This is mostly the same illy coffee cup you've always known, except for a single alteration made by the artist, Anish Kapoor. (Who's most famous for his Cloud Gate, the silvery bean in Chicago's Millennium Park.) Commissioned by the coffee-maker to do a new take on the classic, Kapoor responded by leaving the exterior untouched but silvering the interior -- and adding a hole in the center of the saucer. If you place the saucer atop the cup, the way you would a tapas napkin, you have what illy calls "an interactive, sensory experience meant to delight and surprise." But really, it's sort of like a mini smokestack for a steaming cuppa.
Suffice it to say that most of us would find putting the saucer atop the cup absurd or precarious. But the hole/smokestack image does seem oddly appropriate, given the great industrial supply chains that go into producing a modern cup of espresso. If you've never considered the weirdness of things, Kapoor's cup may act as a muse. And that's about as much as anyone can ask of their coffee. The cup costs $90 at illyusa.
[Images via Illy, by Massimo Gardone]