What is a barista?

A barista is a person who prepares and also generally serves espresso-based coffee drinks. Beyond making espresso, baristas also generally foam, froth, and steam milk to make a wide range of espresso-based drinks and prepare coffee drinks, such as French press coffee, pour over coffee, and drip coffee. They usually work at a coffee shop, bookstore, or in a bar that serves coffee or espresso specialty drinks.

How to become a barista?

Generally, there are no educational requirements to become a barista; however, most baristas have a least a diploma or equivalent. More than often, coffee shops or larger franchises require you to be 18 years old and provide training to the employees.

You could do a college qualification like:

  • Level 1 Award in Introduction to Employment in the Hospitality Industry
  • Level 2 Award in Barista Skills
  • Level 2 Diploma in Food and Beverage Service

You can train through a hospitality team member intermediate apprenticeship. This will usually take 12 months to complete. You’ll do on-the-job training and spend time at a college or training provider.

You can apply directly for jobs. Some employers may prefer you to have experience in customer service or catering.

Barista duties

Barista duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • Greeting customers as the enter
  • Providing drink menus and answering their questions regarding ingredients
  • Maintains safe and healthy work environment by following organization standards and sanitation regulations
  • Maintains inventories by replenishing coffee bean supply; stocking coffee brewing equipment

Barista skills

To be an effective barista, you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Ability to work well with others
  • Patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Customer service skills
  • Ability to work on your own
  • Basic math skills
  • Excellent communication skills

How to find a Barista job

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the Barista jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for Barista jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

Barista Job Titles

When you search for Barista jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for Barista jobs include;

  • Waiter
  • Bartender
  • Food Server
  • Server
  • Coffee Attendant
  • Shop Attendant

What does a barista do?

The job of a barista varies depending on the job role and the company you’re working for. Check the duties and responsibilities of barista job advertisements to find jobs that best suit your skills and experience. 

The day-to-day tasks of a barista include;

  • Preparing the coffee shop ready for opening
  • Taking customer orders and payments
  • Grinding fresh coffee beans
  • Preparing and serving sandwiches and cakes
  • Cleaning and tidying work areas, equipment and coffee machines
  • Doing stock checks and ordering new stock