Israeli Artist Tastes, Draws and Shares Her Daily Cup of Coffee

Tel Aviv artist Ilanit Shamia always leaves her apartment in Florentin to drink her morning Americano at a local cafe.

This morning habit is now part of a daily project, “Koret Bacafe” or “Reading in the café”, a play on words in which café can mean both the drink and the establishment that serves it.

Shamia draws the coffee cup of the day (on her iPad), adds a quote – in English – from what she reads that morning, and posts it on her Instagram account @koret_bacafe.

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Monday morning’s artwork featured an iridescent white mug from Austria’s Stefan Bakery, located on Tel Aviv’s Chernikosvky Street, emblazoned with a quote from the magazine Smithsonian on agro-food technology.

A few days before, it was a to-go cup – not Shamia’s favorite type of cup – of Way Cup Coffee, with a quote from a National Public Radio report on an Oklahoma memorial dedicated to Bob Dylan.

Shamia’s daily habit of having coffee has turned into something of a coffee blog, with a hundred cups and quotes sketched over the past few months. Like many projects started by Shamia, who trained in Bezalel, she never really knows where it will lead her.

One of the illustrations for ‘Koret Bacafe’ by artist Ilanit Shamia (Credit: Courtesy Koret Bacafe)

“It’s a bit like a morning meditation,” says Shamia.

Or like a morning diary, but with her coffee and her favorite quote of the day.

Like many art projects of the moment, Koret Bacafe was born in the context of COVID-19, when Shamia was finally able to venture back into her favorite neighborhood cafes after the lockdowns.

For her first post, she was sitting at a cafe with a flowery mug and the newspaper. Ha’aretz of the day, when she photographed the still life for Instagram, commenting, “Koret Bacafe. »

“I couldn’t believe no one else had coined that phrase yet,” said Shamia, who couldn’t find any hashtags or accounts associated with the term.

Her friends inspired her to do something with this idea, letting the illustrated mugs take her on a kind of daily trip to the different cafes.

She now spends one to two hours every morning – but never on Friday, her sacred day off – drawing her cup of coffee and the quote of the day.

While her cafes are mostly in Tel Aviv, with occasional jaunts to Jerusalem and Haifa, she has found that posting her morning coffee on Instagram connects her to the global village, as cafes in Hong Kong or Italy follow her and share her drawing, often because of the articles she quotes and tags in her Instagram post.

“It’s about drawing with emotion,” Shamia said, reflecting on what makes this project so familiar to others. “Morning coffee is a feel-good ceremony. You find your peace at that moment, you grab your vibration for the day. And in the café, you are surrounded by people while being alone. »

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Israeli Artist Tastes, Draws and Shares Her Daily Cup of Coffee

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