Where would the world be without coffee? Well, it is hard to imagine, and let us not even try to—because without coffee life is utterly meaningless. Worse would be the situation where we have coffee but no one to prepare it. Yes, we are talking the indispensable role played by one of the most beloved professionals of all time—baristas.
A barista is fashioned to prepare and serve coffee in the most distinct ways and tastes possible; however, easy as it may sound, becoming a barista is not a no-brainer.
You need to have more than just passion for coffee-making and dressing, and we, in this article, will tell you exactly how you can achieve a seemingly easy but intrinsically monumental task of treating coffee the way it should be treated.
If you want to become a qualified barista, there are a handful of things you should know before starting out. Just waking up one morning with an enlightening exclamation that “Oh! I am meant to be a barista!” is not enough. So, read thoroughly this article and you will know exactly what you should know.
So, let us begin and find out how to become a qualified barista.
1. Skills you must have for becoming a barista
You can never succeed without skills. Mere educational certifications would not be of any useunless you possess and improve certain skills which directly play a key role in the profession. The same goes for those who wish to become a barista.
Here are the skills every barista needs:
- Love for coffee: yes, your love for coffee and anything related should be insurmountable. It should be extraordinary enough to persuade you into taking up coffee-making as a hobby as well as a profession.
You might love to sip a bit of coffee every day, but if you never ever thought of tinkering with the style or taste of the coffee, then you are not cut out for this.
- A knack for details: You must have noticed how detailed baristas are when it comes to coffee preparation. If you search YouTube, you will come across many videos showcasing jaw-dropping skills of baristas in doing details. You must have heard of people embellishing coffee with anime designs and other creative stuff—yeah, baristas are cool people.
- Know the taste: Your job is about preparing and serving coffee, but you cannot really do both unless you are sure that the thing you are serving is actually to be served. Experimenting is what makes you a barista, but you only go ahead with an experiment when you know it is required of you.
You must possess exemplary tasting skills: you should exactly whether the coffee turned out right.
- People skills: We hate to repeat it, but in order to feed it deep inside your memory, we must—you prepare and SERVE coffee. Serving is not just about getting, placing and serving orders; you need to have brilliant social skills so that you are able to open up the customer about his choices and reservations.
People skills will increase your popularity and gain you a much-needed audience for improving upon anything that needs improvement. Baristas are polite, well-mannered and pleasantly formal—and you do not get these on birth.
2. Educational requirements for becoming a qualified barista
The educational requirements for becoming a barista vary greatly from one country to another.
So, what you need to do is a little homework when you decide to work as a barista in a country. However, there is one thing that definitely helps regardless of whatever basic educational qualifications you have: certificate courses.
If you possess the skills we just talked about, you can easily enroll yourself to a good certificate course and get a star-studded certificate to adorn your portfolio with.
It is recommended that you avail courses from certified associations, most notable being Specialty Coffee Association of America and the Barista Guild of America which stand out when it comes to the quality of their certificate courses.
All you need to do is to sign up to the course, take tests and start taking classes. You will learn from the best in the industry and your hands will have a totally different chemistry with coffee.
3. How much does a qualified barista make?
Well, frankly, you can earn handsomely provided you take your career with utmost sincerity. The coffee bean industry is valued enormously at $48 billion a year and baristas are not usually underpaid.
The pay rate varies much depending on a number of factors such as the educational qualifications and experience of the barista and the coffee culture in the place. The best baristas in North America earn about $16 per hour, but the rate is not constant throughout the globe.
If you start out as a barista in a country where coffee culture is still growing, do not feel disheartened because there is no way people will stop loving coffee; their love will only grow so will money in your pockets!
4. A bit of stats you should know
Statistics state that women baristas outnumber men baristas—with the former constituting 70 percent of the total number of baristas in the industry.
What is more interesting is that you would not come across a barista with an experience of more than 20 years; the industry is young and still growing. It is firmly established in countries such as the United States, but there are places where it is in the state of infancy.
So, you are never too young for becoming a barista! All you need to do is put to work those creative hands and rest is magic!