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Thread: Barista

  1. #1
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    Barista

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey all,

    Just got a Job at a local Mary Ryans cafe, and hopefully going to pursuade them to let me be the barista :)

    I have never actually worked as a barista in a cafe befor, so does anyone have any suggestions on how you do it?

    Note: Yes, I can make a coffee on a commercial machine.

  2. #2
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    Re: Barista

    Umm might want to be a bit more specific as this whole site is dedicated to the above question.

  3. #3
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    Re: Barista

    Quote Originally Posted by 414D545B4D56564D2C0 link=1257488385/0#0 date=1257488385
    Hey all,

    Just got a Job at a local Mary Ryans cafe, and hopefully going to pursuade them to let me be the barista :)

    I have never actually worked as a barista in a cafe befor, so does anyone have any suggestions on how you do it?

    Note: Yes, I can make a coffee on a commercial machine.
    I drove past a hospital today....I walked in and tried to persuade them to let me be the heart surgeon as I have a scalpel...

    Sadly, they rejected my generous offer :(

  4. #4
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    Re: Barista

    Best option is to work there for a while - show enthusiasm for coffee (and make them aware of that) and then suggest getting behind the machine and let them train you to their standards (what ever that is :P).

    Being able to make coffee on a commercial machine and being able to make good coffee in a commercial environment are two totally different things.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Re: Barista

    I read the book Brain Surgery for Beginners before I became a brain surgeon. Maybe theres a Barista For Dummies book out there somewhere?

  6. #6
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    Re: Barista

    Quote Originally Posted by 63585F4457455E300 link=1257488385/4#4 date=1257571602
    I read the book Brain Surgery for Beginners before I became a brain surgeon. Maybe theres a Barista For Dummies book out there somewhere?
    So thats where I went wrong ::)

    You didnt by any chance notice a copy of Heart Surgery for Dummies? *:-?

  7. #7
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    Re: Barista

    Quote Originally Posted by 2F0310160B030E3D2F0D0C09071B620 link=1257488385/3#3 date=1257496159
    Being able to make coffee on a commercial machine and being able to make good coffee in a commercial environment are two totally different things.
    This is what I am talking about. Like managing orders, whether or not its a good idea to do art, or just make the coffee asap (although I guess this would depend on the shop) or anything else like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by 500F17010A010D040407070F030C620 link=1257488385/2#2 date=1257492372
    I drove past a hospital today....I walked in and tried to persuade them to let me be the heart surgeon as I have a scalpel...

    Sadly, they rejected my generous offer * :(
    Funny - I didnt have a scalpel, but they gave me the job anyway :S Guess you need to start somewhere.

  8. #8
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    Re: Barista

    Quote Originally Posted by 3B372E21372C2C37560 link=1257488385/6#6 date=1257744920
    This is what I am talking about. Like managing orders, whether or not its a good idea to do art, or just make the coffee asap (although I guess this would depend on the shop) or anything else like this?
    Totally depends on the environment and the expectations of the customer not something that can be answered in general, specific questions yes. Serve customers quickly (but not too fast as they might still be thinking about if they want a muffin or not) art is always good (as long as the coffee tastes as good as it looks) narrow it down and you might get more helpful answers. ;)

  9. #9
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    Re: Barista

    OK like if the shop is really busy, and you have a million orders all for different things. I have heard about reading ahead on the orders, ie if you have a chai at the begining and a chai on the end, you would do both at the same time?

    And would you read ahead when you plan the milk?

    Or am I worried to impress my boss more than I should be :P

  10. #10
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    Re: Barista

    Sounds like youre over thinking something that will come naturally with experience there shotter.

    Chai might be done differently in different places (steam the mix with the milk or mix it with water then top with milk, or infuse leaves and add steamed milk to that, etc all requiring a different m.o.) so thats a bit of a tricky example to give a solid answer on.

    For me reading ahead is a quick look at how many shots Im lining up and into what vessels, drawing some water for the long blacks so the shots can go in as soon as everything else is ready to go so the crema dissipation is limited, maybe consider what size milk jug/s and fill em ready to texture.

    If theres a matching pair (say hot chocs or chai) at the beginning and end of a bunch of orders, I would say whether or not you do enough for both orders is dependant on the time it will take you to do everything in between. No point cutting corners to have that chai ready if it get sent back as too cold and needing to be re-made. However, if you do the mix with water first, then top with milk method you could mix both 1st and last chais bases and be ready to top that last one with milk when you get to it.

    That said Im a big believer in just do every order as good as you can and, with practice, the speed will pick up. Every cup deserves your best effort and if that means you dont read so far ahead to begin with, then so be it. You best effort, btw, should probably focus on being delicious first, and decorated with art 2nd until such time as you can achieve both simultaneously.

    Dont stress - its all good fun, and if you have a bad run, remember theres always the opportunity to do better tomorrow.

  11. #11
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    Re: Barista

    Good advice there melicious, you really need to just start off slow and then increase your speed slowly from there whilst keeping a good eye on quality. You will learn all sorts of little tricks as you go along to speed things up but if you try them all at once the system will fall apart and customers will start to get annoyed because their coffee isnt as good as it should be, order is lost or some such thing. I have found that it has taken me 18months of hard work to get me where I am now and I am still slowly improving. My best bit of advice is to work on one thing at a time and nailing the improvement before working on the next thing.

  12. #12
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    Re: Barista

    Thanks for the advice guys!

    Shift was this morning - it went well. Its pretty quiet so I have plenty of time to practice my shots/milk froth/milk pour :)

    Happy Days!

  13. #13
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    Re: Barista

    Welcome to the madness, ever chasing the god shot/perfect rosetta/awesome customer service. It is the best industry I have ever been involved in, dont forget you can now post in the Barista Venting section for all those things that peeve you ;D :D

  14. #14
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    Re: Barista

    It took me a good 2.5 years to get into the position where I can use the machine as a barista... they always had a legit barista waiting... i suppose it didnt help that I was a uni student working full time, so i only worked 2 to 3 days a week...

    that being said I did nail the barista challenge and surprised the hell out of the coffee shop I worked at. Now they let me do a lot more... it helps that I love doing it too...

    compliments on the coffee also make you very happy :D

  15. #15
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    Re: Barista

    Quote Originally Posted by 2C222F203721204E0 link=1257488385/12#12 date=1257845670
    ...dont forget you can now post in the Barista Venting section for all those things that peeve you *;D :D
    No, hang on...doesnt that require a secret barista initiation first? ;) ;D

    Coffeeshotter...seriously...

    If you havent already, find yourself a decent course. If the provider of the coffee doesnt offer one, then search here amongst the sponsors to see what is on offer. It will not only help you to learn processes when in a commercial environment but also give you credibility with your bosses as they see you are keen to increase your knowledge of what youre doing.

    Just asking here is not enough. Sure, there are plenty who have some great advice and help however, none of it will be as good as hands on, face to face training be it in the form of a formal or informal training session.

    And if you are really serious, you will aim to further your education any way you can. (including in picking CSrs brains! ;D)

    Good luck with it. As moto said, its a great industry to work in!

  16. #16
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    Re: Barista

    Yeah I have done a basic barista course at one of the local farm/roastery. Soooo much fun playing around on their machine :D



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