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Thread: landing a barista position

  1. #1
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    landing a barista position

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I was scouring through some old posts and have found quite a number of posts from CSers (TG comes to mind) who have wanted to / thought about / managed to find some work behind a commercial machine. Many of those posts had reservations in regards to not having enough cafe experience.

    i landed a job at veneziano one morning per week. i have been an avid home geek for maybe two years slowly progressing from little steam toys up the food chain. I immersed myself in theory and literature and read hundreds and hundreds of posts - in true snob style. Each shot was practice. Each milk pitcher was too.

    I too, thought I would NEVER land a job at a cafe. I went out hunting and had three interviews at local cafes. ALL were knocked back with managers looking for "experience". I had even brought along with me a CV, and a sheet on "what I knew" about coffee, as well as pics of my latte art. It didnt seem to be sufficient proof of my enthusiasm.

    I thought to myself that I would start begging for a job ANYWHERE, at ANY cafe with a machine just to gain some experience. I was beginning to get desperate. I am VERY fortunate that I seemed to be in the right place at the right time and was hired by David Makin. Im still working at The First Pour so I must be doing SOMETHING right (even though Im doing plenty of things not-so-right).

    Having worked for about 6 weeks now I see where Im lacking (and thats in many areas). I understand why managers are hesitant - the gamble is perhaps too great. I have to be honest, that I dont find the work all that easy - that said I do have high expectations of what I produce and will throw away shots and milk if theyre not right.

    I think it was you Scoota Gal who mentioned that working at a cafe was just like working at home if youre in the right frame of mind. I havent yet found that mindset, but hope to soon.

    I guess what Im trying to say (but taking the scenic tour) is that if you are a snob, and you have the passion, then more than likely you will be able to be pulling nice shots and steaming velvety milk in a very short space of time.

    The more of US that are out there behind machines - the better will be our options of finding consumable coffee (outside of our homes) - and that can only be a good thing.

    end rant

    aaron


  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: landing a barista position

    If only there were more of US behind the machines.

    But its a start.

  3. #3
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    Re: landing a barista position

    do u only work there 1day a week? whats on for the rest of the week?

  4. #4
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    Re: landing a barista position

    stop trying to poach staff jerry ;P


  5. #5
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    Re: landing a barista position

    Quote Originally Posted by roknee link=1215396655/0#0 date=1215396655
    Having worked for about 6 weeks now I see where Im lacking (and thats in many areas). I understand why managers are hesitant - the gamble is perhaps too great. I have to be honest, that I dont find the work all that easy - that said I do have high expectations of what I produce and will throw away shots and milk if theyre not right.
    Di Bartoli were kind enough to let me work a couple days once while they were in between staff. In a single day I found out a lot of things I was really crap at! After 6 weeks I expect you to be a pro!

    Its hard work making coffees all day.

  6. #6
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    Re: landing a barista position

    recurve boy - yeah it kinda is a little hard making GOOD coffees. Part of me would love to be doing this 2 days a week or more. the prob with only working one morning per week is not having enough time to get into a groove. by the time i HAVE got some kind of groove going on (wushoes you can stop laughing now) its onto to uni to hit the books, or the computer, or any other inanimate object that is nearby and likes a good beating...

    stassi-
    But my doctorate is due in 4 months- thats almost a full time job by itself.
    Im on 2 days per week on rotation
    my other job is ~ 12 hours per week


  7. #7
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    Re: landing a barista position

    Quote Originally Posted by Wushoes - David S link=1215396655/0#3 date=1215422028
    stop trying to poach staff jerry ;P
    Im just stayin Hi.....
    i was just intersted in what he fella does since he only does 1day a week

  8. #8
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    Re: landing a barista position

    the fella tries hard to make consistently good coffee 3 hours per week.
    what the fella achieves is another matter entirely... :)

  9. #9
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    Re: landing a barista position

    thanks dave for making me look like im poaching I had a laugh

  10. #10
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    Re: landing a barista position

    No worries! :D

  11. #11
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    Re: landing a barista position

    ok so time for a little update

    ive been with the big V since July, working 3 hours per week (no, its not enough) with dave s (wushoes) initially and now, Vince.

    i have become a lot more confident which has been a major factor in my improvements.
    initially, i actually found getting some passable free pour latte art not too difficult, and then, for about a month, i just coouldnt get ANYTHING going at all and my milk went to heck.

    Vince has been really helpful in improving my technique, but most importantly to relax a little (that means a lot). i really got too upset with myself when things werent going right. since taking that on board, my art has come back. and so has my enjoyment of the work.

    when things get busy i still get a little frantic, and i need to find the balance between relaxed but quick, and quick but relaxed.


    its been amazing to have the guys (like dave M and Craig S) round me for a quick question or a taste of my espressi to see if im on track.

    and of course, a great buzz when the guys who pay me let me know that my coffees are really good.

    im really loving it, and still feel really fortunate to have landed the position in the first place.

    /end rather boring update
    Aaron

  12. #12
    Super Moderator scoota_gal's Avatar
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    Re: landing a barista position

    Roknee...I dont recall saying that about working at home and being at work...there are plenty of things that ARENT like being at work when being at home! Thank GOODNESS! ;D

    But, if I did, I guess I did...cant remember the context though...

    Look, what I can say is...some of us are gifted in that we can get into any situation and handle it. Others of us have to work at it. And Im by no means saying that there is anything wrong with that!

    A guy I had the priviledge of meeting once, said that men are inherently competitive and that they generally DONT relax behind the machine because theyre too busy being competitive in all theyre doing.

    Women on the other hand dont have that gene generally and so can usually just breeze it in and make it look easy at the same time. Meanwhile, leaving the blokes frustrated and annoyed because they JUST DID IT!

    So, what you will see a bit from me is the advice to "RELAX" and "BREATHE!" because it is something that most men forget to do and of course, being tense is just not going to always work!

    I have a horse here that is a great schoolmaster. The thing that makes him great is when my students get on him, if they are at ALL tense, he IMMEDIATELY lets me know...I wont go into what he does, suffice to say...its a great lesson to both myself and him.

    The same can be said of the coffee...Im sure that if youre too tense in your process, then what you produce is not as good as when youre relaxed and "in the groove."

    So...what youll hear from me is Relax and Breathe! Its all good!

    Here ends my lesson!

    Great that youve got a job there btw...hope it continues to go well for you! Just RELAX and BREATHE! ;)

  13. #13
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    Re: landing a barista position

    yeah sg, breathing and relaxing are on the cards....

  14. #14
    Super Moderator scoota_gal's Avatar
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    Re: landing a barista position

    I must also say...

    I dont envy you working amongst that crowd there either Roknee...theyre all pretty high profile people in this scene and I know if I worked there, Id feel under the microscope every second! Even though I know theyre all good guys! Its just that "in the presence of greatness" thing! ;)

    So, yeah. Im sure youre doing great! Even with only 3 hours a week...

    That one could be so lucky!

    Barista Exchange Program anyone? ;D

  15. #15
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: landing a barista position

    "Use the force Luke".

  16. #16
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    Re: landing a barista position

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    thanks sg and tg
    i do feel damn lucky and hope that i can stay for a long time...

    the guys ARE great, its a great team and i never feel like im under their microscope, but at the same time I am definitely pushed, which is awesome for me


    cheers

    aaron



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