The wonderful world of being a barista

6 February, 2017

There are many ways to become part of the exciting coffee industry – from being a roaster or a coffee machine technician, right through to coffee journalist. But probably the most common way these days is by becoming a barista. There was a time, not that many years ago when getting a job in a coffee shop was as easy as popping in, handing over your CV and having a huge smile on your face. How things have changed. Today, being a barista is no longer seen as a part-time job to support yourself financially through college or university. It is now a respected, full-time profession for passionate, skilled, and dedicated people.

Anne Nylander from the SCAA summed it up perfectly “The term ‘professional barista’ simply did not exist in coffee 30 years ago. This role in the industry was built in no small part by large coffee retailers who brought the professional barista to the masses, and baristas now grace our cafes on a daily basis.”

So what makes a great barista?

The essential skills and attributes that a barista must have include:

  • A passion and love for coffee
  • A decent palate, because a barista needs to taste the coffee and adjust brewing recipes as required
  • The ability to focus on making great drinks quickly and the capacity to spend hours on their feet without showing strain
  • Solid customer service skills
  • A great work ethic
  • Good attention to detail
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Professionalism
  • Ability to work independently as well as with a team in a fast-paced environment

Plus, of course you must love the smell of fresh coffee beans!

So, if you decide that you want to be barista then you are choosing a great fulfilling vocation. It will take commitment, enthusiasm and a lot of hard work, but it will be an extremely rewarding career.


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