Shopping Cart

No products in the cart.

Free shipping
A barista pouring coffee in a coffee shop.

Who is a barista? And what should they master?

The barista profession wasn’t very well-known until recently, with people often thinking of waiters and bartenders instead. However, with the growth of coffee culture, the barista profession is becoming more and more well-known and popular.

Who is a barista?

The word ‘barista’ comes from Italy and is used to describe a person who professionally prepares and serves coffee drinks.

You will usually see a barista behind the bar of a cafe, restaurant, or hotel, where they’ll serve you an espresso or, very gracefully, create the image of a swan in your cup using gently whipped milk foam. They will introduce you to the new coffee on offer, recommend a suitable dessert and then rush off to prepare filtered coffee for the next guest.

Does this sound like your dream job? Well, the work of a barista is really interesting, but just like any other profession, it requires certain knowledge and practical skills.

What a barista should know

Although a person who only presses buttons on an automatic coffee machine could theoretically be called a barista, a real barista should be able to control and do much more than that.

A barista should know how to prepare different types of coffee drinks. Not just espresso and cappuccino but also various coffee specialties. A sign of a good barista is also the ability to properly whip milk foam and use it to create pictures in the coffee – this is called latte art.

Barista holding cappuccino
Latte art is one of the skills that a good barista should not lack.

Customers will definitely appreciate a barista’s playfulness and creativity. Preparing coffee for guests shouldn’t just be a mechanical repetition of the same recipe. On the contrary, by testing and creating new recipes and methods of preparation, the world of coffee and the tastes of coffee drinkers are changing and moving in different directions.

In addition to practical skills, a barista should also have knowledge of various areas of the coffee world. Many factors affect the final taste and aroma of coffee in a cup, and a good barista should definitely understand them. These include, for example, what types and varieties of coffee trees there are, how and where coffee is grown, how it’s harvested, what methods are used to process the beans, what methods of coffee preparation are being used, and what are the differences between them.

Last but not least, the barista should be able to assess the quality of the coffee beans – both visually and by taste. Similar to a chef or a sommelier, a barista should also have sensitive and well-trained taste buds that can detect subtle flavor nuances in a cup of coffee.

Professional cupping

What is a barista’s daily routine?

Working as a barista can mean many different things. The range of responsibilities depends on the needs of the specific facility (café, restaurant, bar, etc.) and also on the experience and skills of the barista.

While in some facilities, the work of a barista may only involve the preparation of basic coffee drinks, in some cases, it can also be combined with the work of a waiter, which means that they will also serve and prepare other drinks and food.

Other activities may also be related to the work of a barista – for example, setting up the grinder, cleaning and basic maintenance of the coffee machine, and working in other areas – i.e., the bar counter and its surroundings. A more experienced barista can also be responsible for coffee bean selection, for the compilation of a drink menu, or for training and managing the team.

If you’re considering becoming a barista, you should also take into account that this work will be largely about communication with customers. The ability to give advice and provide interesting information about coffee as well as the ability to lead pleasant small talk, will have a great impact on the quality of the customer experience.

This is also confirmed through the words of our colleague, barista Majo:

The barista is responsible for ensuring that the customer finds the most important thing they came for in the cafe – coffee. It’s up to them whether they make the customer’s day and offer them not only a cup of coffee but a smile or a nice chat as well. A barista should love not only coffee but also the people for whom they prepare it.


Where to begin if you want to become a barista?

If you’re attracted to the possibility of becoming a barista and turning your love for coffee into a career, you can start from the comfort of your own home – by watching videos on coffee preparation, reading books about the world of coffee, and testing your skills in home coffee preparation. Try, taste, expand your horizons, talk about coffee while visiting the café, and go on a tour of a roastery.

You can also choose from a range of barista courses. Some are intended for complete beginners, and others are intended for more experienced baristas who want to supplement their knowledge or improve specific skills.

However, more important than courses and certificates is the passion for working with coffee and the desire to constantly discover the secrets of this wonderful drink. If you approach the profession of a barista with creativity and enthusiasm, you’re sure to find an amazing career in which your mission will be to bring smiles to people’s lips and caffeine to their bloodstreams.

We at the EBENICA COFFEE roastery are keeping our fingers crossed for you because we’re convinced that a world with lots of good baristas will be much more delicious for us coffee drinkers!