Amid Seattle's nationally acclaimed coffee subculture is a sub-sub-culture of tattooed baristas. Tattoos are everywhere in cafes, from the subtle tat adorning>"/>
Amid Seattle's nationally acclaimed coffee subculture is a sub-sub-culture of tattooed baristas. Tattoos are everywhere in cafes, from the subtle tat adorning a wrist or ankle to the multicolored, epic sleeve tattoo. The tattoos that made it to the top five encompass a wide variety of styles, sizes, and stories.
1. Nick Harberg, Zoka U Village
Harberg's Scandinavian descent inspired his viking-themed tattoo sleeve. Along with the impressive sleeve, Harberg also sports two hand-tap tattoos created in a manner traditional to Borneo. They are less painful, but take longer, and few tattoo artists are trained in the style.
What do tattoos have to do with coffee? Being a barista is a career where people have tattoos. It's not a rebellion thing anymore. Now it is just more about the aesthetic."
2. Anna Wallace, Oddfellows Cafe
Wallace started getting tattoos when she was 16. She drove to Canada for the first ones, since the minimum age in the United States is 18. Her tattoos range in meaning from whims to shared experiences and even party tricks. Her mustache tattoo is supposedly one of a kind in Seattle, as her tattoo artist said he wouldn't do another one like it for anyone else.
Favorite Drink: Iced toddy. "It's a cold brewed coffee that has a nice brightness with a balanced chocolate finish."
Barista Fact: Wallace is friends with LA Ink's Kat Von Dee, who did the amazing portrait above of Wallace's father.
3. Kennedy Carda, Fuel Wallingford
Carda is new to the world of tattooing. Nineteen years old, he has one tattoo thus far but plans on getting more. However, he has put much time and thought into the one he has. "I wanted something that looks more like a painting, not the typical tattoo style," he explains. Carda's tattoo, created by Christopher Gay from ArtCore, is his interpretation of Max Coyer's painting Invisible Horse.
4. Zeke Keeble, Cafe Solstice
Keeble was 30 when he got his first tattoo. "I was old enough to be smart enough to know what I like," he says. Keeble evidently likes simple black crows and trees. His tattoos all focus on that theme because he can identify with them. He likes "how people consider crows the scourge of birds in the city, but they are the smartest birds around."
Thoughts on coffee and tattoos: "Tattoos and espresso kind of grew up in Seattle around the same time. But I think tattoos are more a part of culture in Seattle in a certain age group."
Favorite Drink: "Shots on ice."
5. Lauren Grummel, Caffe Vita Capitol Hill
Grummel thinks tattoos are prevalent in the Seattle coffee industry because, as she says, "we can get away with it." Grummel and co-worker John Wolf (who also sported some pretty impressive tattoos) mused that tattoos are becoming more widely accepted in cultural venues like coffee houses because they are less of an expression of who the person is but rather an expression of who they want to be.
Favorite drink: Latte
Tattoo message: "To love and be loved. What is real and simple in life."