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  • How does one become an experienced barista when...

    all of the hiring ads for barista want experienced barista, high volume, fast paced... etc ?

    Ive read Thundergods Journey but I dont think I have as much skill as him at this stage to just rock up to a cafe and ask to be given a chance. I have done Understanding & Mastering Espresso at TAFE but havent done Prepare & Serve Espresso yet.

    I went to a cafe once because they wanted to give me a trial (and on my ad I clearly specified that Im new and after some experience). I was asked to make a cappucino - but was given no time to even test the grind or anything. Needless to say they had tons of excuse to tell me why they dont want me (but didnt you see my ad say that Im inexperienced ? >)

    The other option is to open my own cafe (but thats the worst idea one can think of if one isnt experienced enough).

    Id love to hear from anyone:
    1 - how you got your foot in the door to become a barista ?
    2 - what are some of the ways to get yourself hired (perhaps as a trainee to start) ?

  • #2
    Re: How does one become an experienced barista whe

    Originally posted by Green Bean link=1172489340/0#0 date=1172489340
    all of the hiring ads for barista want experienced barista, high volume, fast paced... etc ?

    Ive read Thundergods Journey but I dont think I have as much skill as him at this stage to just rock up to a cafe and ask to be given a chance.  I have done Understanding & Mastering Espresso at TAFE but havent done Prepare & Serve Espresso yet.

    I went to a cafe once because they wanted to give me a trial (and on my ad I clearly specified that Im new and after some experience).  I was asked to make a cappucino - but was given no time to even test the grind or anything.  Needless to say they had tons of excuse to tell me why they dont want me (but didnt you see my ad say that Im inexperienced ?  >)

    The other option is to open my own cafe (but thats the worst idea one can think of if one isnt experienced enough).

    Id love to hear from anyone:
    1 - how you got your foot in the door to become a barista ?
    2 - what are some of the ways to get yourself hired (perhaps as a trainee to start) ?
    Hi Green,

    As a trainer and now ex-cafe owner (WOO HOO!!! ) Id suggest that you do Prepare and Serve. If youre in Melbourne, The Coffee Academy is a great place to start.

    I often would bin 95 of 100 CVs when I advertised for staff. Prep. and serve will help you get a foot in the door....

    Then, hang at one of the really good places. Offer to work for nothing in quiet times if you have to in exchange for training. If you find the right cafe, and the right mentor, and if you have the "right stuff" you will be snapped up by one of the really good places- like an Epic, Mecca, First Pour, St Ali, Maling Room or one of the other top coffee establishments around the country. Nothing can replicate the experience you will gain on the job....

    I wish you luck in your journey... If you want it, youll get it

    Chris

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How does one become an experienced barista whe

      Occasionally youll see an ad that doesnt say "experienced".

      Id also look out for smaller places.
      They wont be as busy and you may also have to do other things like wait tables and clean up.

      I saw an ad on a counter the other day looking for casuals to work the shop front and make the occasional coffee.
      They have a La Scala Butterfly so I felt pretty confident I could handle the machine.
      I havent applied yet as I found a better job to apply for today that might come through in quick time if I can get it.
      I still have time to apply otherwise.

      So keep looking and try for the quieter, smaller places.
      The first place I interviewed for, I made 6 coffees in an hour.
      The one I got some work at is so quiet at the moment Im not expecting another shift any time soon.

      Dont give up.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How does one become an experienced barista whe

        Perhaps a good way to get that foothold in your average cafe is by:

        Being female and aged 18 to 22

        Trusting the machine to do all the work for you (after all, you dont know a thing about coffee making)

        And once you have that toehold...

        Dont ask "any sugar?" because the customer can always use a biro to stir it in later

        Make it nice and hot. The hotter the better. After all, its a hot drink

        Theres a drought on, so conserve water by cleaning equipment only at days end

        Save time by pre-grinding all the coffee at the beginning of the shift, or, preferably, before you lock up for the night.

        The rag to wipe the steam wand can also double up to wipe the bench of any grime, grounds, bacteria and other nasties.

        Im sure there are many more valuable pointers.

        --Robusto

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How does one become an experienced barista whe

          Robusto with all that valuable insight, if only you were female and aged 18 to 22 youd be a shoe in.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How does one become an experienced barista whe

            Originally posted by Thundergod link=1172489340/0#4 date=1172536426
            Robusto with all that valuable insight, if only you were female and aged 18 to 22 youd be a shoe in.
            What makes you think Im not? ;D ;D

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How does one become an experienced barista whe

              Id love to hear from anyone:
              1 - how you got your foot in the door to become a barista ?
              2 - what are some of the ways to get yourself hired (perhaps as a trainee to start) ?
              Places which do really awesome coffee will often hire you if you are passionate and committed, regardless of experience. However, these sorts of places will usually want people who can work a significant number of shifts per week, as they are going to have to invest a bit in training you. Places that dont really care about coffee probably wont give a hoot what sort of coffee making experience you have. That said, Prepare and Serve or maybe even the new AASCA course are good starts.

