What Makes a Great Barista?

There is a massive difference between purchasing any coffee that just about fills your caffeine void in the morning and one that raises your spirits and puts you in great stead for the day. What does it come down to? The skills, dedication and effort of the barista of course!

A barista looking at a coffee machine

Considering a Career as a Barista?

Esquires Coffee is just as passionate and dedicated to providing high quality, fair trade and organic coffee to our customers as we are about supporting and looking after our staff.

As a growing coffee franchise in the UK, we ensure all our staff feel not only confident but also proud of their careers with us. Discover our top elements for becoming a great barista in this article! For more information about the UK's coffee shop industry, check out our blog below:

Discover the trends of the UK coffee shop industry in our blog

Knowing About Coffee

It’s not the epitome of a great barista, but it does put you at the top of the league if you are up to date and knowledgeable about coffee.

Coffee is an ever-evolving industry and, as the face and provider of coffee, being a barista requires you to keep up with these changes.

Knowing about recent coffee trends and brewing methods will also help you feel motivated and inspired!

Understanding the Equipment

Knowing how to use the equipment, like the coffee machine, relies on the training with the coffee shop. However, if you are unsure of how something has been explained, always ask for clarification.

Everyone learns differently and to feel confident and capable in your abilities, you need a thorough understanding of how everything works. It includes handling the equipment, the order process and ensuring all health and safety measures are met.

Understanding and awareness of the equipment are integral to your safety, especially when in the presence of hot liquids, so you must know what you are doing.

Customers ordering in a coffee shop

Being a Good Listener

Learning how to become a barista and understanding a customer’s order both require one essential skill, listening.

During peak times, being a barista is incredibly demanding. Without the ability to listen, it is challenging to provide customers with the correct orders and ensure you are working as a team. It doesn’t matter if you make fantastic coffee if the order is wrong!

Being Passionate

Being a barista is much more than knowing the nuts and bolts of how to make a fantastic coffee.

There is a certain demeanour which helps put customers at ease, and feel safe in the knowledge that an expert is creating their coffee.

Passion is hard to fake, and it is cultivated from a genuine interest in your work.

It is the desire to know more about a subject, being engaged and researching the latest information to ensure you provide the best results.

Knowing this sort of information helps to build confidence in yourself and naturally creates a sense of pride and ownership that we all desire from our working careers!

A barista smiling and passing a coffee to a customer

Providing a Welcoming Atmosphere

After you have mastered how to make the ultimate coffee, don’t throw all your hard efforts away by presenting a negative and hostile atmosphere.

We have all walked into shops and businesses where the presence of the staff is enough to make you walk straight back out again.

Simply saying hello, presenting yourself as being approachable and thanking your customers will help to create a bond between you and the customer.

All-round, it makes the coffee-making process much more manageable; customers are at ease, and the barista feels confident in their knowledge of customer expectations.

Thrive Under Pressure

However, this is not everything! There are many responsibilities to being a great barista. A taste for coffee, an attentive persona, balancing health and safety tasks, understanding the equipment and presenting a flair for talent and passion; the list is extensive!

Oh, and not forgetting one major part! All of these need to happen during peak times of pressure.

Being consistent is key, and not one coffee should offer a bad experience to a customer! Knowing what to do and physically doing it are two different things, and ensuring you are following all procedures is integral, especially during the busiest periods.

A group of baristas stood next to one another and smiling

Working Well With Others

Working as a team seems like a cliché. However, it is an essential aspect of working in a coffee shop. Knowing how to make coffee and ensuring a smooth running process relies on the input of multiple people.

Making sure customers are happy is a joint effort, and balancing all the tasks of a creative coffee business relies on the bond of a team!

Does this sound like a career for you? If you are considering becoming a barista pop in your local Esquires to discuss our opportunities. If, on the other hand, you are looking to invest in the coffee industry , click on the link below! We have a multitude of franchising and regional opportunities at Esquires Coffee, and can guide you on the next steps of becoming part of our team!

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About the author - Jack Anderson

Jack has been working in the franchise sector for over 12 years and is our in-house guru on all things business! Jack is also a keen hiker and can be found in some of the UK's best walking spots on the weekends.