We’re a generation that lives through insta-moments. We photograph our food before eating it, view weddings through a cellphone screen, and record every moment for posterity. Hell, we even go to the bathrooms with our mobile devices; we're that afraid of leaving them. In part this is because we’re the ultimate ephemeral generation: we’ve suffered recession, we’ve seen loss and tragedy, and we’re very aware of how insecure and unstable our every moment is.
But perhaps the most fleeting notion is who we are, or once were. Capturing and creating moments is the one way we can put some stamp of ourselves on society. Thus, the selfie - the glorious self-enabler of this “you see me” and “I was here” moment. And now we want to document ourselves in our coffee.
Latte Selfies’, also known as coffee foam art, have been a hot commodity for some time now. One store in Taiwan is taking theirs to the next level, selfie style. Customers entering Family Mart stores can use the Let’s Café machines to upload their selfie, and the machine will then “print” it onto their latte in edible brown powder.
It’s the ultimate in generational selfie’s, the coffee version of Snapchat, a caffeinated “I was here” moment captured in incredibly transient high-tech. Why you want to drink your face is another question, but we’re talking selfie not narcissism here... or are they so interlinked they can’t be separated?
“Currently, the act of selfie-ing has become a sort of cultural marker,” said Psychologist Pamela Rutledge in Psychology Today. “Taking a selfie is easy. They are immediate. We are in control because we can delete any image we want. We can be cavalier with images in a way we never could when we had to pay for film to be developed.”
This isn’t the first time Coffee and Selfie’s have been combined. At SXSW this year there was the Brilliant Brew Bots, which printed out images of faces onto foam. Those were lackluster affairs compared to the detailed designs you see in the foam below.
This is the “healthiest” type of selfie in a way, as though it may live forever on Instagram, the immediate click-n-print offers an impermanent way to enjoy this trend.
“Selfie’s can enable a brief adventure into a different aspect of self or a relaxation of normal constraints,” said Rutledge. “Needless to say, there are some unfortunate uses of selfie’s. But that doesn’t mean the act of taking a selfie is a bad thing.”