What You Should Know About Barista Training
A talented and well-trained barista can make such a difference in the world of coffee! They have the ability to produce a simple cup of coffee within minutes or use their mastery to pull together a complex signature beverage. They can bring out the best qualities in a coffee bean or highlight all that is inferior. Baristas are often an unsung hero for those of us who love coffee. And not to brag but that is exactly why I love being a barista.
It’s the responsibility of baristas everywhere to ensure that customers receive excellent service and great-tasting coffee every time. Anyone who is looking for a career as a barista should first learn everything they can about what it takes to be successful in this industry. After you have finished reading this article, you will have a better idea of what it takes to be successful as a barista.
So, what should you know about how to train to be a barista? The first step to becoming a barista is obviously learning as many ways as possible of how people like their coffee. In addition to gaining knowledge about coffee drinks, you should take the time to learn about the different types of beans that are available. You will also need to know about the different methods of preparing coffee.
Another skill you will need is the ability to multi-task quickly and efficiently. As far as soft skills are concerned, you will need to have excellent customer service skills. Being an outgoing and personable barista will take you far!
These 5 things will be your starting guide on becoming a barista. Many of these things will just take time and experience. However, to really make yourself stand out as a talented barista, you have to really understand and love the world of coffee. Let’s talk about what that really means!
Learning About Types of Coffee Drinks
I am going to bet that if you are wanting to become a barista that you already know many different types of coffee drinks. Most people will have their favorite and stick with it their whole life. As a barista, however, you will need to know many different styles.
Here are 10 of the most popular ways people like their coffee so you are prepared:
- Black: The most popular way people like their coffee is black. This means there are no specific additives or flavors added to it.
- Espresso: An espresso is a quick shot of concentrated coffee.
- Latte: A latte is an espresso with steamed milk and a small amount of foam on top.
- Mocha: This drink consists of two shots of espresso, chocolate syrup, and steamed milk.
- Macchiato: An espresso shot with a small amount of steamed milk to get rid of the bitter taste.
- Cappuccino: A cappuccino consists of one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one-third foam on top. You must know how to make a traditional cappuccino.
- Flat White: A flat white consists of steamed milk and a small amount of foam on top. It is similar to a latte but it has less steamed milk than a latte.
- Americano: An Americano is made by adding water to espresso.
- Red Eye: A red-eye consists of drip coffee and an espresso shot.
- Cafe Au Lait: A cafe au lait is a mixture of brewed coffee and hot milk.
What Baristas Need to Know About Coffee Beans
Before you begin training as a barista, you need to have a solid understanding of coffee. This includes being able to identify different types of beans and recognizing how they will affect the taste.
You also should know the differences between brewed coffee and espresso drinks.
Coffee beans come from a bean-bearing tree called the coffee plant. These beans are usually grown in mild climates near the equator, where they receive plenty of warmth and moisture.
Different types of coffee beans come from different regions around the world. For example, Brazilian coffee is known for its smooth flavor while African coffee is well-known for having a chocolatey taste that many love.
What you may not know is that different coffee beans are used to make different types of coffee drinks. For example, espresso coffee only uses the bean from the Arabica plant. It is also important to note that some beans are genetically engineered to change their flavor profile during growth or post-harvesting.
The Many Ways to Make Coffee
The beauty of coffee, to me, is the many ways in which you can prepare it. Something a simple as changing the machine you use to brew your coffee can result in a completely different tasting drink. I will take you through the five main ways to make coffee.
This is when the roaster works with a coffee grower to get their beans and then processes them for consumers. People who like this method of drinking coffee, truly enjoy knowing about where their beans come from and watching how they were processed into a final product.
Espresso is made by grinding beans and then forcing hot water through them. Many different flavors can come out of this process, which is why it is so popular.
Coffee grounds are placed in the bottom compartment of this pot and then boiling water is added to it. After about 4 minutes, the plunger is pushed down creating a strong coffee drink.
This is similar to the manual drip coffee maker, but it has a cloth filter inside of it. It allows for more oils in the cup of coffee.
This involves soaking grounds at room temperature or cold water for 12-24 hours and then filtering them out. This method produces a coffee that is low acid, smooth and balanced.
Preparing for the Morning Rush
The next and equally important skill you need to learn is multitasking and time management. Although people enjoy coffee drinks any time of day, morning is by far the most popular time. And most people are in quite a rush to get their coffee and go. This means you have to know how to work quickly and efficiently!
Brewing perfect coffee takes time, especially if you are making it manually. One of the most important things to remember is that you should always have your grinds ready to go before you start brewing. This way, you can pour your water exactly when needed!
The morning rush is hectic and stressful for everyone involved. Your job as a barista is to make it as easy and calming as possible. Here are a few tips to manage your time better.
- Plan ahead by setting out the milk, cups, lids, stirring sticks, etc. before your morning rush begins. This way you will be able to keep moving without stopping every two seconds for supplies!
- Be sure to have a system in place where customers can place their order and you can make it quickly. Large orders should be written down for this purpose!
- Keep an accurate count of how many drinks you have made so far to ensure that you do not run into a supply issue halfway through the morning rush!
- Keep your supplies organized and clean for quick access.
- Have a ready supply of extra milk, sugar, and stirrers! It is also helpful to have brewed coffee on hand in case your pot runs out. This way you can make brewed coffee last longer or make it quickly enough for your customers to not feel slighted.
The Artform Of a Good Barista
To me, being a barista isn’t just about making coffee. It’s creating an experience. Part of that is setting yourself apart as a knowledgable, creative, and personable barista.
Here are three different types of baristas you might encounter when going out for coffee:
- The Inexperienced Barista: This person has been making drinks since they were hired but they aren’t very creative or knowledgeable of coffee. They can be found wasting precious time and energy by pulling the wrong levers on machines, not having their milk at the perfect temperature, or even just adding way too much syrup/sugar to your drink!
- The Experienced Barista: This person has trained under another barista for a while and knows how to make drinks well, but they are stuck in their ways. This person can be stubborn and unwilling to try new techniques or recipes for making drinks.
- The True Coffee Connoisseur: This barista knows everything about coffee, from where it comes from to how you want to brew it. They know what kind of milk and syrup to add and when! They know that different beans have different flavors and will play to that when making drinks.
To be the best barista, you will want to aim to be the true coffee connoisseur! This will gain you loyal customers and 5-star reviews. Add your own special touch to your drinks and make each drink unique and tailored to the customer. Aim to give them an experience instead of just a cup of coffee!
How Else Can I Prepare To Be a Barista?
Some other things you can do to be a barista is to be an active member of the local barista scene.
Go to several different cafes and observe the baristas and customers. Join any community coffee groups, both online and in-person.
Another thing you can do is stay up to date on trends in both the coffee industry and the customer service industry. This way, you can better understand what your customers want and how to make them happy!
Honestly, the best thing you can do is find a successful barista you look up to and see if they would be open to mentoring you. Be aware that this may cost you money but it will be well worth it to learn from an expert.
In conclusion, being a successful barista isn’t just about being able to consistently pull the perfect shot of espresso. It’s about creating an experience for the customer, being open to learning new things, and truly loving what you do.