7 Steps To Becoming A Brilliant Barista
Waking up and smelling the coffee is a daily routine for baristas all over the world. But what skills do you need to provide the nation’s coffee drinkers with their favourite cup, whether it’s a flat white, cappuccino, or skinny decaf soya mocha with no chocolate sprinkes (please no)? We’ve got it from the experts that these are the 7 most important ingredients to being a great barista.
- Be cheerful and friendly – As a barista, you are often the face of the café, restaurant, or bar. So be bubbly, polite, and a face your customers, desperate for their caffeine fix, are happy to see at 7am.
- It’s all in the espresso – The foundation of any great coffee is the espresso. First you will have to dial-in. This means getting your grind right – not too fine, not too coarse – perfecting your recipe (amount of coffee/duration of pour), then tasting your brew. Just right?
- Milk foaming – One of the most in-demand skills in the industry is foaming. If you can get your milk right, you’ll be able to pick up barista jobs all over the world. Remember, introduce air at the start, then texturize to leave yourself with lovely, bouncy milk.
- Clean equipment and area – Keeping a clean, hygienic area is paramount to having a great coffee bar. If you have a dirty area with stale coffee getting in your equipment, it’s going to affect the taste of your cup; it also leaves a poor impression of the general cleanliness of the establishment. Big no no!
- Latte art – The poster boy of the coffee industry: latte art. Latte art takes time to perfect, but it all stems from your milk foaming skills. If you haven’t perfected your milk foaming, you can wave latte art goodbye. Once you have your milk down, watch your colleagues and videos on Youtube to perfect your technique, then practice, practice, practice.
- Great communication Skills – Running a coffee bar can be a stressful endeavour. Communication is key to keeping everything running smoothly. You need to be able to tell staff what table coffee is going to, if you need extra supplies, which cup is decaf or soya milk, you get the gist. You need to communicate all this information effectively 100% of the time.
- Be a fountain of knowledge – Customers want to know the story of their coffee. As a barista you need to be able to answer all their questions. So, you’ll have to know where the coffee beans are from, whether they’re single or mixed origin, what the tasting notes are, and how much your coffee retails at. You can, obviously, never know too much, but these are a good start.