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Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.

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Instagram, Photography, design, coffee, User Feature, hashtag highlight,

Fake coffee branding with @luftaffe

To see more photos of Illarion’s designs on coffee cups, use a #fakecoffeebranding hashtag and follow @luftaffe

“If you want to create a coffee-themed design, coffee cups are the best choice,” says Russia Instagrammer Illarion Gordon (@luftaffe), who posts photos of coffee cups that he has illustrated with unusual drawings. “My wife is a barista, and I use coffee cups as a place for my ideas. I just took a felt tip and drew a design on the white cup.” As a designer by day, Illarion’s experimentations on coffee cups has allowed him to explore a new perspective on branding and develop his illustrations. “I create cups with melancholic and existentialist designs that would never exist in real life from real coffee brands.”

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User Feature, Instagram, toronto, coffee,

Writing Home with @ledavolli

For more photos from Leticia, follow @ledavolli on Instagram.

The experience of living abroad has been a magical one for Brazil Instagrammer Leticia Davolli (@ledavolli), who has called Toronto home for the last five years. “All of a sudden, you see the world through the eyes of a foreigner,” she says. “You never belong to a single place again.”

Leticia strives to preserve her foreigner’s perspective on the city while still maintaining ties to her roots back home. “I try to maintain the perspective of a newcomer in Toronto by really exploring each corner, sidewalk and coffee shop through the lens of my phone. When I first moved to Toronto, I created the blog Para Minha Mãe, translating to “For My Mother,” as a way to share my experiences in Toronto with my mom. I wanted to share the cool parts of the city that were not mentioned in most city guides. After a while, the blog naturally developed a wider audience and people started writing in and asking me for city recommendations.”

Leticia is especially fascinated by Toronto’s independent café scene. “People gather there to find inspiration and connect with others,” she says. “My mother also loves coffee shops. Being in cafés is a way to reconnect with my essence and origins.”

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Who I follow, User Feature, bosch, kaffe, karren, coffee, old cars,

#WhoIFollow: Discovering Germany’s Coffee and Cars with @bosch

In the #WhoIFollow series, we ask Instagrammers to share their favorite people to follow. For more photos and videos from André and some of his favorites on Instagram, follow @bosch, @christopherhall, @eskimo and @knurrt on Instagram.

Hamburg Instagrammer André Krüger’s (@bosch) passions on Instagram could be divided into two themes: karre (old cars) and kaffe (coffee).

André’s hashtag series #boschkarren is an extensive collection of the classic European cars he spotted on the streets in Berlin. “It’s not only the historic cars that make a #boschkarren photo,” he says. “It’s more that the car has to fit into an interesting setting.”

In addition to old cars, André likes to use Instagram as his “coffee diary,” joining an international community of roasters, coffee shop owners and connoisseurs on Instagram. Last year, he ran an international pre-Christmas Wichteln (“Secret Santa”), #thirdwavewichteln, with more than 350 participants exchanging coffee beans from 25 countries. After its success, he plans to run the scheme again this year.

For a taste of André’s flavor for old cars and coffee, follow some of his favorite accounts on Instagram:

  • @christopherhall – “For the greatest cars on Instagram”
  • @eskimo – “For urban tristesse
  • @knurrt – “For non-touristy Berlin insights”
  • @ofeneck – Design, architecture, furniture, cars, records and coffee in Berlin
  • @roitsch – Coffee tasting from Düsseldorf
  • @lastguest_hh – Coffee and magazines from the owner of Coffee Table Mags.

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food, education, landscape, user feature, Uganda, coffee, travel, instagram,

Scenes from Small-Town Uganda with @sarahgenelle

For a look at everyday life on a coffee farm in Western Uganda, follow @sarahgenelle.

Living and working on a coffee farm nestled in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda is just the latest stop in the nomadic life of Sarah Castagnola (@sarahgenelle).

Sarah’s parents taught at international schools, which meant relocating the family to a different country every few years. “When I moved to Oregon for university I was exited to put down roots,” she explains. “However, it was only a matter of time before I yearned to travel again.”

Sarah’s studies and work in micro-finance have taken her across the globe, and, in April of 2013, she accepted a Peace Corps assignment in the small Ugandan village of Kyarumba. Living and working in Uganda often means it’s easier to share a photo on Instagram than it is to find running water or electricity. “This is the paradox of living in a developing country,” Sarah says. “Cellphones are ubiquitous, however women and children spend hours each day fetching water.”

Sarah, who plans to continue traveling after the Peace Corps, hopes her photos educate and inspire: “Opportunities happen when you take risks and follow your passion.”

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user feature, coffee,

Scouring the Globe for the Best Cup of Coffee

To see more photos and videos from the life of a traveling coffee buyer, follow @stephen_vick and @bluebottle on Instagram.

