Java Junkie: Inside the World’s Coolest Coffeehouses with Karla Diaz Cano
The transition from food stylist to jewelry designer is not an obvious one. That is, until you see Karla Diaz Cano’s work.
As a professional shutterbug and prop stylist, Diaz Cano travels the world helping restaurant and lifestyle clients tell their stories through photography. Viewed through her lens, salads glitter, wooden tables evoke languorous meals, and berries and seeds adorn dishes and surfaces like an array of gemstones on display.
Diaz Cano also expresses her penchant for bold colors, along with her flair for mixing materials and textures, through Tiklari. Handcrafted by artisans in Istanbul, the line of “jewelry with a happy soul” ranges from simple bangles to bejeweled cuffs, from tiny studs to drop earrings composed of candy-colored cabochons.
“Early mornings are my 'me' time,” the designer writes in an homage to the creative moments that inspire her diverse roster of projects. “Those early mornings when everyone is still asleep, the streets are empty, and the kitchen smells of fresh coffee, berries and warm toast.”
But never mind the inspiration. Where does she find the energy to juggle all of her pursuits? Diaz Cano credits a healthy lifestyle, clean eating–and, yes, caffeine. “I love coffee shops, especially cute ones,” she says.
Thanks to creative gigs that keep her perpetually on the go, she sees a lot of them. Currently, Diaz Cano splits her time between NYC and her hometown of Mexico City, but there's plenty of travel sprinkled in between. Work frequently takes her to Turkey, and last fall, she ventured Down Under on an assignment to photograph Australian wool farms. The multi-hyphenate talent chronicles her journeys on a blog called A Simple Morning, from which we culled the following images and tips. From Mexico to Melbourne, these are some of the most picturesque spots in the world in which to enjoy a cup of Joe.
When in Mexico City...
Power up at Abarrotes Delirio. According to Diaz Cano, the spot is a hybrid between “a gourmet deli, corner store and street food stand, offering bread fresh out of the oven, wines, artisan teas, chocolates, pastries, as well as a cool torta stand.”
When in Melbourne...
“Australians are proud of their coffee, and they should be!” observes Diaz Cano, who learned about this coffee spot on her first day in Australia. “I met a girl and asked her for recommendations for the best coffee places in the Central Business District. She directed me [to] a cute little spot called A Little Bird Told Me – a sun-drenched place that is loved by locals.”
When in Portland...
Diaz Cano recommends a walk around “Alphabet City, a peaceful area of the city with breathtaking parks, and streets lined with trees and Victorian houses.” The neighborhood is where you'll find "one of the cutest coffee shops, Sterling Coffee Roasters.” What to order? “I had a pretty good dark chocolate mocha,” she says.
When in NYC...
From Happy Bones in Nolita to Crosby Coffee in Crown Heights, Diaz Cano has a long list of coffeehouse favorites in New York. Among them: “Maman, a French bakery/cafe in Soho. The old wood tables, the old cupboards make you feel like you’re in the South of France.”