Barista: the coffee artist
Although this word is commonly used in Anglo-Saxon countries and in Italy to designate a person specialising in coffee, the job of this coffee sommelier remains relatively unknown to the French public. From roasting to the preparation and enhancement of coffees, including the training required to become a Barista, let’s discover this beautiful profession where artistic know-how is one of the best known facets of the job.
The barista, a passionate artist
In Italian, the word barista means “barman”. However, the barista in a coffee shop is much more than just a waiter. He is to Espresso, Cappucino and slow coffee what a sommelier is to wine, because they know the world of wine, the different vintages and specialities and the varieties.
Baristas, in addition to having a perfect knowledge of specialty coffees, have a perfect command of the various espresso machines, filters and bean grinders, to extract the maximum possible flavour and reveal all the aromas of the selected coffee. Between the roasted bean and the cup of coffee, the baristas have a real know-how combining technical skills (especially for roasting and extracting coffee), a sense of service and creativity.
Baristas are true enthusiasts, knowing how to choose the best beans to meet their customers’ desired aromas and how to adjust the density to make a more or less full-bodied coffee. In addition to their knowledge of extraction, sensory analysis, etc., most baristas are also endowed with a strong artistic sensitivity and great dexterity, enabling them to make magnificent Latte Art.
There are important competitions bringing together the best baristas from all over the world, such as the World Barista Championship or the French Cup Tasters, Brewer’s Cup and Torréfaction championships. These events allow candidates to demonstrate their expertise and lead to great professional opportunities.
“As in cooking, roasting is a cooking process. It is a highly technical art in which a lot of sensitivity and a little magic are also required.”
How to become a barista?
Baristas have been on the rise in France for a few years now, and there are many people applying for the job. If everyone has their own history and personal path, there is no set path to becoming a barista, you should know that many barista training courses are given in specialised schools, in France or abroad. We will only mention two of them, but you will certainly be able to find dozens of others on the search engines, most of them integrated into coffee brands.
For example, the SCA (Speciality Coffee Association), created in 2005, which represents the professionals of the different coffee sectors in the world, also offers the possibility of training in the profession and acquiring a deeper understanding of the world of coffee.
In France, the Caféothèque located in Paris is both a space dedicated to roasting and selling coffee, but also offers a 30-hour professional training course to learn the basics of the barista profession. The barista roaster training course enables the acquisition of solid technical skills as well as theoretical skills such as analysing the quality of coffees, studying the specifications from production to the cup, and knowing the ecological and geographical conditions in which the coffee beans were grown in order to be able to give the best advice to customers.
Whatever school or training course you choose, if you want to train to make good coffee, you will need to be technically proficient (processing, roasting beans into roasted coffee, machine maintenance), analytical and commercially minded (to study the market, choose the right products, draw up and follow a business plan).
You are not a barista, but you still want to make an excellent coffee at home ? No problem ! At Kabioca, all the work of the baristas is encapsulated in our natural, biodegradable capsules, specially designed to release the best of the coffee’s flavours into your cup. Our organic, fair trade coffees will give you a moment’s pause with subtle flavours.