A drunk philosopher once said that the role of the barista in the community is very important; they make your coffee and they either make or break your day. Working with the coffee industry as a barista for 5 passionate years, I can totally say that I am very familiar with this fun-loving community! Here’s the list of every barista you will meet in your lifetime:
1. The (always) Closer
Hates to open the store. Cannot think, move, and function properly until 3 in the afternoon when most of her closing shift is about to begin. Needs an iced quad tall no water no anything americano before anything else in the world. You will never see this barista if you’re a regular morning customer. So don’t bother asking your barista “are you new here?” because she is probably this type of barista.
2. The Beverage Expert
Hot, iced, or blended? Whatever. This barista knows what you’re looking for. They know every single detail of your ‘regular’ drink; from syrups to texture to the number of pumps and an exact amount of caffeine. Speed and service and taste of beverage all at the same time. You request them to make your coffee because, well, they got your palate! And they have the ability to calibrate it if you asked for suggestions.
3. The Symbolic Barista
I don’t know. There’s no actual definition of a perfect barista but you will know it when you see one. Cute, well dressed, and coffee obsessed. He’s good in almost every aspect of being a barista. Even though he’s not the hottest in your barista crush list, he still makes your day anyway! Because damn, you can’t help it. He will smile at you and will ask you how your day is going and will totally laugh when you say something quirky. This is the type of barista you’ll fall in love with. Because the connection between you and this barista during the transaction is on a very real level. Sometimes he wears a beard and sometimes she wears vintage clothes.
4. The Hottie
“OH MY GOD!” you say with a very surprised look as you enter the cafe. Then this particular barista behind the bar, while making a drink, will look at you and smiles at you. Lust at first sight. How can someone be so good-looking while steaming milk? Not to mention the way their arms kind of flexes while pumping the frappuccino syrup to somebody else’s drink! You almost died. Ugh, that tattoo on the right arm though. They are an asset to any coffee shop. The sexual tension between them and every customer is compelling. They have a very big contribution to increasing the tip-out in their store.
5. The Artist
They majored in art, history and philosophy all at the same time. Very witty. They design the store every new promotions. Writes “to the sweetest girl I will see today..” in your cup followed by a very impressive line from of Shakespeare’s sonnet. They wear glasses with a very attractive frame, has an out-of-the-box hairstyle, and that skinny jeans! Compliments well with their ruffled top. They pour latte arts like lion. Oh, and have you seen that minimalist tattoo on their left hand while they make you a latte heart?
6. The Popular One
A lot of people know this barista. And she knows every single detail about every regular customers. From the right spelling of the names to the regular and semi-regular drinks. And whenever another store needs an extra man-power she’s always the one getting borrowed. That makes her the Miss Congeniality slash girl next door cutesy barista. So whenever her store is running out of stocks, the manager on duty always asks her to go and make some calls to other stores to borrow stocks. Connections, ladies and gentlemen. Connections.
7. The Bitch Barista
She’s smart, sassy and intelligent with a very strong personality. When an angry customer says, “I need to talk to your manager!” this barista will just smirk and say, “you’re talking to her already” even though she isn’t really the manager. And when you ask her if she could reheat your coffee? Well first, prepare for a blank stare. The second thing you know, she’s already transformed as a TED talk speaker talking about why it is not okay to reheat coffee. And even though she isn’t really judging you, you just know deep down that she is.
8. The Latte Artist
Okay, let’s be honest, if this barista isn’t the smartest or the most outstanding in terms of good customer service, then he’ll always be right at the bar pouring and making art because that’s where his natural habitat at. A heart? Easy. Rosette? Sure. A swan? As you wish. He’s the pride of your store in every latte art throwdown in the world. That’s because he should be after wasting gallons over gallons of fresh milk.
9. The No-Sleep-Coming-To-Work-Drunk-Barista
First of all, three slow claps to this barista. To be able to time in while drunk AF is a major move and a force to be reckoned with. Does the shift start at 6? Because he’s still fighting to get that one for the road bottle of beer by 15 minutes to 5. This barista is not only expert in coffee but will always kill for a shot of whiskey.
10. The Coffee God
The cultured, sophisticated, and coffee nerd. As per him, there’s a thick line between an 18.5g and 18g of ground espresso. He knows when a shot is good or bad by the first drip of that honey-like liquid gold. But what, like it’s hard? He won Barista Championships, uses siphon at home, and his travels include visiting remote coffee farms in the Andes mountain range.
11. The Arrogant Coffee Snob
Well if it wasn’t for a true-blue condescending coffee snob. He rolls his eyes so hard he could see his brain every time someone orders a frappuccino. He’ll step back and breathe when somebody orders a low-fat wet latte with full cream on top. And don’t even mention decaf because he’ll probably faint. This barista thinks he’s so good but certainly, he should also think twice if the people around him actually really like him.
12. The Genuine a.k.a Your Favorite Barista
Of course, nothing in the world could top the moment when you enter the store and she greets you behind the bar with all the most welcoming awards ever produced in the history of Nobel prize winners. This barista is everything: pure and bubbly personality, she knows what’s your deepest coffee requests, laughs at your silly jokes, talks authentically, and she spells your name correctly and puts a smiley and/or a heart on your to-go cup.
I know that you have a specific barista you have in mind when you read the list. And you might even identify yourself somewhere there! But if you ever met me during my barista days, who am I on the list? I’d love to read your thoughts on the comments below!
Featured Photo by Herman Bezuidenhout