espresso producers now encourage branding through uniforms that combine personal style and Italian fashion. New espresso bars in Italy moreover reflect the influences of third wave coffee and global fashion trends. This article seeks to analyze how and why espresso and cool fashion have only recently converged through the use of a variety of sources, such as archival research, interviews, and participant observation.
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