Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Good Barista?

In a not so distant past, if you wanted good coffee you went to an espresso machine. And wherever you went, be it to a café or to work, there it was – the ever-faithful espresso machine. As such, a unique cup of coffee was unheard of.

Today, however, the contents of each coffee cup look and taste like a work of art, thanks to a barista’s skill, taste, experience, and – above all – personality. Do you have what it takes to be one? Let’s find out.

1. Do You Love Coffee?

Like all successful people, baristas are a driven lot. And driving them is passion – a passion for coffee, new coffee flavors, new coffee recipes, new coffee brewing methods, and discussions about coffee. In their world, coffee is life. It dominates their walk, talk, and work, as it should with you if you’re to join their ranks.

2. Are You Proud of What You Do?

But baristas are more than a driven lot. They are, in fact, also a very proud lot – proud of their beloved coffee, of each other, and of their jobs. Watch them when a customer sips one of their masterpieces. They keenly watch, looking for a hint of a smile or a glint in the eye. And, then, as if on cue, they’ll smile back, hearts brimming with pride. Does this describe you?

3. Are You Knowledgeable?

Yet passion and pride never made a barista. One worth his or her salt matches this pride and passion with something more potent – an equal, if not a greater, level of skill. And since skill is a by-product of constant, passionate learning, the best baristas are also the best students. Tirelessly, they research new coffee flavors and brewing trends. Afterwards, they pair coffees, develop their palates, and use flavor wheels. Can you do likewise?

4. How Quick and Efficient Are You?

Regardless of their knowledge, passion, or pride, baristas prove their mettle on the floor of a coffee shop. According to, a barista’s job can be demanding, especially during peak hours. As such times, orders never stop coming and the pressure never eases. But that’s not the tough part.

The baristas must take the heat in their stride, even thriving in this pressure-cooker environment. With remarkable efficiency, they must keep clearing orders while making quality cups of coffee. So, if you have dreams of being a barista, ask yourself: can you keep up? Or, will you crack under the pressure?

5. Are You a People Person?

Finally, remember, baristas serve coffee to all sorts of people, some friendly but others plain irritating. However, it’s not the customers’ job to be polite, sociable, or professional. They came for the coffee, and baristas know this.

It’s they who must remain friendly, putting the needs of the irritating customer at par with those of the friendly one. And they must do all this under pressure while keeping their cool. Can you do so?


Despite the glamour surrounding baristas, not everyone can work as one. To do so, you must love coffee and be proud of your job. Also, you must be knowledgeable, fast, and efficient even when you’re under pressure. Finally, you must remain friendly at all times.