A picture is worth a thousand words

It’s one of those days when I convert the café table into my workstation. While I do the final run through of the client presentation, I overhear a kid’s conversation right behind me, Mom, why did he draw a heart over your coffee? Does he love you?”

I take my eyes off the laptop screen, glance at my steaming hot coffee and smile impishly “Guess, he loves me too!”

The heart, tulip, rosette that are etched on our coffee is a skillful art, popularly known as the “Latte Art”. This art form was introduced to ensure that our coffee looked pretty and sumptuous. It’s like drawing on a canvas, wherein the balance between  elements like height, position, flow and control defined the quality of the art. Intention is to make it visually stunning so that it affects our perception of the flavor in the cup, even before we sip it.

Does the same philosophy apply when we meet someone?

Be it your coffee or the person we are meeting, our mind is programmed to function the same way. It tries to categorize the person/ coffee and generate feelings which instantly impact us. Researchers say that, “it takes only 7 seconds for someone to evaluate you”. According to Dr. Albert Mehrabian’s , 7%-38%-55% Rule, 7 percent of our communication is based on what we say, 38 percent on how we sound and whopping 55 percent is visual.

Our mind unconsciously evaluates the person and forms an opinion in the first 7–10 secs and this judgement gets finalized in the following 30 secs. As the well know adage goes, “First impression is the last impression” and now you know how precious those first few seconds are.

You can read how first impressions makes you fall in love in  A Love Affair

Just like the heart crafted over your coffee needs to be perfect to make you fall in love with it, so has to be your appearance. It’s imperative to be conscious about your personal grooming and body language to be able to make that first and possible lasting impression. As Andrew Grant once said,”You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Image shot at The Coffee shop,Saket,New Delhi

As my mind drifted from these thoughts, I heard the mother explain to the kid Beta, he doesn’t love me but he is making sure that I love the coffee and come here every day for one.”



Latte art, is presumed to be developed initially in Italy, but the credit of popularizing it goes to David Schomer, who owned a coffee shop called Espresso Vivace in Seattle, United States. The heart pattern was established by Schomer’s in 1989 and in 1992 , he created the rosette . Latte art is a mixture of two colloids: the crema, which is an emulsion of coffee oil and brewed coffee; and the micro-foam, which is a foam of air in milk.

First impression in psychology,is the event when one person first encounters another person and forms a mental image of him/her. Its based on a wide range of characteristics like age, race, culture, language, gender, physical appearance, accent, posture & voice . The first impression individuals give to others, could greatly influence how they are treated and viewed in many contexts of everyday life.