A career in the coffee industry has a certain appeal — the chic and chill ambience of a café, the smell of freshly ground coffee beans, the creative thrill of making coffee and drinks for different types of people. Who hasn’t dreamed of becoming a barista or owning a café at one point of their lives?
Barista work is a rewarding career choice if you’re looking for a role that combines creativity and customer service. Not to mention that it is a lucrative skill that’s in-demand overseas, as it is one of the top job openings abroad according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
But how do you become a barista? Some professionals start with no prior knowledge or experience, as some coffee shops and coffee companies offer training for new hires. However, many local and overseas jobs require certifications, so taking a course is a great first step towards your dream of becoming a barista.
We asked Center for Barista and Tourism Academy, a TESDA-accredited institution of tourism and hospitality management education in Quezon City, to share a few things you need to know if you want to start a Barista career.
What skills do you need to learn to become a barista?
The primary responsibilities of a barista are making coffee and serving customers, so you need to learn how to:
1. Prepare and serve hot and cold coffee beverages
This includes brewing coffee by machine or by hand, preparing espresso, creating creamy frothed milk, and preparing hot and cold drinks according to the café’s recipes and standards. This also means you need to be able to use and perform basic maintenance of machines and equipment. You can also advance your skills by learning how to do latte art.
2. Deliver excellent customer service
You need to be friendly and be able to build a rapport with customers. He/she needs to be a good listener in order to understand and serve customers’ orders exactly how they want them. This is because good customer service helps build brand loyalty and long-term customers.
3. Perform administrative tasks
Examples of these are cashiering, telephone etiquette, and other administrative skills such as restocking and ordering supplies.
What makes a good barista?
What qualities are employers and café owners looking for?
1. Passionate and Committed
You need to love good coffee in order to handcraft one. He/she needs to be passionate in consistently creating quality drinks, as well as continuously improving his/her craft, always looking for ways to learn new skills, techniques, and recipes. A barista needs to be committed to delivering excellent drinks and customer service, both.
2. Friendly and Customer-Oriented
You need should be friendly and be able to deal with all sorts of customers.
3. Team Player
A café is composed of different people assigned to do different jobs, so you need to be able to communicate and work well with your co-workers.
4. Hardworking and Detail-Oriented
A good barista is able to prepare high-quality beverages every time, served according to customers’ orders while maintaining café standards. As café work can be busy and fast-paced, you also need to be willing to work long shifts if needed, or spend a whole work day on their feet.
What jobs and career paths are available to graduates of a Barista Course?
3. Restaurant Manager
4. Work abroad
5. Café owner
6. Technical Trainer / Assessor
7. Café consultant
Finally, what can an aspiring student expect from a Barista Program?
Center for Barista and Tourism Academy’s Finishing Course for Professional Barista is an overall training that will introduce aspiring baristas to the world of coffee, from the fundamentals and basics to advanced techniques for espresso-based beverages and brewed coffee excellence.
This program is a combination of Barista 101 and 102 and does not require any prerequisite for registration.