What skills should a barista possess? This is a topic for endless debate in the coffee industry.
In simple terms, the role of a barista is to make coffee and serve customers. A barista can be a good listener or a good salesperson. So, just what role does a barista have after all?
It's tricky to tell baristas what kind of abilities he or she should have when we still have not clarified the issue at hand.
The last important link in the industry connecting coffee production and preparation to the market is the bridge between the coffee farmers and the market—the barista.
The barista functions as a medium through which the coffee industry reveals its image to the outside world. I believe that the image of the barista is already more-than-capable of attracting customers! From trendy hairstyles, beautiful tattoos, and fashionable attire, without exception these elements reveal the growth and vigor of the industry just like the early development of rock and roll in the 80s. However, 19, 20 years from now, I don't want to only reminisce about this era of fine coffee but I and every coffee-lover around the world should want to see the industry continue to develop and enter more China-based markets. If this is the goal, then focusing on the external will not be enough.
As a barista, I believe that the internal and external are in a constant relationship.
“Learning is an endless process”—the ability to learn is essential in any industry.
We often see that baristas begin engaging their work very quickly, entering at a low position. This is one of the reasons why so many people prefer entering the coffee industry for their first job. However, it would be quite wasteful if these individuals only mastered a few rudimentary skills and never progressed forward.
As we saw at the World Barista Championship, not only was good coffee at the forefront, but there were also novel ideas and creative performances. The high marks were the result of intensive study and hard work.
However, innovation does not necessarily require lofty goals. The process of learning from scratch starts with the most basic content. Once the most foundational rules have been mastered, only then can they be broken and the new brought forth.
This is why continual studying is extremely important for barista.
The term “intelligence” here refers to interpersonal skills.
Many people mistakenly believe that being a barista is cool. These people want to become a barista not because they are interested in coffee but because it is a cool job.
When one works in a café, especially as a barista, one must be a good team player. As a barista, one will face all sorts of customers every day and need to coordinate with work staff. To successfully navigate this social terrain, one must have good interpersonal skills.
Regardless of which industry you work in, it’s important to maintain enthusiasm.
The key is to be full of enthusiasm about coffee is to continually seek out new knowledge and always try to improve oneself. One must always try to learn from one’s mistakes, study under the best teachers, and apply what one has learned in daily practice.
Through this, learning opportunities abound.
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that baristas may be good listeners or salespeople as well as a bridge between farmers and consumers. This is all captured in the term “service.”
To be a good barista, one must possess a sense of service.
Baristas must put aside their rock-star status and strive to provide humble and high-quality service in order to create a memorable experience for the customers.
This is the premise for the continued operation of any coffeehouse. Here, the barista must take responsibility.
At the same time, if one wishes to develop his or her career, one must prioritize maintaining good health. This is of vital importance because a barista is an arduous job that requires standing for long stretches of times.
A good barista can make your coffeehouse prosperous.
On the other hand, a bad barista can be the end of a coffeehouse.
What do you think?