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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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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: