A barista refers to someone who is trained in the preparation and service of espresso-based coffee drinks, particularly for a bar or coffeehouse.
The word “barista” is essentially an Italian word, which means a ‘bartender’ who usually works from behind a counter and serves hot drinks. This form of bartending in coffee shops is often considered as a second profession, usually by students for various purposes such as payment of tuition fee or gaining customer experience. However, lately, baristas are becoming immensely popular in the management of coffee bars, and many people have come forward with the aim to become baristas, that is, to become baristas by choice, not compulsion.
The freelance community offers splendid opportunities to individuals willing to become baristas and earn money, but there are a few things to be kept in mind. It must be noted that the freelance community is immensely vast and highly competitive, and therefore, it is not simple and easy to become a successful freelancer in the first place. So, to become a freelance barista, you will have to consider a few points well in advance.
In this article, we shall explore four major points involved in the making of a freelance barista:
1. Freelance Barista Job Requirements
Let us make it clear that there is no specific educational requirement to become a freelance barista. In fact, much of the work is done by experience. However, as mentioned above, the competition has become increasingly stiff, and, as a result of which, employers have started demanding more than just experience. Employers have started requiring a certain level of formal education on the part of the applicant, and that is why it is necessary to consider a few points which have been mentioned below:
- The minimum educational requirement is the completion of 10+2 from a recognized school.
- While experience makes up for the most part of the job requirement, there are a few academic recourses, which may help you build a strong portfolio of skills. These recourses are basically certificate courses, diplomas and degree courses in barista and related areas.
- There are a number of institutes and forums which offer courses in barista and other associated fields. For example, Coffee Board, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India conducts a number of courses such as KaapiShastra Training programme on Coffee Roasting and Brewing, Short-term Training Programme on Barista Skills, etc. The Board even conducts championships such as National Barista Championship, Flavour of India-Fine Cup Awards Competition for the promotion of barista profession.
- Other institutes include Vitoria School of Learning and Development (Hotel Management), Delhi, which offers a Diploma course to become a qualified Barista and Café Management
- If you wish to study abroad, there are a lot of options available such as the schools belonging to the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe; the Barista Guild of America, which is a famous training institution that trains students in the history, art and preparation of coffee; the Espresso School of Lavazza, which is among the most popular barista training institutions in the world.
- While we have discussed a great deal on possible academic courses on barista, we have not elaborated on the issue of experience—something extremely relevant in café management.
This goes without saying that the first and foremost thing employers will look for in your resume is the experience. So, the question is how to gain experience? Well, the answer is simple: work.
- Gain work experience by engaging in cafes and restaurants. There are prominent cafes in the country such as Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Café Coffee Day and Barista where you can work part-time and understand the fundamentals from the grassroots level. If not these, you can work at local cafes and even restaurants, which often hire baristas for handling beverage counters.
2. Freelance Barista Skills Needed
- Vivacious personality: A barista is not just about brewing and serving coffee; it is also about interacting and socializing with customers. It is, therefore, essential that you maintain a sociable, vivacious and hospitable attitude throughout. A friendly barista keeps the flow of customers intact.
- Multitasking: As a barista, you will have to do multiple things in conjunction: taking orders from multiple customers, operating machines, taking bills and returning the change, notifying the supervisors, and whatnot. This will naturally increase pressure upon you, but you should be able to handle it with ease and without any impact on performance.
- Attention and knack for detail: Customers love details in their coffee orders, and they expect the barista to create the perfect coffee they have ever tasted. Thus, you must pay keen attention to the process of making of coffee.
- Professionalism: While you are expected to show a friendly and hospitable attitude towards customers, you must not give away professionalism which working. You must strictly observe the protocol in operation in the establishment and avoid excessive engagement with customers.
3. Work Opportunities For Freelance Baristas
A barista can either offer freelance services to cafes or bars or build his own coffee shop. The choice depends upon a number of factors such as the degree of independence, the status of the establishment, etc.
While work opportunities are plentiful since coffee shops and bars are usually in need of experienced staff, it is important to maintain a track on the availability of jobs. It is, thus, recommended that you take help from popular freelance websites such as freelance.com, linkedin.com, and worknhire.com. These websites have been created to bridge the gap between the employers and the freelancers and provide them a more comfortable professional environment.
You are only required to maintain an account in these websites, upload a portfolio of skills and submit duly filled applications.
4. Pay Scale Of A Freelance Barista
Baristas typically earn between Rs. 10,000 and 12,500, and the amount may increase with experience and years of association. Actually, the pay scale of baristas depends largely on a number of factors such as educational qualifications and experience of the barista, and whatnot. The pay scale will depend monumentally on the status of the establishment that is if the establishment is as big as Starbucks, the barista may earn relatively high sum.
Also, know how to become a freelance baker.