Do you love coffee and want to take it to a notch higher by becoming a barista? You certainly can become one if you are determined to make it happen. However, a passion for anything and everything coffee is not the only qualification to becoming a barista. It involves technical skills as well as mental and physical preparedness to become one.
How to become a barista?
Here are the things that you should do if you want to become a barista:
1. Refresh your knowledge of coffee lingo.
The moment you commit yourself to a journey towards becoming a barista, take this first and ceremonial step. Refresh and learn all you can about coffee lingo and the meanings of common terms. Research and learn different types of coffee such as espresso, cappuccino, macchiato, Americano and latte and get to know each of them well.
2. Acquire professional equipment so you can practice at your home.
It is not enough to learn coffee lingo well, you have to know how to make them, too. Purchase basic equipment such as an espresso machine, coffee grinder and a milk frother. This way you can practice at home and be able to familiarize yourself with the procedures.
3. Take barista courses online.
To level up your skills and knowledge, take barista courses online. There are also video tutorials online that you can access to hone your coffee-making skills and techniques.
4. Test yourself by practicing at home.
After acquiring a certification from your barista course, try to test yourself and practice taking orders for your family and friends. Make coffee drinks so that they can taste and review. Request them to give honest feedback so you can refine your coffee-making techniques as well as customer service skills.
5. Check out and review barista requirements for various coffee shops.
As you come closer to your goal of becoming a barista, get to know and review the different barista requirements of local coffee shops in your area that you plan to apply to. Some do not require previous experience while some cafes may need someone with prior barista experience that they can train for the position.
6. Work as a cashier or server in a coffee shop.
If you intend to work in a coffee shop that requires prior barista experience, you can start to work there as a server or cashier instead. This will allow you to prove your skills and you may also be able to receive training from baristas to prepare coffee drinks.
7. Try to apply at well-known cafe chains.
You may opt to apply at well-known coffee shops since they usually offer entry-level opportunities for would-be baristas. These coffee chains usually have the budget and training programs for new employees.
Once you are accepted in the coffee shop of your choice, you are a step closer to your dream of becoming a barista. But it does not end there since it is just a step higher. Learn all you can from the seasoned baristas at your workplace and observe their styles and techniques. Ultimately you will be able to develop your own techniques, too.
Main tasks and duties of baristas
These are the main tasks and duties of baristas:
- Understand coffee and coffee-making techniques.
- Make coffee and other coffee-based drinks.
- To keep equipment clean and operating.
- Educate staff on coffee, be able to train them on how to use coffee equipment and ensure that coffee-making standards are superior.
Skills and characteristics that baristas need
Here are the technical and interpersonal skills that you need to succeed as a barista:
1. You should be detail-oriented.
Baristas should have an eye for details since they need to keep track and adjust coffee measurements including those of other ingredients like milk, whipped cream and flavoring syrups. They should also be detail-oriented to be able to make adjustments to menu items according to customers’ needs and dietary restrictions.
2. You must be able to multitask.
Multitasking is an essential characteristic since an efficient barista should be able to oversee various tasks at the same time. Baristas should be able to prepare multiple orders simultaneously as this could have an impact on customer satisfaction and wait time.
3. You must be patient.
A barista should exhibit patience, especially when dealing with various customers. Certain coffee shop regulars are very specific with their drinks and a barista should be able to handle them well to be able to deliver good customer service.
4. You should be calm under pressure.
An efficient barista should be able to maintain a calm composure even when under pressure. This is usually needed especially during peak hours and when orders are piling up.
5. You must be a friendly person.
Friendliness is an important characteristic for baristas since they are interacting with various people every day. How they treat their customers can have an impact on customer satisfaction. Being friendly also means that you should have good relations with your co-workers to maintain a healthy work environment.
6. You should be passionate about coffee.
As it is with other professions, you should have a deep passion for what you do and in the case of baristas, a great love for coffee. You can use this great passion to perfect your latte art skills or flavorful blends.
7. You must be creative.
A barista should exhibit creativity such as by coming up with new and adventurous coffee blends and experimenting with various coffee roasts.
8. You should be team-oriented.
If you want to make it as a professional barista, you should become team-oriented. You and your co-workers should work as a team as it can also have an impact on customer satisfaction.
What is the average salary of baristas?
The average salary of baristas in the USA is more or less $ 11.52 per hour or $ 26,947 per year. They may also earn an additional $17 in tips per shift. The pay scale of baristas will largely depend on the company they work for and if they are working for an international chain like Starbucks they may receive higher pays. Their salary will also depend if they are working part-time or full-time.
Becoming a barista is not easy and a passion for coffee is not the only qualification although it is an essential one. To become one, you should be able to equip yourself with coffee-making knowledge and techniques, obtain barista courses and work your way up the professional ladder. Having the right mindset as well as technical and interpersonal skills are also equally beneficial for you to succeed in that profession.
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