Sample Barista Resume, Barista Cover Letter, Barista Espresso-Brewing Tips, How To Make Espresso-Based Drinks, and a Complete Barista Resume Guide!
Okay, so you want to work in a high end coffee shop. You want to be a Barista! Fantastic! Congratulations on entering a wonderful world of gourmet coffee and espresso brewing, friendly interactions with customers and an exploration of the specialty coffees of the world.
The first thing you need to do to prepare your application to work at a coffee is to make sure you have a perfect resume. This is nine-tenths of the battle, and the rest is just your charm and smile!
If you want to work as a barista as well as at the front counter of your local coffee shop or your neighborhood Starbucks then you have to polish up your resume until it is squeaky clean and sparkling with your positive attitude, willingness to learn, and all of your previous qualifications presented in the proper manner.
Follow the steps below to ensure that you put your best foot forward, and at the end of this article you can study up on Barista Skills to make sure you are aware of all of the proper activities of a Master Barista!
A Barista is Fast and Friendly - Keep the Line Moving!
As you consider how to present your information on your Barista Resume keep in mind that you need to let the coffee shop owner and/or management know that you have an awareness of the need to keep the line moving while also being friendly to customers.
It's a fine line between extending some conversation with a customer if it is holding up the progress of the line and your progress performing your Barista duties.
There are subtle ways to keep things moving, and you should make sure to let your employer know that you are one of those people who can multi-task and use common sense in balancing chit-chat with the industrious performance of your duty.
Being Both Fast AND Friendly is Hallmark of Professional Barista
Remember that you have to be both fast AND friendly to be a true asset to any fine purveyor of coffee beverages.
If you linger too long chatting up a particular customer and listening to their stories about a garage sale last week the customer in line behind them may become particularly annoyed since the person has already ordered and payed for their drink. Gently move the customer on so you can proceed.
A professional barista can move the customer on toward picking up their coffee drink and keep the line moving. Don't underestimate the value of talking with the customer, but know how to let it not interfere with the overall operation of the coffee shop. Instill a sense of this awareness throughout your Barista Resume - fast and friendly, very professional service.
Consistency and Reliability Key to Barista Job
Every customer needs to be treated with respect and every Barista should keep this professional attitude at all times. Make sure you never bring your own personal problems into your work environment. You need to be consistent and reliable to perform as a master Barista.
Perhaps the most important role of being a Barista in a fine coffee shop is the ability to deal with a pushy, annoying or outright rude customer without violating your own standards.
Perhaps you may have to tolerate someone who is very obnoxious, but this never means that you can be obnoxious in response. Keep a cool and level head in all situation. Do whatever you can to satisfy an irrational customer without displaying any attitude in return. A master Barista is never rude.
This is how you build up a client base who love to keep coming back to see your smiling face and experience your efficient and consistent service making their favorite coffee drink just how they like it.
Barista Skills Resume - People Person with Positive Attitude
Simply having the skills and knowledge is half the battle, the owner of the coffee shop will really want to emphasize the people aspect. Repeat customers are the lifeblood of a business. When applying for work as a Barista make sure to convey your positive attitude - and the fact that you are a “people person” - throughout the application including in the cover letter of your resume as well as in the Resume Profile section and/or the Skills Summary section.
A friendly and warm demeanor is likely the main thing the coffee shop manager is looking for in addition to Barista skills. Perhaps mention how you like to remember people's names and greet them by name. Later in this article we will show you ways to make sure you convey your people skills throughout your Barista Resume.
Barista General Knowledge
Baristas may also have a general knowledge of coffee harvesting as well as the processing of coffee and that steps that are taken during coffee grading. Also important is the roasting and grinding of coffee as well as the packaging. A Barista knows about proper coffee storing and of course is a master of brewing the coffee beverage as well as Espresso.
A Barista also has a knowledge of coffee grinding and the appropriate grinds for particular coffee beans and brewing equipment. The Barista will have a good knowledge of espresso tamping techniques (a firm compaction with just the slightest twist during tamping is recommended).
The Barista also needs to have a familiarity with proper brewing temperatures for coffee and espresso. For espresso it is important that a Barista has a knowledge of the proper extraction times for an espresso shot which may vary depending on several factors including the coffee grind size, compaction, quality of coffee and others.
The Job of a Barista - Barista Resume Tips
Another useful skill of a Barista is to possess a general knowledge about coffee and in particular the coffee bean qualities that determine a fine coffee.
A master Barista may have attended a coffee cupping (professional coffee tasting) to learn about the finer points of coffee including its primary qualities such as body, acidity, aroma, sweetness/bitterness, and aftertaste.
If you have a chance to attend a Coffee Cupping or a Barista competition it will be a good resume builder and will advance you one step closer to becoming a master Barista.
Keeping a Tidy Workplace - Barista Resume Tips
For many coffee shop owners as well as customers a primary concern is keeping a very tidy and clean workplace. This requires vigilance throughout the day and requires a Barista who has good cleanliness habits. Make sure you convey this on your Barista Resume.
This cleanliness extends to the Barista's own physical appearance and hygiene habits as well as their workplace habits and behaviors. Even an exceedingly friendly Barista's positive attitude will not make up for a slovenly appearance or habits.
Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness
Customers are often very picky about cleanliness and if they feel an establishment as unsafe food and beverage practices or employees who don't value cleanliness they may never come back. Many coffee shops serve food as well as coffee drinks so all proper food service safety measures need to be followed.
When it comes to personal appearance a professional barista will take care to make sure their hair is properly groomed (long hair is tied back and/or covered with a hat). Also a professional barista makes sure to keep their hands cleaned and their fingernails trimmed. Clothing should be clean and not old and tattered.
Barista Resume Skills - Maintaining a Proper Workplace
The Barista also knows how to maintain a clean and tidy workplace environment which requires paying constant attention to detail regarding wiping down counters, keeping equipment clean, etc.
When making an espresso the Barista keeps the espresso equipment clean including wiping down the steaming wand after each espresso.
Remember that your evaluation as a potential Barista begins at the moment you ask for the application so make sure and have a clean and fresh appearance at the moment you receive the application (the initial meeting) as well as when you drop off the application and Barista Resume.
Consider these to be your first interviews and give a great first impression.
Barista Physical Appearance and First Impressions
When choosing the proper attire to wear to get the application, and to drop off the application and your Barista Resume, as well as for attending an interview with the coffee shop manager, choose an outfit that is appropriate to the particular coffee shop.
Look at what the employees are wearing now and how the owner or manager is dressed for clues.
Some general tips regarding this initial clothing include not wearing sandals (wear close-toes shoes), wearing a nice shirt (not a plain old t-shirt), buttoning up your shirt almost to the top (modesty), keeping your hair well-groomed and tied back.
Depending on the atmosphere of the cafe, a scruffy (but well kempt) look may be acceptable. Most food establishments will frown (or outright ban) long, loose hair on your head or beard to avoid the dreaded hair-in-your-food.
Try to wear a fairly new outfit and provide the appearance of a very well-kept, well-organized professional Barista.
Professional Barista as Multi-Tasker - Barista Resume Tips
The master Barista is the consummate multi-tasker. This includes taking customer's orders, preparing drinks, keeping the inventory well-stocked, keeping the establishment clean and preparing fantastic coffee and espresso drinks, among other things.
Remember that multi-tasking is different than simply being hyper-active or busy all of the time.
A good multi-tasker is always prioritizing what is the most important single thing they could be doing at the moment - this is where good communication with other workers as well as customers comes in - so as to keep customers happy and keep the coffee shop moving forward in an efficient, professional manner.
Furthermore the professional Barista knows that when the going gets tough the tough get going. During very busy times or when problems occur (e.g., a broken piece of equipment, a rude customer) then the true professional character of a master Barista shines.
Keep this in mind when writing your Barista Resume as there are subtle ways to mention this very important quality that is highly valued by coffee shop owners and managers.
A master Barista thrives in a fast-paced environment and does not become frazzled when the establishment is busy. Convey on your Barista Resume that you are this type of person.
Painting a Picture of a Master Barista - Tips for Barista Resumes
The words you use on your Barista Resume will paint a picture of your character and habits. This is your chance to put your best foot forward and show the coffee shop management the breadth and depth of your commitment and desire to work at their establishment.
Don't be afraid to be creative as you craft your Barista Resume. Express without reservations your best qualities and then go back and edit the Barista Resume and continue to polish it up until it provides a well-rounded picture of you in a very professional way.
Master Barista has Positive Attitude with Focus on Customer Experience
A Barista with no experience isn't the end of the world - skills can be taught, but people skills are valid across any job. In high volume cafes and coffee shops, a cashier will frequently be on the cash full time with more experienced baristas preparing the drinks. As a cashier, your job is to communicate effectly with the customer and keep the line going. Skills can be trained over time (during slow periods, for example) if you have no experience and want to get a job in a coffee shop.
The Barista Resume should convey your positive attitude and generally outgoing, even bubbly personality. Mention that you like to bring smile's to customer's faces and how the best part of the job is providing them with a great coffee shop experience so they return again and again.
Don't be modest on your Barista Resume. Your modesty will shine through in a personal interview. In your Barista Resume you need to say everything that is great about yourself in a very short amount of words overall, so the word's need to be chosen carefully and arranged properly.
Remember the overall theme of creating a positive customer experience as you describe your own positive attributes.
Explaining Your Background - Barista Resume Tips
Make a list of all the places you have worked and then you can begin to arrange the list properly and see what deserves further mention on your Barista CV ("Curriculum Vitae", or Resume) or Barista Cover Letter.
List not only coffee shops but any work or experience in food service, any overall business experience, and any experience working with the public as these are all important skills of a Barista.
Also mention any classes you may have taken that relate to any of these skills including food service, business practices, and people skills. If you are currently studying any of these topics you may mention that as well.
Finally if you have any first aid training, CPR training, or experience and awareness of proper emergency procedures, this is a valuable asset to coffee shop management and should be highlighted on you Barista Resume.
Elaborate On Your Barista Experience
If you have previously been employed for a coffee house or cafe then don't just day that you worked at a coffee shop.
Elaborate on the many tasks that you excelled at and how you performed them in a professional manner all the while improving your skills both with coffee shop management and customer relations.
Also mention any training you may have received as part of your Barista job and how this elevated you in your Barista skill set. Mention also any experience you have in the coffee world including if you have ever participated in or attended any coffee cupping (professional coffee tasting) events, or even informally have taken the time to evaluate a variety of premium coffees.
If you have not done this then mention your current abilities and willingness to learn while displaying an ability to learn quickly and in particular the ability to pay attention to the many details involved in assuring quality control for preparing coffee and specialty coffee drinks.
Exploring the Gourmet Coffee Community - Barista Resume Tips
If you have some time before you are going to apply for your dream Barista job then do a Google search for some local Barista events or anything to do with fine coffee.
Contact the event organizers and offer to volunteer if they need help as this will be notable on your Barista Resume and will also teach you about the industry and about the world's gourmet coffees. You can also read up on the world's finest gourmet coffees by clicking here: Gourmet Coffees of the World.
Barista Resume Tips - A Summary
Okay let's summarize what we know so far about creating the perfect Barista Resume.
Include information about your work ethic, good work habits, neatness and tidiness, friendly and professional service, emphasis on the customer, ability to work under pressure and multi-task, and your varied experiences as well as your willingness to learn.
Espresso Brewing Tips - Preparing Your Barista Resume
Now let's just go over a few basic things about espresso and espresso brewing so you don't come in like a novice.
Many coffee shop owners and managers don't mind training new employees but it helps if you have some knowledge so they know they aren't starting from scratch with a new worker in an industry that sometimes has a high turnover.
What Does a Barista Do? - Barista Job Description
At the most basic level a Barista makes great coffee as well as espresso and can prepare outstanding coffee drinks including espresso-based specialty coffee drinks (espresso drinks) such as Cappuccinos and Lattes.
To make espresso a Barista needs to be skilled at the operation of the espresso machine which provides a pressurized extraction to create a gourmet espresso shot by forcing hot water through the compacted (tamped) roasted and ground coffee.
A Barista needs to make sure that all of the proper Technical Specifications for Espresso Brewing are followed including the brewing temperature (190 to 197 degrees Fahrenheit, or 88 to 92 degrees Celsius) and the espresso machine force (8 to 10 Atmospheres, or Bars of pressure; 135 pounds per square inch).
Since there are many types of espresso machines a Barista should know how to adapt to these different machines and in each case utilize it to produce a properly extracted shot of espresso.
Choosing the Espresso Beans
One important job a Barista is sometimes required to do is to choose and evaluate coffee beans for use in making espresso as well as regular brewed coffee. Espresso coffee beans are usually given a Dark Roast which is typically referred to as Espresso Roast.
By choosing the right coffee beans the Barista assures a high quality espresso shot with a great strength and concentration providing an intensely flavorful shot with a thick consistency and robust taste.
Master Barista Tips - Factors in Brewing Espresso
The master Barista evaluates many different factors when brewing a shot of espresso, from the temperature of the water to the amount of pressure being provided by the espresso maker to the coffee itself.
By developing an awareness of the nuances of espresso brewing he or she can optimize the development of the fine flavors and aromas of the gourmet coffee beans being used.
Determining Proper Grind Size for Espresso Brewing
One variable of the espresso-brewing process that a Barista needs to master is determining the proper coffee grind size.
In general the grind size for espresso is very fine though it varies a bit depending upon the type of espresso machine you are using (if you are using a steam-driven espresso machine then you need to grind the coffee a bit finer than if you are using a pump-driven espresso machine) as well as other factors.
A high-end Barista will be aware that preparing gourmet coffee id done best by using a high-quality coffee grinder.
Coffee Grinders for the Master Barista
The poorest choice is a blade coffee grinder because it produces an inconsistent particle size and also can generate excess heat that may essentially re-roast the beans. Also see Grinding Coffee For Espresso.
Acquiring and Caring for Gourmet Coffee Beans
To produce the finest coffee of course you need to have the finest gourmet coffee beans and so it is good for an aspiring Barista to develop their knowledge of the world's best coffees as much as possible.
The Barista should make sure he or she acquires beans that have been properly processed, and also be aware of proper handling of coffee beans once they are received to ensure that they maintain their finest flavors and aromas.
Coffee beans should be used not long after roasting so make sure they are shipped in valve-sealed bags and then stored properly in a cool, dark and dry place, and definitely not in the refrigerator or freezer as this will degrade the quality of the coffee.
Brewing the Espresso Like a Master Barista
The master Barista is aware of how to produce the very finest shot of espresso which contains an intense concentration of the coffee's flavors and aromas.
To make sure you are acquainted with some of the fine points of espresso brewing and making specialty coffee drinks, first we will go over the steps in brewing a shot of espresso and then we will cover the steps required for steaming and frothing milk for use in delicious espresso-based coffee drinks.
Always pre-warm the demitasse so it doesn't draw the heat out of the espresso shot. Also pre-warm the portafilter of the espresso machine. About two tablespoons of ground coffee (eight grams) should be used for a single espresso shot.
Barista Resume Techniques - Tamping the Coffee for Optimal Extraction
When you compact, or tamp the coffee into the portafilter use a firm downward push with just a slight twisting motion to help the seal the coffee and eliminate the possibility of any weak spots where the water may blow through leading to under-extraction.
After you clamp the portafilter into the espresso machine and begin brewing, you should notice the espresso stream flowing out and it should be the color of maple syrup.
Barista Tips - Determining Optimal Espresso Brewing Time
A typical espresso brewing time is twenty-two seconds although you may need to vary this as you fine-tune the process for the particular coffee and espresso machine.
The goal is to avoid over-extracting leading to too much bitterness and avoiding under-extraction which misses out on the coffee's finest aromatic oils and its gourmet coffee tastes. A properly brewed espresso is intense and contains very concentrated flavors.
Tips for your Barista Resume - Troubleshooting the Espresso Shot
If the espresso pours too slow from the espresso machine then you may need to use a coarser grind of coffee or else not tamp it so firmly. If the espresso is flowing too fast then you may need to tamp it more firmly or use a finer coffee grind size.
The Layers of Espresso
Once about two-thirds of the espresso shot has poured into the demitasse you should see the shot beginning to separate into layers including the body, heart and crema.
The heart is at the bottom and should be deep, rich brown color. The heart contains the bitterness of the espresso shot and provides a balance to the overall sweetness of the shot and its fine aromas.
If the color of the heart is too light and it is blending with the body, this is a sign of a watery, weak shot that is under-extracted. Try using a finer grind or compacting the shot more firmly.
The body of the espresso shot is in the middle and should be a caramel brown color. If it is too dark you may be over-extracting and causing a burnt taste to taint the espresso shot. To cure this consider a coarser grind size or compacting the coffee less firmly (also see the Technical Specifications for a fine espresso brewing).
Fun Fact: Barista Resume Tips
Did you know that the intense concentration of flavors in an espresso shot is what makes it so great for use in espresso drinks. The concentration and intensity means that there is very little flavor loss, or dilution, even after the steamed and frothed milk is added.
Creating Perfect Steamed Milk and Foam for Espresso Drinks
When steaming and frothing milk for espresso-based specialty coffee drinks you want to create a creamy and velvety steamed milk with a high-quality foam that enhances the espresso drink by creating a harmony of the fine tastes.
Makes sure to use very cold milk, preferably taken right from the refrigerator. Low fat milk can be used but a two percent or whole milk will create a better taste and and a better quality foam. The more fat in the milk the creamier the taste though the less the overall volume of the milk will expand during steaming.
Getting Started with the Steaming
Fill the steaming pitcher about one-third full and then purge the steaming system by placing a wet towel over the steam wand and turning on the pressure for one or two seconds. This will avoid the chance of getting hot water in your milk.
Now place the steaming wand just beneath the surface of the milk and turn the steam on. Do not submerge the wand too deeply and aim it just away from the milk's center so the milk begins to circulate.
Developing the Ideal Barista Resume to Put Your Best Foot Forward
Finding the Sweet Spot and Creating the Vortex - Barista Resume Tips
As the milk spins around in a vortex you should hear a distinct hissing sound which tells you that you've found the sweet spot for optimum injection of air to create a smooth and creamy, velvety steamed milk for your espresso drink.
You should not need to move the pitcher of milk up and down because the milk will be circulating in the pitcher. You will only need to slowly lower the pitcher as the volume of the milk expands due to the steaming.
Also see: Best Coffee in the World
Don't Scald the Milk - Clean Up the Area
Stop steaming once the milk reaches a temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. If it gets any hotter it can scald the milk and taint the espresso drink with a burnt taste.
As a neat and tidy Barista you need to make sure you wipe off the steam wand after each use. Also cover the steam wand with a wet towel and turn on the steam a moment to make sure no milk remains in the tip of the wand. For more tips see: Steaming and Frothing Milk.
Preparing a Cappuccino in the Italian Style
A cappuccino is made my first filling up the cup about one-third full with your freshly steamed and frothed milk. Now very slowly begin to ad the espresso.
When this is done spoon some foam on top of the beverage until the cup is full. If you do it right the espresso should form a layer between the milk and the foam.
Making a Caffe Latte
Typically a double shot of espresso is used for a Caffe Latte along with about five ounces of steamed and frothed milk. When you add the steamed milk to the latte hold make the foam using a spoon.
Ideally a Caffe Latte is served in a large, bowl-shaped cup made of porcelain to enhance the experience of this traditional coffee drink.
Adding Flavored Syrups to Espresso-Based Drinks
When using flavored syrups in specialty coffee drinks it is best to first add the flavored syrup to the shot or shots of espresso and make sure it dissolves thoroughly. Then you will be ready to add the steamed milk and foam.
Those are just a couple of the fine espresso drinks you will be making as a Barista. For more instructions on how to make fine coffee drinks see Espresso Drink Recipes. You might also want to become familiar with some of the fine items of Espresso Cuisine.
Sample Barista Resume
1350 Stonybrook Blvd., Seattle, WA, 98101
Skilled Coffee Shop worker, counter person, barista. Experienced in customer service and preparing excellent coffee, espresso and espresso drinks. Friendly “people person” who works well under pressure and is good at multi-tasking and creating a positive customer experience. Fluent in English and Italian. Training in CPR and emergency procedures.
“Bill was a great asset at Coffee Beans, always greeting customers with a smile and preparing their order quick and efficiently.”
John DeWitt, Owner/Manager of Coffee Beans
Assistant Manager, Barista, Counter Person, 2009-2011
Prepared espresso coffee drinks, kept counters and equipment clean, prepared food items, helped with coffee bean and supply ordering, trained new workers, enhanced customer experience.
Coffee Lovers of Seattle
Barista and Counter Person, 2007-2009
Prepared specialty coffee drinks, worked on community events program with coffee shop.
[Continue Filling In Your Experience and Qualifications Here]
The Final Touches on Your Master Barista Resume
Continue to fill in your Barista Resume with any relevant experience and education, and other important responsibilities you have been given in the past, particularly where you have succeeded. Remember any business experience is also important because after all, you will be part of a business when you are a Barista.
Make sure you finish your Barista Resume with a focus on the customer and their positive experience which keeps them coming back again and again. You may mention how you built up a client base where you worked before and knew everyone by name and were glad to greet them each day.
A Barista Resume is No Time To Be Modest
Some people aren't used to writing down so many good things about themselves but a Barista Resume is no time for modesty.
You need to put your best foot forward and rise above the others who are applying for the same job by letting the owner/manager know you are an outstanding candidate to be a master Barista for their establishment. Of course you do not want to sound flippant, arrogant or overbearing.
Modesty is an essential quality along with a willingness to learn and fit in to the methods and procedures used by your new employer. So talk confidently and openly about your skills and qualifications, but temper it with an openness to training and the sense that you want to be part of their team, with a great willingness to learn new things and also enhance your teamwork skills.
You might even mention areas in which you would like to improve your skills (e.g., espresso brewing techniques) though in the same sentence you may mention what highly developed skills you already possess.
Barista Guide to Coffee Knowledge
Coffee Makers and Espresso Machines
Barista Guide - Updated February 2017
Thank You! for visiting Espresso Coffee Guide and Reading Barista Resume Guide! Savor Your Coffee and Espresso!
Good Luck on Your Barista Future!
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