Dirty Dozen List 2016 - Sexpresso Cafes header

The Problem

These coffee stands originated in Seattle with a business model based on sexual objectification. Young women wearing only pasties, thong underwear, other lingerie, or bikinis ostensibly serve coffee. However, the pornified working conditions result in frequent sexual harassment of staff, have been associated with indecent exposure and prostitution, and are an affront to public decency and health. Sexpresso cafes bring strip club atmosphere to the neighborhood coffee shop.

Sexpresso Cafés are coffee shacks that originated in Seattle, Washington, with a business model based on sexual objectification where young women serve coffee wearing bikinis or lingerie. These pornified working conditions result in frequent sexual harassment of staff and have been associated with indecent exposure and prostitution arrests. Sexpresso Café chains have expanded to other states including Maryland, Texas, North Carolina, Colorado, and Florida. Referred to by some as “Bikini Baristas” and “Bareistas,” prominent chains include CowgirlsEspresso, Foxy Lady Latte, and Devil’s Brew Coffee. They represent a new form of sexually-oriented businesses which are introducing a sexually toxic, strip-club atmosphere to the community coffee shop.

As hyper-sexuality is used for commerce, a new class of women is formed that is no longer protected from sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexpresso Café employees have reported being verbally harassed, propositioned for prostitution, and having men approach the drive-thru window with their genitals exposed. Sexpresso Cafés foster an environment where once a woman puts on her “uniform” she is deemed fair game by the men in the drive-thru to be treated in a way they would never treat a coworker in the office.

Sexpresso Cafés are easy targets for stalking, sexual violence, and robbery because their structures are often only large enough for one or two female employees to work there at a time, and there is little to no security. In 2013, a man wielding a knife robbed Twin Perks Espresso in broad daylight. That same year, a twelve year old boy held up a Sexpresso Café, called Hillbilly Hotties, with a revolver. And in 2011, in Lakewood Washington, three teenagers robbed four of these cafés, and eventually sexually assaulted a barista.

Coffee shops that employ the “bikini business model” not only foster sexism and objectification as acceptable social practices, but they also do so while putting their employees at risk.

WARNING: There are graphic images and text descriptions shown in these sections.


News Reports About Activities Taking Place

News Reports About Activities Taking Place



Sexpresso Café News Articles


“Scantily-clad ‘bikini baristas’ in Washington spark state battle”
January 18, 2016
In Washington State there is a movement to crack down on scantily-clad servers and drive-through coffee shops. A Spokane City Councilman is part of efforts to mandate just how much clothing should be worn by baristas.


“Moms gather signatures to vote on bikini baristas”
February 23, 2015
Moms say they are trying to prevent the wearing of pasties and G-strings in public or anything less. They gathered more than 3,300 signatures in order to get a citizens’ initiative on a ballot.


“Bottoms Up: Coffee Bar Makes ‘Modest’ Improvement”
May 19, 2014
Due to a petition signed by community members in Clovis, CA, drink names implying sexual acts were taken off the menu and the servers wear sweaters to cover their bikini tops.

“Clovis council gets petition against bikini baristas coffee shop”
April 21, 2014
A community comes together to petition a local bikini-barista coffee shop and ask that they make improvements including moving its menu inside.


“Bikini barista stand owner: “I expect objection. That’s fine.’”
August 13, 2013
Even after objections from neighbors, the owner of a new bikini barista stand says the business is staying put.

“Owners of controversial ‘bikini barista’ stands arrested”
March 6, 2013
Two men who own controversial “bikini barista” coffee stands are were arrested on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a minor. Furthermore, after citizens complained that these locations served more than coffee, police used surveillance cameras to capture the baristas allegedly giving customers “shows” for money without actually serving coffee.


Perky Cups, coffee shop with bikini-clad baristas, is evicted”
Jun 18, 2010
Aurora City Councilwoman sent a petition to Perky Cups’ property manager calling for a boycott of Perky Cups as well as adjacent shops, and warned that the store’s scantily clad workers were at risk of being “raped and murdered.”

“Bikini Baristas accused of charging up to $80 for fondling”
February 5, 2010
Five bikini baristas in Everett are accused of charging up to $80 to let customers fondle or photograph them as they put on erotic shows – sometimes in view of passing traffic.

Comments From Male Customers

Comments From Male Customers



Photos of Baristas Used As Advertising

Photos of Baristas Used As Advertising

Due to the graphic nature of the descriptions & images found in this proof, we have removed these images.

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