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Nail art fans use science skills to research diamond cappuccino

by Eva Amsen

Fans of YouTube channel Simply Nailogical used their scientific experimentation skills to investigate whether an Indian coffee chain’s “diamond cappuccino” was perhaps too good to be true.

A few weeks ago, a coffee chain in India made the news with their diamond cappuccino. By dusting the foam with a sparkly substance, their coffee became instantly Instagrammable.

That particular rainbow-like refraction of light from the diamond cappuccino looked familiar to fans of YouTube channel Simply Nailogical. They immediately recognized it as holographic glitter – or holo for short – which is channel host Cristine’s favourite thing. Cristine knew a challenge when she saw one, and decided to try to make a holo cappuccino herself.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

Of course, the coffee chain is not going to give up its secrets and just let anyone create their own holo coffee. All they would reveal about the glistening material on top of their cappuccino was that it was made of sugar.

To start experimenting, Cristine bought a variety of edible glitters – the kind you can find on decorated cookies – but none of them had that trademark holographic sparkle. The only thing that came close is a cake decoration glitter called “disco dust”. It’s considered food contact safe, and it’s used on cookies and cakes, but it is not technically edible. Was this perhaps what was on the cappuccino?

holo cappuccino - Simply Nailogical

It did look remarkably similar, but there was only one way to find out. Cristine (“the science queen”) asked her fans in Mumbai to order the local famous coffee, and do a few experiments.

If the topping was indeed sugar, it should dissolve in hot coffee, or even in a glass of water. But when reports came in from people who tried the coffee, they showed a very solid dusting that didn’t smudge on a napkin, that stayed on their lips for a very long time after drinking the coffee, that didn’t dissolve, and that felt like sand in their mouth.

In other words, exactly what you would expect to happen with regular glitter, but not with a sugar-based product.

So, what’s really going on? At this point, everyone has a very strong suspicion, but no evidence. Scientists, you’re up next. Any Mumbai chemists able to analyse a sample of cappuccino topper to determine whether it’s sugar or glitter?

Image: Screenshot from Simply Nailogical.

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