BLOG //
Emmi Kinnunen //
Helsinki
// 22.2.2018

Coffee Tattoos: Stories behind the Art

Coffee is a lifestyle and one way to showcase the love for coffee is coffee tattoos. By inking pictures of a coffee tree or a coffee cup, a true coffee lover tells others that I am serious about this, coffee is my passion. I had a cup of coffee with few coffee people who have inked coffee graphics on their skin and asked them to share the stories behind their coffee tattoos.

Ella, 20, Helsinki
Barista in Good Life Coffee

ellas_tattoo

“I wanted a tattoo that would look beautiful. First I thought about carnation, my favourite flower but then it hit me. The coffee plant was an obvious choice as I have grew up with coffee. My dad is a coffee enthusiast and good coffee has always been part of our family’s life. I got my first barista job when I was 15 and since then I’ve been working in cafés. My little sister follows my footsteps, she is 15 now and last summer we worked in the same café. For me coffee is a way of life; as a barista I can combine being social and doing things with my hands. It is fascinating how I can always learn more and practise my skills. I don’t think it would be the same in any other customer service job. I am a vegan and therefore ecological aspects are important for me. I would not participate a latte art competition, as the concept of it conflicts with my values. Latte art competition with vegan milks on the other hand would be something that I would attend. At some point I decided that I only drink good coffee but to be honest now, when I’m studying to get into Medical University, I’ve drank whatever coffee available.”

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Jonna, 29, Helsinki
Roaster in Kaffa Roastery

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“I took the first branch of my coffee tree when I was about to move to Australia in 2014. For me, the tattoo marked the decision that coffee was something that I wanted to explore more. I was about to put myself out there, travel to the other side of the world, to learn about coffee. Coffee has given so much into my life: people, opportunities and experiences. It is a hobby that turned into a profession. My tattoo evolves; just like a coffee tree it grows with me. I could not see myself anywhere else than working with coffee. It has been now 3 years, that I’ve been roasting coffee. The next challenge could be training. It triggers me how coffee can change one’s life. One of my dreams came true when I got an opportunity to travel to Ethiopia to see where some of my favourite coffees grow. After that nothing is as it used to be, coffee became so much more personal.”

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Johanna, 28, Helsinki
Barista in Kahvi Charlotta

coffee_tattoos_johanna

”My part of the process starts from the roasted coffee bean. As a barista I use my hands all the time. The beans on my wrists are present whatever I do. I took my coffee tattoos in 2016, after winning a Starbuck’s Barista Championship competition in Finland and participating in an international competition in London. The tattoo was a birthday present and a kind of a prize for doing well. In my everyday life coffee is present; I start my day by drinking coffee, coffee has taken over a slice of my bookshelf and my coffee equipment and gear are all over my kitchen. At the moment I feel like I am in the crossroads; there are so many opportunities where to go but in the same time so little. I’m pondering if I am good enough. I am perfectionist, like I think most of the coffee people are. On the other hand I do trust that I will find the right way. There’s something meditative in coffee and that calms me."

coffee_tattoos_johanna