What is the definition of barista?

Barista is defined as “a person who works at the counter of a coffee shop or a coffee bar server”.  “Barista” is an Italian word borrowed from the “bar” of “bartender” in English and this word is generally used for both genders but “it is said that a typical barista in Italy is a man”, says dictionary.com.

Barista at his coffee table.

A barista on his working space.

Is salary paid for baristas promising?

On average, the income of baristas is around $8.50 per hour; however, the income level will vary among experiences and locations. The highest income level can be approximately $12 per hour, tips also included for experienced baristas who work in high volume coffee shops. This job is especially suitable for people those who have flexible schedule and find a part-time job such as university students. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these positions are speculated to go up to adapt to the increase in world’s population during the period 2008-2018. If this statistic is correct, the salary paid for a barista will be very promising as the recruitment demand is high then.

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Is it difficult to become a barista?

In fact, this job does not require a lot of certifications or experiences. It is much more about passion although having a school diploma is frequently required or preferred by employers. If you have aspirations to work on restaurant industry and hope to join this field, then you can choose a barista position to get started with before moving further. In addition, if baristas want to enrich their technical skills and major knowledge, they can enrol for online barista training courses holding by trainning centers at any time. Joining these training programs, learners are taught the essential skills needed for a barista such as: grinding coffee, steaming milk, operating professional equipment, so on, and even the advanced skills like how to manage their own coffee shops. More specificly, for a barista, knowing a cup taste and being able to distinguish different coffee quality are a must.

Barista are cupping coffee cups.

Baristas are cupping coffee cups. Coffee must be carefully selected from best suppliers such as citiroast.com.

Even more difficult?

Moreover, this position needs to be physically strong as his working conditions are not just brewing coffee. He has to stand on the shop’s counter or booth for the whole day, walk in and walk out to handle drinks and lift, push, pull materials needed for making coffee recipes which are heavy up to 40 pounds. Beside that, one of the most frequent tasks of baristas is to receive drink orders with different notes from customers; consequently, he must be very good at listening, taking notes and remembering to avoid common mistakes. This is not an easy task especially in rush hours when the shop gets full of people in a very annoying and hurry atmosphere. Otherwise, outstanding customer service is, definitely, very important in this case, serving a delicious coffee for throat-thirsting drinkers at a quickest time. So, a barista usually has to work under high pressure in crowding coffee shops where they are required to be courteous and treat customers with full of respect and visual dignity, good understanding and being punctual.

Last but not less important, baristas should have an obligation in reaching out excellence to any coffee cups and the fast delivery for drinks, consisting of the cleanliness and food safety.

For pro-rated baristas, what’s next?

Not many jobs have a world championship contest. However, baristas have their own world’s championship. Annually, pro-rated baristas from all over the world take part in The World Barista Championship (WBC) which is held by World Coffee Events (WCE). To coffee lovers, do not worry too much if you do not see your baristas on the counter some day. He or she may go to compete at this championship. This is a contest in which participants have to prepare 4 espressos, 4 cappuccinos and 4 traditional signature drinks to correct standards in a fifteen-minute-performance combined with music. The appraisal is based on cleanliness, creativity, technical skills and general performance. Every year, the contest attracts the participation of 50 short-listed competitors who are talented baristas coming from different countries and territories all over the world. Last year, the honourable name of “World Barista Champion 2014” was given to Mr. Hidenori Izaki from Japan.

Barista - Winner list of World Barista Championship 2014.

Winner list of World Barista Championship 2014.

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To sum up, barista is a very interesting job. A barista knows how to sort quality of coffee beans, how to cup taste and how to brew a perfect coffee cup with his own secret. He has different blending which makes coffee cups always charming to coffee lovers. Barista has different levels from being a part-time barista in a local coffee shop with one-page menu to a very experience and passionate barista who can even leave his own style through a world’s championship contest for barista.

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