Simply put, a barista is a man or woman who works in a coffee house or coffee shop. They're the person who takes customers’ orders, helps prepare coffee and related drinks, and serves them. Working as a barista requires customer service skills. Often, baristas will work in dedicated coffee houses and cafes. The barista must be well-versed in the different coffee offerings at the location he or she is employed in. This can include different types of coffee beans, as well as different roasting procedures. A good barista is expected to be able to describe the flavor profiles of these varieties to customers in a way that helps the patron to decide upon a coffee to purchase.
Baristas also must be trained and able to execute a variety of coffee creation techniques. This can range from using simple presses to more advanced techniques required to execute espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes. The barista will be expected to perform fairly complicated maneuvers in a limited amount of time, working with both efficiency and a careful concern for the details of the recipe he or she is trying to execute.
Most baristas will start in a coffee house, working at some position of lesser skill requirements, while assimilating into the culture of the business. If the person shows aptitude, the business owner is likely to train the person to work as a barista. Employers at high-end coffee houses may actively recruit experienced baristas for their operations. Most baristas work early mornings through afternoons in commercial food and beverage service establishments. Baristas must possess outstanding customer service skills for interacting with guests. They should also expect to spend most of the workday standing or walking, with very little downtime.
- Clean and stock customer and kitchen areas.
- Prepare drink and food orders according to organizational standards.
- Greet customers, take orders, accept payment, and answer questions.
- Sample products and develop expertise to educate customers.