Some glasses are made for drinking. Others serve a higher purpose: looking really, really cool on Instagram.
One trend alerted me to that fundamental truth: home cafe videos, an ASMR-esque genre that involves concocting cafe drinks — colorful, clinking, charming — from the comfort of one’s home. These videos, as I wrote in another piece for Eater, are the perfect marriage of aesthetic, sound, and mood, making for a viewing experience so soothing it transcends into the sublime.
The choice of drinkware used in these videos is eclectic. Video makers — often young South Koreans, in their 20s and 30s, pursuing the modest pleasures of “small but certain happiness” — pair Viennese coffee with champagne flutes and ube-matcha lattes with collins glasses. There are cuter and more unusual vessels, too, the likes of which are more commonly found in the e-marketplaces of South Korea and China, compared to here in the U.S. — options like apple fishbowls, glasses shaped like upright feet and paws, rectangular glasses, and more.
The most important factor is that they must, generally speaking, be made of glass that’s fine enough to cut an elegant figure, and clear enough that every drop, pour, and layer of liquid can be seen within the vessel. Sometimes, surprising shapes or bells and whistles, like double spouts, provide an extra dose of visual interest; but more often than not, clean and pristine suffices to showcase the photogenic drinks, which can include elaborate finishes like multicolored ice cubes, fruit garnishes, or even entire soft-serve cones.
Tempted to try your hand at home cafe videos (or at least post better photos of your cold brew)? Here’s a range of options to highlight your drinks for the camera. Add some flattering lighting and a clean background, and you’re well on your way to home cafe chic.
The basic (in a good way)
The next step up
The ol’ razzle-dazzle
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