Though — or perhaps because — it spawned Starbucks, the Pacific Northwest remains fiercely loyal to its independent coffeehouses. Numbering in the thousands, these incredibly diverse establishments have become community centers and cultural institutions, each with its own personality. And at the heart of them all are the baristas, the men and women who pull the drinks, pick the art and music, and create the atmosphere that sets their coffeehouse apart from all the others. Here, baristas from around the Northwest describe life through their unique perspective, offering testimony, music recommendations, advice on coffee, overheard conversations, drawings and photos, latte art, nightmare stories, and just about everything else. Compiled by Dani Cone, a local barista superstar, and graphic designer (and former barista) Chris Munson, Tall Skinny Bitter celebrates not just the Northwest’s best coffee shops, but the music, fashion, attitude, and art that embody its indie culture.