              When dropping off CVs at cafes, its often a good idea to hand your stuff across in a manilla folder or similar. Invariably, some small business owners lose a lot of their paperwork, so making sure that they actually have it on hand helps. Im sure that I got one of my old jobs just because the cafe owner lost every single other application!

              Finally, rather than looking cafe by cafe, it might pay to go and introduce yourself to the sales reps at your local decent coffee roastery. They will often know which of the cafes that they supply need staff and will welcome the opportunity to help out their clients by putting you both in touch ... which will save you scouring a whole bunch of cafes and hoping that one of them is hiring.

              Robusto with all that valuable insight, if only you were female and aged 18 to 22 youd be a shoe in.
              No; youre only a shoe in if you can flick your hair and giggle.

              Cheers,

              Luca

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How does one become an experienced barista whe

                [QUOTE=luca link=1172489340/0#6 date=1172537562]
                Robusto with all that valuable insight, if only you were female and aged 18 to 22 youd be a shoe in.
                No; youre only a shoe in if you can flick your hair and giggle.

                Cheers,

                Luca
                In that case, checklist for barista job hunting:

                -Make appointment to get blond  wig, t-shirt and skirt
                -Make appointment for a bucket of botox....
                -Watch Seinfeld reruns to practise giggles
                -Study Paris Hilton for that air-head look

                --RoBUSTo

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How does one become an experienced barista whe

                  2MCM, TG, Robusto and Luca,

                  Thanks for sharing your experience and insight with me. My top priority is to get the Prepare & Serve course done first. I did the "Understanding and Master with TAFE but I cant complete the Prepare & Serve there because it requires 30 hours commercial work experience. Forsyth is the next place Im thinking of. Luca, your suggestion is particularly useful as I spent all night last night thinking how I was going to map out all the cafes I was going to visit and sell myself to :

                  Add one more to the list : dont forget to bat your eyelids at 1000rpm.

                  Thanks everyone !

                  TG, by the way, Im also looking around for an internal auditor job at the moment.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How does one become an experienced barista whe

                    I got my job pretty easily. So I feel for those of you who are struggling with finding a job.

                    I just walked up to the owner of the bakery one particularly busy day and said to her "You look like you need someone to just run the coffee machine." to which she replied "Yes, do you want a job?" The rest is history...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How does one become an experienced barista whe

                      As for the question of how to get experience when everyone wants experience. I think very few barristers would have started as barristers at the place they got experiece, most would have started work in a cafe as floor staff at places that dont have dedicated barrister positions and got there experience that way. or got promoted and trained within the place that they worked. If your lucky like I was sometimes places like this will pay for you to attend courses like prepare and serve. Was a great day out, not only did they paid for me to go, but I also got paid my normal wage to attend 8-)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How does one become an experienced barista whe

                        Originally posted by muppet_man67 link=1172489340/0#10 date=1172543400
                        I think very few barristers would have started as barristers at the place they got experiece, most would have started work in a cafe as floor staff at places that dont have dedicated barrister positions and got there experience that way. or got promoted and trained within the place that they worked.
                        All barristers I know started off doing articles for a law firm (and had to be admitted to the bar) before being allowed to practice...

                        However baristas (or should that be baristi) - now thats different!! ;D ;D

                        Ill have to tell my daughter she is wasting her time doing a 5.5 year law degree at UWA.... just get a job in a cafe... ;D ;D

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How does one become an experienced barista whe

                          No dont.
                          The way things are going she will probably need it.

                          I see you need a PhD to apply for jobs at Google these days.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How does one become an experienced barista whe

                            I understand that in small/medium business like a cafe, the owner cant afford to pay for anyone thats not productive straight away.

                            But I still find it mildly irritating that a global IT company would hire a fresh grad like me (well that was 10 yrs ago ), yet not one local cafe would want to hear from me. Oh and I did offer to work for nothing too at the time !

                            I suppose me wanting to start part-time might be not so appealing as well. And sorry Im not blond or 18 - 22

                            The struggle continues....one shot at a time...

                            Soon one will need 2 PhDs to be a cleaner!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How does one become an experienced barista whe

                              Originally posted by Thundergod link=1172489340/0#12 date=1172545066
                              No dont.
                              The way things are going she will probably need it.

                              I see you need a PhD to apply for jobs at Google these days.
                              Worry not TG, my spam imforms me that I can buy one if I just click on the link...Not that will save at least 5 years! ;D

                              Comment

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