As coffee shops have become more popular over the last 20 years or so, the expectation for the quality of barista made coffee has drastically increased. Most regular coffee drinkers can very quickly tell the difference between a flat white and a not-so-flat white, making consistent quality absolutely vital to running a successful coffee business. Being a barista in 2019 is a skilled job, requiring training and diligent practice to achieve a high level of proficiency, and years of practice to become an expert.
Learning the basics
Becoming a barista isn’t just something you do a weekend course for and get a qualification in, it’s something that must be honed through practice alongside an experienced professional barista. Generally speaking, for the first 3 months a barista is considered a trainee and will need to be mentored by more experienced staff to help guide them towards picking up the necessary skills. The number of drinks that a barista needs to master in a modern coffee shop is very challenging, and it takes time just to reach the point where you feel confident making everything without supervision.
Becoming a professional
Up to the first year is spent refining your skills to the point where you’re able to make any kind of drink on the menu well, and quickly with minimal wastage. This is around the time when baristas will become independent and can start taking charge more, perhaps even helping newer staff with learning the basics.
Once a barista has been working for over a year, if they decide this is a career they want to progress with they can start doing further training to learn about things like cupping techniques, management skills or food safety certification. In future years when they become even more experienced, they can be the person responsible for training new baristas and mentoring them through the first few months of the job. This is the most common and natural progression for ambitious baristas who would like to manage their own coffee shop one day.
As with any skilled job, the only “short cut” to getting good at being a barista is doing it as much as possible. There is a reason why barista made coffee can sometimes be a little underwhelming in places like restaurants, bars and hotels. Being a barista is a specialist skill set, and when that is managed alongside a whole host of other responsibilities it becomes difficult to progress to a truly professional level.
But there is another option. Using top of the range automation technology, WMF coffee machines give you the ability to make delicious barista quality coffee drinks with no specialist training whatsoever. This leaves your staff free to focus on providing the best service possible for your customers, keeping queues down and profits up. From the compact WMF 1100 S to the high output WMF 9000 S+, we have the right machine for any size business. Download a brochure to see our full range.