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Tea Leaves

Thailand's vibrant cafe culture serves 'selfie society'

For many young coffee-shop afficionados, online posing tops pursuit of caffeine highs

Patina, which opened in Bangkok's Old Town in January. They make a mean cappuccino, but that's not why the place swarms with photographers every weekend. (Photo by Chris Schalkx).

"A little to the left!" "Chin up!" "Smile more!" The air around me is filled with a cacophony of clicking smartphones, beeping cameras and photographers hissing directions at their models. Young women in frilly tank tops sip on iced lattes, trying hard to look as effortless as possible. Behind me, a girl scolds her camera-toting boyfriend for what I can only assume is an unflattering picture.

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