A barista is someone who makes espresso drinks for a living, and is usually highly trained and has a thorough understanding of how to work with coffee. Similar to a bartender, a barista specializes in making drinks from almost any incarnation of the coffee bean. Read on for tips on becoming a barista.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Find a job as a barista with a business that offers professional training. This is the least expensive and easiest way to become a professional barista. There are many businesses nationwide that are now benefiting from the popularity of espresso drinks, particularly in larger cities.
Attend a school that trains you to become a professional barista. If you can't find one in your area, try locating a course on the Internet. Make sure that when the course is completed, you will be certified.
Prepare to learn the basics of steaming milk, grinding coffee beans, working with professional equipment and making specialty espresso drinks. A good school will also provide courses on how to run your own specialty coffee shop, including writing a business plan, marketing and hiring and training personnel.
Learn to respect the customer. If there is a misunderstanding with the order, or even an imagined error on the part of the customer, respect their wishes and start over. Don't take it personally and remember that there are friendly and unfriendly customers in every profession.
Read specialty publications and keep taking classes. Every professional appreciates the necessity of continued education, and it will make you more valuable in the job market.
Visit as many different coffee houses as you can for new ideas. Sample their lattes, review their menus and pay attention to what their customers are ordering.
Tips and warnings
- Try to talk to professional baristas. Most professionals are happy to teach others about their craft, and enjoy talking about their own experiences.