Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Coffee with legs does not always mean 'coffee to go'

Many years ago I was visiting a friend in Santiago, Chile and he took me for "coffee with legs". I didn't really know what I was in store for but I had an inkling he wasn't just talking about take away. So we end up in this coffee shop just off the main downtown square in the business district where he had his office. And guess what, the coffee was served with a fair helping of legs, and boobs and butt for that matter. It was sort of a Starbucks if Starbucks was a strip joint.

There were mirrors everywhere and the waitresses served you while walking behind a rail where they would set your coffee. I guess this makes it sound a bit like that renowned family restaurant, Hooters, but for coffee, except... some of the customers also disappeared down a mystery stairwell and did not re-emerge while we were there [note: insert own French Press joke].

Coffee with Legs - it certainly would put a different spin on your 15 minute coffee break. But that's South America, right. Could never happen in Canada or the US, right? Well, that is what I thought until very recently.

Apparently CWL (coffee with legs) has infiltrated the Pacific Northwest. How long before it takes over all of Cascadia and then marches east where they'll get us even further hooked on caffeine and we'll be forced to do the bidding of the coffee overlords?? Whoa, where was I? Right, scantily clad babes serving sweet, delicious and sexy coffee. At Cowgirl Espresso, a mini-chain of 6 espresso cafes in Seattle/Tacoma area you get your caffeine fix from scantily clad baristas.

There are also a few other spots and a topless coffee shop is being proposed for Maine of all places. Enough that a term has been coined, "sexpresso" (yes, I know it is actually espresso, not expresso, but it is sex, not ses. Enough).

According to the Randomly Generated blog, there are quite a number of coffee stands in the Seattle area who not only employ young, hot, women but encourage them to dress very scantily. Some wear short skirts, some wear lingerie, others little more than thigh-highs and panties. They act provocatively and succeed in seducing their patrons into tipping generously.

In addition to Cowgirl Espresso, there is also the Natté Latté where baristas sport hot-pink hot pants and tight white tank tops, and other spots with less clever names like Java Girls.

[Side note: For some reason I now have Groove Armada's "I See You Baby" playing in my head. Weird....]

Said one customer quoted in a Seattle Times article, "If I'm going to pay $4 for a cup of coffee" said one male customer, "I'm not going to get served by a guy."

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