BLOG // // 23.10.2019

Tips How To Become A Barista

So, you would like to learn this artisanal craft, but maybe you are still wondering how to become a barista? Well, the stereotypical tattoos and beard-combo probably won’t make you a barista, but they  sure won’t stop you from becoming one. Here are my best tips how start your path to become a pro barista!

First it might be a good idea to define what or who is a barista. The word barista comes from Italian, where it means a bartender making and serving hot espresso based drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike. The title isn’t regulated nowadays and there isn’t any institution or school where one could graduate to be official barista. Coffee shops and cafés use the title barista to describe a person who’s main job is to prepare and brew coffee. Nowadays with different brewing methods such as espresso, hand and batch brewing but also to steam milk and other coffee related chores. Being a barista is also a state of mind where a barista cares about coffee as an ingredient and tries to brew best coffee possible. So being a barista doesn’t necessary mean that you work in a café as you can also be a home barista. 

mihkel and gediminas from pbi
Paulig Barista Institute barista trainers Gediminas and Mihkel

Let's say that you want to get a job as a barista and you have checked for some vacancies. Most of them seem to require some previous experience as a barista. But you don’t have any? Don’t give up. I personally managed to become a barista, in one of the biggest local coffee chains, without any experience. I found out that in fact for some companies it's easier to train new personnel without any experience, rather then to re-train person with low standards. So, I will try to share what I did and what helped me, and it just might help you as well.

So, first things first, you have to send your CV. This part is up to you. You have to make it as appealing as possible, BUT NEVER LIE! As it will not help you if the employer asks something from your CV and you won’t be able to answer. What you can do, is to make your CV personalized. What do I mean by that? Write every CV for the company that you applying to with that CV. This way you will show that you are really determined to work for them.

caffeine tattoos
Coffee tattoos aren't necessary for a barista but they sure make you look cooler!

If you customize your CV and motivational letter for the exact company you are applying for, it will be more likely to get a invitation to a job interview. Sending same CV to every company will not show your dedication. This is how I got my first job interview to a barista job and eventually got the job.

Now, let’s say that they contacted you and asked you to come to an interview, Jippee! Before the interview you need to do your homework. Research the company, meaning check out their values, motto and so on. By knowing what the company is all about, you will be able to answer the interview questions the way that the company want's you to answer.

barista cupping tools
Cupping and tasting coffee is crucial for a barista

Let’s assume that you charmed the people in the interview and got the job. Congratulations! The work doesn’t stop there but now starts the most interesting part.😊 If you don’t have practical experience or knowledge about being barista, it’s good to prepare yourself a bit before your very first shift. Google everything, there is plenty info available (e.g. in this site 😉), but try at least these;

… etc. so you know what is what. Try to also find as many brew guides as possible, they will help you know how to do things behind the bar. When you get to your first shift, you at least know the theory behind everything and then it’s just practice, practice, practice.

Remember that baristahood is continuous process. There is always more to learn and master in coffee. Usually the more know the better you realize that in fact you don’t know enough and you need to learn more. Good luck!