Hi Janette! Well, good baristas have already gained some invaluable skills during just by doing their job. To prepare the perfect coffee, baristas must have a certain amount of theoretical knowledge and practical skills: they need to know all the recipes and rations for every coffee drink, how to grind the coffee to get the best result in the cup and how to clear their equipment properly.
Aside from the technical skills, baristas learn how to offer excellent customer service by being friendly, attentive and knowledgeable in their field. Plus the job of a barista can be quite stressful, so they tend to be very organized to handle the pressure.
So, when they decide to move up from their role they already have many skills and attributes. Here are some ways they can progress in their career:
Pursuing a management position
If baristas are good at their job, they can move up to head baristas, managing a small team and dealing with other aspects of the job such as logistics and inventory. Eventually, if they wish to do so, they can become managers of the coffee shops where they work or look for a management position elsewhere.
Participate in coffee competitions
Another way baristas can progress in their career is by taking part in coffee competitions. Usually every country has its own competitions and the winners represent their country in the world coffee championships. Such competitions test the baristas in different areas such as filter brewing, latte art, sensory, and general barista skills.
Participating in such competitions gives baristas the chance to delve deeper into the world of coffee and provides them with great opportunities to connect with the industry and even take the next step in their career.
Take an SCA course
The Specialty Coffee Association is an association of coffee experts that sets the training standards for substantial training in this sector. There are courses to become a coffee master based on the “Coffee Diploma System” (CDS) standard of the SCA. After completing a full course, baristas can then train to become an AST (authorised trainer) and give the courses themselves.
The most important courses are:
- Green coffee
- Brewing skills
- Baristas skills
- Sensory skills
Move to another coffee related profession
Such a profession could be a roaster or a Q-grader (quality grader). By taking the roaster course above, baristas can then look for a job as assistant roasters and eventually move up to head roasters or even open their own roastery. Or if they wish they could take the sensory skills course and pursue a Q-Grader career, that is to taste, evaluate and score imported coffees.
Last but not least, they could get into green coffee and coffee importing. In general, the coffee supply chain is long and in it there are many career opportunities for baristas that most wouldn’t have thought about.