Why should wine and cheese get all the hype? In the culinary arts, pairings highlight components of a dish to deliver a balanced experience that compliments each ingredient’s best elements. The art of coffee introduces the pairing you didn’t know you needed, coffee and art history. We’re combining thousands of years of art history with their coffee counterparts. And then we’re breaking them down into the essential characteristics that define them. They’re smooth, bold, and sometimes unexpected. These “flavor” pairings unpack the personalities of your favorite coffees and creatives.
The Bold: Yayoi Kusama & Affogato
Sweet on top with a bold, heavy body, the affogato (served with a scoop of ice cream and a shot of espresso, or two) is all things Kusama. Her work is bright and easily digestible but packs a punch under its glistening surface. The content is dense and emotionally wrought but made accessible through a visually striking veneer.
The Baffling: David Lynch & Mazagran
It’s a cross between iced coffee, lemon tea, and rum. The mazagran contains a lot of ingredients that shouldn’t work together, and yet they do. We can’t think of a better art of coffee description for American filmmaker David Lynch. The creator of Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive blurs the lines of reality with such graceful ease he leaves his viewers wondering, “What just happened and where am I?”
The Classic: Emily Dickinson & Espresso
The espresso is a full-flavored, concentrated coffee. It’s created by forcing pressurized hot water through very finely ground coffee beans. Dickinson’s writings offer sharp-sighted observations about society and its limitations. Both pack a punch and get straight to the point.
The Volatile: Jackson Pollock & Irish Coffee
Jackson Pollock could fall into multiple art of coffee pairings. The red-eye, nitro, or just plain black coffee. But we argue the whiskey-based Irish coffee is most fitting. Black coffee, whiskey, and sugar, Irish coffee is equal parts stimulant and depressant. Known for his volatile temper and drip paintings, Pollock and the Irish coffee are classic and questionable.
The Long Study: Donna Tartt & Lungo
The longer the pull, the more caffeine there is. The lungo is the long pull espresso you need to dive into a Tartt novel. Her work is a painting with words that takes you on 700 plus word journeys. We imagine Tartt has had plenty of lungo’s during the seven-year stretches it takes for her to complete one of her novels.
Kaeley is a contemporary artist and cultural organizer who loves good espresso and a cold Coke Zero.