Barista Job Description

Barista Job Description

How can you become a barista? What to start with? What course to take? You will find the answers to all these questions in the article!!

Barista – is a word of Italian origin translated as “barman, bar attendant, bar owner”.

First, we would like to show our view of this job, to share our own experience and to give recommendations on professional training and development.

Personally for me the meaning of the word “barista” varies from a basic understanding of coffee preparation processes (first of all espresso and cappuccino) to complicated issues of processing, blending, studying the coffee itself, equipment and many other things. In real life, apart from coffee preparation skills, a barista has to be able to communicate with the guests, to understand coffee serving rules, to know cash operations procedures. A barista is often in charge of opening the coffee house (a café, a bar), regulations during the day and closing the place and the shift. In some small coffee houses, a barista washes the dishes and serves the guests at their tables.

In this article, we are going to talk about the main skills and responsibilities in coffee preparation.

So, let us look at every point one by one:

I think that nowadays it’s a wonderful job not only in the motherland of the word “barista”, but also in many other countries of the world, and of course in Belarus. It is connected to the development of espresso and espresso-based drinks preparation technologies, to the development of coffee culture. Espresso is a bright drink, very convenient to use and because there is no sediment in it and thanks to the high taste and aroma concentration, espresso can be an excellent ingredient (sometimes a base) for a great number of various drinks. Someone has to be able to do all these things, and it’s desirable to do it quickly and well, every time as similar as possible, and apart from that positively and with a smile.

Undoubtedly, the more complex the process is, the more time and effort it takes to acquire such knowledge. Unlike most professions in the world, barista skills can be gained quickly enough.

Specialized secondary education requires 2500-3000 hours (3-4 years of study), and higher education takes 2 times more years and hours. At the same time, the salary of a young specialist nowadays is almost the same as that of a barista who has spent approximately1 00 hours on training.

A barista begins with the simplest skills and knowledge, which are acquired at the JS Barista Training Center in 16 hours. This course is called "Barista". After it you can get behind the bar. The course lays down a proper foundation (a base), builds a system of barista skills and gives enough theoretical and practical knowledge. Besides, you have to understand that this course is not the end, but only the beginning of the way and 100 hours include the work with the trainer, which we recommend to have throughout the year, alternating it with regular practice.

A perfect scheme is approximately as follows:

1) You do the basic barista course - 16 hours. After finishing it successfully, you get a job and start applying your knowledge and skills in practice.

2) After 3 months, join the course "Alternative", where you develop a deeper understanding of coffee extraction rules, which allows you to work better with the taste of espresso and other drinks.

3) After another 3 months (six months after beginning your acquaintance with the job), take the “Barista Pro” course. At this stage, you are going to deal with sensory perception (flavor-aromatic analysis of coffee) and move on to a new level of skills in Latte-art.

4) After another 3 months (i.e. 9 months after starting the training), join the full course "Latte-art".

Your next goal is taking part in different contests or developing in the following areas: roasting, mixology, coffee analysis.

It is important not to interrupt practical skills between the courses and, if possible, regularly work with coffee behind the bar.

What do they usually do in the main course of "Barista"?

To get started, you need to understand simple processes, learn some basic information (theoretical) about coffee, equipment used for coffee brewing. As for theoretical knowledge, nowadays people can develop them on their own as information space has become absolutely open. However, the information for general use does not always correspond to reality and the interaction with a mentor (trainer) plays an important role. Studying the theory under the supervision of a mentor is faster and much more effective. There is always an opportunity to consult, clarify and correct your direction. This will save you from useless, sometimes false (pseudo) knowledge at the stage of exploring a new direction and will allow you to focus on the most important!

The next stage is learning safety rules, setting the hands on the coffee machine during the tempering and whipping milk.

Next, you are going work with setting the grind, with its dosing, and then it comes to tempering and preparing espresso. After that, you are going to practice the skills of whipping and the techniques of pouring milk into coffee, in this way you will get the basics of Latte art. Then you are going to learn to prepare drinks based on espresso from the seasonal menu and will be able to evaluate the quality of the drinks you prepared.

At the end of the course, you will know types of coffee machines, coffee grinders, additional equipment and accessories. You will look at the major equipment damage that baristas face in their work. Summing up the results of the training, you will receive a well-earned certificate and will be able to plan the meeting at the next level.

Frequently asked questions:

- Can I join the “Barista” course without any experience in this sphere at all?
- Yes, you can.

- What do I start with?
- With the main course "Barista" (16 hours).

- Do I have to read anything before I join the course?
- If there is an opportunity, you should read, but it is recommended to start with books, not with the Internet.

- What books are worth reading before attending the course?
- "Coffee" by Vincenzo Sandali and Fulvio Eckardi,
"Espresso Production System" by Franco and Mauro Bazzara,
"The Mysterious Elixir" by Mark Pendergast – this book is quite sizeable, it tells about the history of coffee and the development of this product.
As part of the course, you will get a task to study some material, so these books are just worth reading, but are not required for the training.

- What should I take with me to classes?
- You can take a notebook and a pen, but it’s not obligatory.

- Is it possible to a job after the “Barista” course?
- Yes, it is.

- What diplomas are awarded at the end of the course?
- A certificate of the appropriate level.