NOC is sometimes referred to as ‘that coffee shop with inked baristas’. Hopefully not the only thing people remember (apparently our coffee is ok too), our baristas are often asked what their tattoos mean and so we felt compelled to share their stories with all our readers. We sat down with some of our team members from The Roastery and our Gough Street store, to take a good look at their tattoos and listen to how certain inspirations through their lives so far have now been eternally inked onto their skin.
Haha (Barista, The Roastery)
“If you’re Asian, your family most probably wants you to be comfortable in life, and being comfortable means having money. That is also what my family wanted for me – to be financially successful. I am all about pursuing my dream to become a professional barista and to open my own coffee shop, but my family wants me to pursue a job that is more stable and more lucrative.
I am fortunate enough to have support from my circle of friends, who believe I should follow my dreams. My friend Elaine, who is studying to become an interior designer, has promised to help me design my dream coffee shop when the time comes. When I spent a year working abroad in Australia, she helped me design my first tattoo, a coffee cup, so I can remind myself to focus on pursuing a career as a barista, rather than just a stable, comfortable job. When I shared my story with my tattooist, who is from Germany, she added the word Träumer (dreamer in German) over the coffee cup (02).
I designed my second tattoo (01), the stick figure man holding a coffee cup in one hand, and a stash of cash in the other. I know I don’t currently have the status, recognition, money and stability my family wants for me, but I believe I can also be successful in my own way if I work hard enough.”
Izz (Barista, The Roastery)
“When we are presented with ideas or viewpoints that are different to our own, it can be difficult for us to accept, or even begin to consider them. Our lack of willingness to surrender our own beliefs are bound to impose on our personal growth. That’s why I got this tattoo (03), a triangle with an opening on one of its sides, as a reminder to remind myself to give my best in embracing different ideas with an open mind and to work towards becoming a better version of myself everyday.”
JJ (Head Barista, Gough Street)
“My mom inspired my first tattoo (04). When I was younger, she would always say I am ‘half a bucket of water’ – it’s a Cantonese saying meaning I do everything with little effort. Now that I’m older, I understand the importance of giving everything my best shot. I hope to fill my ‘bucket of water’ by unlearning my old habits of not caring enough, and learning a new attitude of positivity and humbleness towards life from people around me.”
Eva (Operations Manager)
“I got a tattoo on the inside of my left wrist when I was 25. The melting pocket watch (05) is an element taken from ‘The Persistence of Memory’, a painting by Spanish artist Salvador Dalí. The melting watches in the painting are often interpreted as an unconscious symbol of the relativity of space and time. By tattooing the pocket watch onto where I would usually wear my wristwatch, I want the tattoo to act as a reminder that time flows, and it is important to be aware of how I use and manage my time.”
Vivian (Chef, The Roastery)
“My favourite tattoo is the black and white moon on my forearm (06). It acts as a subtle reminder to take care of my inner self, and to spend quiet time alone.”
More tattoos from the other NOC stores will be posted in the coming weeks, stay tuned.
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