December 22, 2015

Barista Life: 7 Types of People You’ll Work With


So you’ve gotten a job at a café. Congratulations! We’ve no doubt you’re prepared for all the wonderful coffee. Hopefully, you’re also prepared (or at least aware of) the manic morning rush. But are you ready for the baristas?

SPANISH VERSION: Vida Barista: 7 Tipos De Personas Con Las Que Trabajarás

Here are the seven baristas you’ll no doubt have the pleasure (or the displeasure) of working with. (Don’t recognise one? Then it’s probably you.)

The One That’s Really Not a Morning Person

Working in a café generally means reeeally early shifts, right? So no-one seems to know why this person chose to work in one – considering how they hate the sun more than your average vampire.

Masochistically (and ironically) working opening shifts nearly every day of the week, they’re that person who can’t form a proper sentence till noon. They probably won’t even recognise you till they’ve had their fifth coffee.

The Not-A-Morning barista runs on pure muscle memory – I mean… that must be the case, right? Are their eyes even open?!

I just want to go back to bed


The Newbie

Also known as the young padawan/grasshopper/apprentice, this barista is TOTALLY new to the F&B game and has no idea what they’ve got themselves into. Good thing they have you to show them the way!

They’re so clumsy and awkward, but their enthusiasm makes them adorable. In fact, following everyone, everywhere, with a little notebook in hand, The Newbie can make you feel pretty awesome – especially when they’re literally writing down everything you’re saying. Is this what it feels like to be famous? Sweet!

But seriously, how do they have so many questions?! And how do you explain to him what a refractometer is? I mean, where the hell did they even learn that word? Maybe you can hide in the bathroom and Google it while he’s not looking.

Except when you’re doing that – Crap! They added me on Facebook. Now I have to maintain the facade of a superior human being! Where’s that photo of me drinking a guilty Frappucino? Delete! Delete! Delete!

teach me master


The ‘Temp’

Not everyone works in a cafe because it’s been a lifelong dream to get involved in the coffee industry. Some do it to save up for a trip, or to get through school, but this person does it because they’re “in between jobs” – and you know this because they just won’t stop talking about it.

They’ve got big dreams of what they’re going to do “once they get out of this place”. Something about this “amazing invention” that’s “gonna make it big within the next 4 or 5 years, for real”.

It’s cool that they’re so into it, but we’re supposed to be selling coffee, not their “insane app that will change your life”, right? Woah, are they actually doing a sales pitch to that lady who ordered a coffee to-go? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone pay for a coffee that fast.

temporary employe


SEE ALSO: Coffee Excellence: What Makes a Great Barista?

 The Crush

Oh my god, how does anyone look that good sweeping a floor? Ugh, and the way their arm kind of flexes when they’re tamping, holy cow. The person is simultaneously the reason why you show up to work and the reason why you’ve been so crazy unfocused these last few days.

There’s so much sexual tension between the both of you that you could steam milk with it. It worked for Jim and Pam from The Office, and hey, wasn’t Michelle and Obama a workplace couple too? That article you read last night on about workplace relationships being unprofessional was totally square and outdated anyway. You’re definitely making your move tomorrow.

Wait, who’s that who just walked in?? Did they just KISS?!? FU-

man and coffee

Credits: @menandcoffee

The Machine

You’ve never actually seen The Machine take a break, or eat, or make anything remotely close to a human error. It’s actually amazing how efficient this barista is, and when they’re not working they’re… well, nobody knows. Nobody’s ever seen them not working.

Aside from being able to execute precision-based techniques flawlessly, The Machine also possesses some kind of crazy memory data bank for a brain. They’ll be able to tell you the exact recipe for every drink on the menu, every price, and every roast date of every bag of beans in storage. They also pour latte art like a printer.

You’d almost aspire to be them – if they were more likeable as a person. Social interactions really aren’t their thing. All they ever talk about is work! What about the smell of rain, or the beauty of, I don’t know, horses? They really make you appreciate the little things, but mostly the fact that you actually have a life outside of work.

robot barista


The Scientist

This barista’s got gadgets and gizmos aplenty, coffee whozzits and whazzits galore. Tamping-thingamabobs? They’ve got twenty! They read milk carton labels as a hobby, own every book written about coffee ever, and giggle every time they measures the TDS of a new batch of brew.

They mentioned something to you yesterday about water (you think..?), but it was pretty hard understanding them because every other word was like, five syllables long. Either way, their enthusiasm is super contagious… you just don’t really know what it is exactly that you’re getting excited about.

You’re still happy because they’re using you as a guinea pig for all their new “experiments”, which makes a mundane shift a little bit more fun at least. You just wish they’d clean up after themselves – or at least label their bottles full of “prototypes”. Eww, is that mould growing inside that one? Oh, it’s just their new “coffee microbe biology project”. Now you know what the lab assistant for the guy who invented Penicillin felt like.



The Artist

Coffee is my expression. I am an artist. This is my art.”

You all know that one barista. Their Instagram name is probably something along the lines of “@macchiatomaestro” or “@caffeineDaVinci”, and their favourite hashtags include #morningpour, #latteartforlife, and #iwokeupandpouredlikethis.

They’re so into latte art that it’s almost nauseating. In fact, they give elaborate names to their pour patterns – like “blossoming lily” or “flaming swan atop a crystal lake surrounded by the bittersweet romance of youth”.

And nothing, and we mean nothing, irritates them more than a customer stirring their drink before fully appreciating their work. Sometimes you suspect that they cry about it at night.



Working with these characters day after day sure can be exhausting, but funny! Know someone like this? Tag them in the article or share it with them! And we’d love to hear about other #baristatropes you know of too in the comments section, facebook or instagram.

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Feature Photo Credit: Flickr, Alper Çuğun.

Perfect Daily Grind.