BECOMING A BARISTA- 6 WAYS TO PREPARE YOURSELF
Are You Interested in Getting into the Coffee World as a barista? Then you need to follow a few tips, and you are going to thrive.
As we’ve been doing barista training for a few years, we are glad to share with you, different ways to explore and prepare yourself to become a barista. Read on,
First Who Is A Barista?
The word ‘barista’ is Italian, and it means ‘bartender’. It refers to a person who serves people everything that is in a café, that includes drinks (hot or cold) or food. As the popularity of coffee grew, the word has been used severally to describe someone that serves espresso or espresso-based drinks.
Currently, in the world of coffee, espresso can mean the drink itself or a coffee machine that is in most coffee shops. You’d mostly find images of steam coming out of espresso machines when people search for keywords 'coffee’ or ‘coffee shop’.
In other words, the term barista refers to the knowledge and human skills needed to turn espresso into different delicious coffee drinks.
There are different rewards for being a barista. You get to create and make different drinks that most coffee enthusiasts will love. You’d be putting a smile on people’s faces and that is fulfilling. Besides, most baristas say that befriending their regular customers is very satisfying. But it can be challenging as well. So we’d help you prepare as much as you can, both emotionally and technically, and you’d be able to face it all.
Let's share the six ways you can start preparing yourself.
LEARN TO WASH DISHES
Oh dear, we know you were not expecting that, but we are serious. You need to get over that and embrace it. You have to accept this challenge and be the fastest dishwasher in the café. This is not just about washing fast but also thoroughly.
There are times when you’d want to go home fast but there are still so many dishes piled up in the kitchen, you have to do something. You’d be happy if you had earlier learned to suck up and wash the dishes fast. We know that this part of being a barista isn't glamorous, but it is something you have to face. It is the worst part of the job for most cafés, but as we mentioned, it is the price you have to pay to become a barista.
KNOW THE FUNDAMENTALS OF COFFEE
First, it is essential to get barista training but first you should have basic knowledge of coffee. If you can know the fundamentals of coffee before starting the training, you’ll process it faster than most people. Especially the ones that started the program without researching topics on coffee.
There are a lot of things to learn about coffee before you start the training. In other words, taking a little time to learn these topics yourself will save you some time, and you won't be left behind. There is no need to get crazy on research, you can take it to a step. The trainer will teach you most things about coffee. We are just saying that it will be better if you already understand some things.
We suggest that you read these articles before starting your training.
Do well to read these topics even if you feel like you already know them. These topics were covered in-depth especially in the specialty and third-wave coffee perspective.
USE HIGH-QUALITY COFFEE BEANS
This is an important tip for a beginner. As you are learning to create something new (in this case coffee), using the best kind of tools will do the job properly. You have to make sure all the ingredients you are using are of high quality and the coffee beans are freshly roasted.
Using the best ingredients to brew will make you get better in the following way:
- Using high-quality ingredients and equipment will make you more reliable and the coffee will have the same taste and there will be consistency in the taste of your coffee drinks.
- Using quality ingredients will cut you some slack when you first start brewing. Specialty coffee beans are forgiving in a way. These ingredients will help you to produce excellent coffee while you are still honing your skills.
KNOW WHAT HOSPITALITY IS LIKE IN OTHER CAFES/RESTAURANTS
The next time you go to any restaurant or café, try to look at what the customer service was like. As you do that, ask yourself the following questions; When the barista talked to me, how did I feel? Did any of the waiters say anything funny or something that made me feel special?
The purpose of asking yourself all these questions is for you to start being mindful of great services. Imagine if you went into a café, ordered coffee, and saw a barista keep his gears, sit on a pouch and start playing Pokémon. Even if you like playing Pokémon, you'd depict laziness if you see a skilled barista playing the game instead of cleaning up the workspace.
TIP: Never make your customers see you as lazy. It will not only portray laziness but won't generate any warm feelings or make them feel happy to come back.
This is another scenario: Let's say you walk into a café and start drinking coffee. Then you see two baristas cleaning a table close to you. They are talking but in low tones, they sound so professional and intentional. If one barista walks up to you to help you turn your water into the glass when he is not supposed to do that, you'd feel valued and cared for. You'd learn a lot about hospitality just by looking at others. This way, you’d be equipped to start experiencing yours.
LEARN TO STORE YOUR COFFEE BEANS
We mentioned that you should use high-quality coffee beans but what happens when you can't store them properly. No matter how good your beans are, if you are using stale beans to brew, the result won't be they won't. You could buy fresh coffee and not store it correctly. You should try as much as possible to avoid this.
We know that it is possible that as a beginner, you may not be in the managerial position in the coffee shop but if they don't store the beans properly, you have to speak up. If you own a coffee shop, then you should read the article on our page and learn.
It is important to know how to store your coffee beans because oxygen, sunshine, and moisture are enemies of coffee. What happens is that the oxygen increases the electron culled up in the coffee and other compounds will form and this will increase the hydrogen count in the coffee. So the amount of water in the coffee will increase. What we are trying to say is that you should always store your coffee in an airtight container and keep away from the sun or the fridge. This is the best way to avoid making a bad brew.
TASTE DIFFERENT COFFEES
You need to taste different coffees. It is important you know this because it will help you to describe the coffee drinks on your menu properly. Check how different the drinks are, the reason why they are made in certain ways, and why the coffees taste different. You can also taste single-origin beans and coffee blends.
A barista needs to explain all that he is offering in the café, you have to do this because it makes you seem professional, and your menu looks captivating. Any barista that doesn't know the difference between coffees is seen as unprofessional and unequipped. You don't want to be in this category right?
Try your best to be that barista that will make customers so excited about the coffee drinks on the menu. We suggest that you drink as much coffee as possible. Learn how to cup coffee and expand your palate.
These coffee that is processed in different methods, try coffees with different flavor profiles from all over the world. This will help you to expose your palate, and you will be able to process the taste and describe it when you are writing your café’s menu. One of the easiest ways to test coffee is by buying specialty coffee beans and joining our barista training.
We deliver freshly roasted specialty coffee beans to restaurants and cafés once the orders have been placed. Our coffees are sourced from different farms around the world. We source only high-quality coffee.
We are excited for you! Good luck and start brewing!