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Two Third Wave Aprons – Coffee and Denim

Ah, the elixir of life that is a hot mug of coffee. I don’t ever want to say that I’m addicted. Rather, I depend on the stuff as though it were blood running through my veins – a basic, yet extremely vital liquid required for life. It would be like saying, “I’m addicted to breathing.” I’m not addicted.

In recent years, the raw denim market has grown immensely, ballooning from a small niche corner of the fashion room and permeating throughout every tier of the fashion industry. We covered more on this here when we addressed the question of which wave of denim are we currently riding.

Riding steadily alongside this wave of indigo, coffee emerged from its ebb to its current flow in what’s commonly known as the Third Wave. Specialty coffee joints are now peppered throughout neighborhoods whereas before they only dotted major cities.

Both denim and coffee have been elevated to a level where makers and roasters are as meticulous and scrutinizing as ever. This passion and devotion to the craft is partially what draws many people to ride both waves and it’s why we’re talking about it today.

Where the two crafts intersect often times is the apron. A handful of our favorite brands are coffee lovers as well and, to show their support, have produced aprons for their favorite roasters.

Craftsman and Wolves

Craftsman and Wolves is more pâtisserie than café, but alongside morning buns and their popular ‘The Rebel Within’, a savory muffin with asiago, sausage, and a runny egg inside, they also serve up a proper cup of joe. Not too far down the block is Self Edge, a little store you may have heard of. The two came together to create an apron specifically tailored for the needs of the pâtisserie. Expertly crafted by Self Edge’s resident repair master, Rain, the apron is full of details.

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It’s made of a 16 oz. sanforized Cone Mills White Oak denim using both California and Arizona cotton. Notable features include a partial slit on the front for ease of movement. Its bottom hem is left chain stitched for the wearer to snip, a reference to vintage work shirts. It’s fraught with pockets for pens, notebooks, and even a cell phone.

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Four Barrel

Four Barrel is a San Francisco coffee staple and if you’ve ever had a conversation with any of the baristas, you’ll get a taste of their dedication and love for the coffee craft. Next door neighbors Taylor Stitch lent a helping hand in the production of the Third Wave Coffee shop’s aprons. With meticulous attention to detail, Four Barrel owner Jeremy Tooker had his staff’s aprons made with a versatile but simpler design in comparison to Self Edge’s creation.

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Made of a burly waxed canvas, the wear on Four Barrel’s aprons make a compelling case for the wearing merits of the denim alternative. The straps come over the shoulders and crossover along the barista’s back, ensuring that the major stress points on the neck aren’t pressed upon. That leather patch on the front right of the apron is used for cleaning off the tamper quickly between shots. And, for variety, the apron can fold in half so the barista can wear it as a waist apron rather than at full length.

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I heard a roaster say once that a good cup of pour over coffee will change flavors as it cools and even get better. Akin to the allure of indigo-dyed goods, the aprons that baristas don have unique fades and patinas thanks to the countless grinds that dust their denim uniforms day in and day out. Look closely at your barista’s uniform next time you go in for a cortado. And, rather than dishing out the usual commendation, “Nice jeans,” you can say instead, “Nice apron.”

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