As the buyer for Blue Bottle Coffee’s green, not-yet-roasted coffee, Stephen Vick (@stephen_vick) travels to every corner of the globe. “I use Instagram to document my travels and show interesting, beautiful, quirky things that I see when I’m out in the world,” says Stephen.

It was in 2004 that Stephen began visiting the farms where coffee is grown. With those trips, says Stephen, “came a greater understanding that most of the challenges in producing a quality cup of coffee are hurdles that are faced by the producer,” like shortfalls in knowledge, resources and capacity.

In the past decade, Stephen has visited more than 17 countries in a variety of capacities, from teaching farmers best practices to working on the construction of more economical and sustainable processing facilities. Spending time in remote, tropical areas has also brought the occasional harrowing health experience: “In Northwestern Tanzania I contracted cerebral malaria, had kidney failure and went into a coma.” After a few months, Stephen regained his strength and returned to the work he loves.

These days, Stephen spends about half his time out visiting coffee farms. “My favorite is Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee and the most challenging and rewarding country to source from.”

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User Feature, 3191 miles apart, home decor, craft, coffee,

Mornings and Evenings: 3191 Miles Apart

To view more photos from Maria and Steph, follow @3191milesapart on Instagram and visit their blog, 3191 Miles Apart.

Long before Instagram began, Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes found each other online and bonded over a mutual love of craft and simple domesticity. Living 3191 miles (5135 km) apart in the US cities of Portland, Maine, and Portland, Oregon, the two began a year-long project posting a diptych of their morning view side-by-side on their blog, 3191 Miles Apart.

They enjoyed the experience so much that they ran a subsequent year-long project of evenings, eventually met each other in person and later started a quarterly magazine, blog and shop together. Instagram was the natural next step for their daily photos of coffee and cereal.

"We decided to start the Instagram account to recapture some of the spirit of how 3191 Miles Apart began," explains Steph. "Instagram allows us to celebrate the everyday again." The pair alternate in posting photos from their morning and evening scenes with the signatures "MAV" for Maria and "SCB" for Steph, as well as some additions from newer members of the team.

"What I have loved about being on Instagram with my 3191 team is how our posts play off and interact with each other much as MAV’s and my photos did in our Year of Mornings and Evenings projects. I love to look at our grid of photos every now and again. Inevitably, the colors and shapes complement each other in amazing ways."

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user feature, coffee,

@livscreams and the Art of Ground Coffee

For more of Liv’s artwork, browse the #groundcoffeeart hashtag and follow @livscreams on Instagram.

For Liv Buranday (@livscreams), coffee isn’t just a jolt of caffeine in the morning—it’s a blank canvas inviting her to create her next piece of art.

A nursing student on the Philippine island of Cebu, Liv uses Instagram as a way to balance the technical demands of her career with her creative interests. “What I like about Instagram is that you get to see a lot of awesome artsy photos, and l got hooked looking at minimalistic art,” Liv says. “This also inspired me to do minimalistic photos/art of my own that lead me to create #groundcoffeeart.”

Her chosen medium—coffee grounds—stemmed out of her family’s morning routines. “What inspired me to do #groundcoffeeart is my father’s love for coffee. I’ve always known him to love brewed coffee, and then a thought popped out when he opened that Folgers Classic Roast—perhaps I can use its contents as art.”

Inspired equally by her day-to-day life and her own imagination, Liv painstakingly sets out to arrange the grounds into her composition, using only her hands and a toothpick to arrange the coffee grounds and small props. With so much room for error involved, Liv has started to seek out ways to make her art last longer: “Just a month ago I’ve decided to apply glue for its permanent effect because on my previous #groundcoffeeart my patience was really tested.”

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User Feature, coffee, Japan, latteart,

Exploring Cafés in Japan with @tukanana

To see more photos of Japanese coffee shops and beautiful latte art, follow @tukanana on Instagram. You can also find more photos and stories of his experiences on his blog.

Over the past few years, cafés have become a place of craftsmanship and artistry in Japan. New coffee shops that roast their own beans and serve them in their own brewing styles are emerging across the country. Many locals have embraced the coffee culture, including Tokyo Instagrammer @tukanana. A fan of Japanese cafés for nearly ten years, he goes to as many as four coffee shops daily to enjoy various types of coffee and the different atmosphere of the shops.

"Japanese cafés are great because each of the shops has their own personality which reflects the seasons as well as the area of their location," he says. "Also, there is a good selection of cafés to choose from to find the one that best matches your taste."

@tukanana makes his selection of cafés based on a holistic evaluation of location, appearance, interior and menu. While many of his photos focus on just the coffee, he always likes to share at least one photo that captures the total atmosphere of the shop. “I look at many magazines and works of other good photographers, which makes it easier for me to picture the kind of shot I want,” he says.

To see more photos and videos from coffee shops in Japan, explore the following location pages: