People often feel an intimate connection to the way they take their coffee, but Taiwan’s Let’s Café –the in-house coffee shop of the FamilyMart convenience store chain–wanted to make sure that customers could really see themselves in their cups.
Let’s Café introduced a new wrinkle to the already-thriving world of coffee creativity when the company unveiled a new feature to its customers: their own faces printed in latte foam. Before ordering their coffee, customers are invited to take a selfie, send it to the specialized coffee machine, and wait for the machine to sprinkle down a drinkable powder that results in a (surprisingly lifelike) replica of the image, right there in milk foam.
Artistic endeavors are not new to coffee shops, of course–they just typically involve a very bored barista with a creative side artfully pouring the milk into a customer’s drink in a way that leaves the image of, say, a flower or a dragon or a portrait of John Lennon in the foam. (There are competing latte art world championships in at least Chicago and Paris, and there are other contests around the world.) The question of whether or not it’s truly “art” when it’s made by a machine is a valid one that may depend largely on one’s view of whether or not we’ve already reached the Singularity. In any case, a foaming pile of creativity was likely involved in coming up with the idea to build the machine, and no one can take that away from Let’s Café.
Watch a video demonstration below.