In honor of this summer’s most popular iced coffee beverage, Michael’s Cafe American proudly presents Sea Cloud, the movie!
(okay it’s not really a movie, it’s only 42 seconds long, but if you drink as much coffee as I do, 42 seconds is a long time)
Our Sea Cloud Iced Latte is made with fresh whole milk from local dairy farms. First, the milk is poured into a glass with ice. Then fresh roasted coffee from our own Black Ship Coffee is made into a generous serving of espresso, then carefully poured on top, so that it floats like a cloud on top of the ice cold milk.
Videographer Daisuke Hakamada (Tono Brewing Company) captured the sea clouds of the Tono basin, using an iPhone, and time-lapse photography, in the hills high above Tono, at sunrise.
I’d never seen sea clouds until we came to Tono.
We’d just arrived, in the autumn of 2017, when first we met Daisuke. It was a Friday, we were at Mamehiko’s, were waiting in line to buy coffee.
While we were talking Daisuke showed me, on his iPhone, amazing time-lapse photography he’d taken above Tono basin.
We soon discovered that we’re both launching similar projects in Tono at the same time, a brewery, and a roastery. By the spring of 2018, our coffee shop and the Tono Brewery taproom opened for business only a few blocks from each other in downtown Tono.
[photos from a party celebrating the opening of 遠野醸造 Tono Brewing Company]
This summer we started serving iced lattes inspired by Tono’s “sea of clouds”.
Daisuke was kind enough to share his photos and videos, to help us celebrate the Sea Cloud.
What are sea clouds?
A sea of clouds is an overcast layer of clouds, viewed from above, with a relatively uniform top which shows undulations of very different lengths resembling waves. A sea of fog is formed from stratus clouds or fog and does not show undulations.
In both cases, the phenomenon looks very similar to the open ocean. The comparison is even more complete if some mountain peaks rise above the clouds, thus resembling islands.
A sea of clouds forms generally in valleys or over seas in very stable air mass conditions such as in a temperature inversion. Humidity can then reach saturation and condensation leads to a very uniform stratocumulus cloud, stratus cloud or fog. Above this layer, the air must be dry. This is a common situation in a high-pressure area with cooling at the surface by radiative cooling at night in summer, or advection of cold air in winter or in a marine layer.
- The term Sea of Clouds (雲海) is a Chinese poetic term for the surroundings of a mountain’s summit, such as the one at Huangshan.
- Wanderer above the Sea of Fog is an oil painting composed in 1818 by the German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich depicting this phenomenon.