Caffè Latte Is Not What You Think It Is

Caffè Latte Is Not What You Think It Is

“Perhaps the latte’s most popular association, at least currently, is with a certain level of affluence. Conservatives complain about ‘latte liberals’ who are out of touch with the working class ….

But the notion that lattes are a sign of privilege may be off-base. Kyla Wazana Tompkins, a professor of English and gender and women’s studies … told Op-Talk that ‘the latte, while it may be attached on a certain level to too much upper-class food knowledge and pretension, it really is no longer an upper-class drink.’ She explained: ‘No matter how many kale salads Starbucks puts in their case, Starbucks is a fast-food purveyor.’ The latte, she argued, ‘is a high-calorie food that’s being pushed in an industrialized way largely to working-class people.’ And, she added, ‘it’s important to think about the explosion of all of these industrialized lattes, all these frozen lattes, all the Frappuccinos, as links to a larger problem of creating cheap, high-calorie, low-nutrition food for working-class people.’”


“If You Read This, You Might Never Drink a Latte Again,” Anna North, New York Times


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Image (“Lady with iPad, after Rafael de Penagos”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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