Careers in Coffee: 12 Steps to Learn How to Become a Barista

Are you wondering how to become a barista? While it might seem like working as a barista is as easy as applying at a coffee shop and taking it from there, being great at what you do requires much more time and effort.

A barista is someone who does more than just make your favorite coffee. They sell coffee, master different brewing methods, use various machines and equipment, and help customers choose the best coffee based on their needs and interests. 

In a nutshell, a barista is a person who makes your coffee experience special. 

Doing this job takes an individual with a certain set of skills and talent. You need attention to detail, customer service skills, technical skills, the ability to multitask, and showcase your responsibility as an employee. By cultivating these skills, you can be well on your way to becoming a great barista.

If you have a passion for coffee and love making the coffee experience as special for customers as it is for you, working as a barista can be a great fit. If you are interested in this career but aren’t sure how to get started, this short and simple guide is for you. 

1. Understand What the Job Involves

The first step to becoming a barista is to understand what the job involves. The typical barista job requires a healthy mix of both hard and soft skills. Make sure to do your research and understand the job duties before investing your time and money to become a barista. 

2. Know What to Expect

Do you know what to expect when you apply for a barista job? In most cases, without prior experience, you will likely have to work your way up to working as a barista. 

You may start as a cashier, assisting the baristas, and you might be seasonal or part-time. Knowing what to expect will help you have a realistic view of working as a barista. 

3. Learn the Basics of Making Coffee

A great tip for how to make coffee drinks is to learn the basics. By learning how to brew great coffee you can create a foundation for the rest of your barista skills. Learn everything you can about brewing methods, ground size, brew time, and more.  

4. Practice With High-Quality Ingredients

A helpful tip for how to make the best coffee is to practice with high-quality ingredients. While you might want to practice techniques and methods with inexpensive products, part of learning includes tasting the final product. Make sure you are using high-quality products so you can learn how a great cup of coffee should taste. 

5. Consider Investing In Training

While you can learn how to be a barista on your own, investing in professional training can be the difference between being a good barista and a great barista. There are many different types of coffee roasts and drinks, and learning them all on your own can be difficult.

Having a structured and formal education is a great way to boost your skills and abilities as a barista. If you are serious about following this career path, think about investing in barista courses. 

6. Learn Industry Jargon

Whether you are talking about making espresso drinks or working FOH, learning the industry jargon will make your job that much easier. If you apply for a job with no experience but a basic knowledge of the industry, you will also increase your chances of being hired. 

7. Consider Working For a Big Chain

If you want to accelerate your path to becoming a barista, consider working for a big chain rather than a smaller coffee bar. A big chain may hire you without experience, train you on the job, and move you quickly into a barista role. 

If you cannot find a barista job you love, consider buying a Coffee Business for Sale.

8. Ask Plenty of Questions

Regardless of where you work, asking questions as a new coffee shop employee is a great way to learn more about working as a barista. While you shouldn’t annoy your co-workers, asking questions to learn more about the process and company is a great idea. Consider looking for a mentor to help you learn quickly.

9. Learn From Your Mistakes 

As a new barista, you will make mistakes sooner or later. While making a mistake can be embarrassing and make you feel as if you are not doing well, mistakes are a normal part of life. Rather than feel bad or ashamed, look at your mistakes as a learning experiencing so you can boost your overall skills and avoid making the same mistake in the future. 

10. Improve Your Listening Skills

Ask any barista and they will tell you, one of the most important skills you need to master is listening. You will find many customers will opt for customer orders that require listening and attention to detail. Learn to listen to your customers so you can meet their needs and expectations. 

11. Master Customer Service 

Being a barista requires exceptional customer service skills. While your job may be making coffee, you are also in a customer-facing role that requires a certain set of skills. By learning how to treat customers and give them a great experience, you will help retain customers while boosting your barista skills. 

12. Work Quickly and Efficiency

One skill to master to become a barista is to learn how to work quickly and efficiently. Depending on the coffee shop you work at, you might be busy for most of your shift and have to move quickly to accommodate the many orders waiting for you to fill. While you are honing your brewing methods and more, make sure you also improving your speed and accuracy.  

This Is How to Become a Barista

If you are wondering how to become a barista, this guide is for you.

Start by understanding the role and understanding what you can expect when getting started. You should also learn all you can about the industry, practice the different techniques and methods for making coffee, and consider investing in training. Make sure to work on your non-technical skills to be a great barista overall. 

Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a barista.

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