Hello! It’s nice you are reading this. My name is Olya. I’d like to tell a story of how I’ve got into the coffee industry. For more than two years, I’ve been working as a barista in a third-wave coffee shop. At the same time, I’m earning a degree in marketing.
When I was a child, my mum always said that only adult people can drink coffee. As you know, the forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest. So, when I moved to another city to study, I started exploring this drink. At that time, I was a vegetarian, so I only drank black coffee. Later, this experience turned out to be helpful for me!
As I drank pure coffee without sugar and milk, over time I learned how to determine which coffee is tasty and which is not. I enjoyed espresso, while my friends frowned only at the sight of it.
In 2018, I started working as a barista assistant. It was weird to learn something from scratch, to go through failures and mistakes. But I had a lot of desire, and every time I was pleased to stand at the bar counter. I learned a lot of information, read books, and listened to lectures. I realized that making a delicious cup of coffee is not as easy as it may seem. It took me several weeks to learn how to froth milk: it should be smooth, glossy, and have the proper temperature. Over time, I learned to make basic latte art. Two months later, that position became my full-time job, and I realized that those efforts were not in vain.
Since that time, I’ve had the experience of working with several coffee machines. Learning with bad equipment is more difficult because it is important that all processes run like clockwork. Now my working day begins with making grind adjustments on the grinder and brewing the first espresso shots. By the time customers come for their coffee beverages, everything should be on high alert.
I love working at the bar counter because this allows me to combine work with pleasure by both improving my professional skills and chatting with visitors about life, their dogs, and new hobbies.
When I come to a new city, I always visit new coffee establishments to talk to colleagues about our job, taste new coffee blends, and test new brewing methods.
This is a necessary practice to always keep in touch with new tendencies and develop my receptors. After all, a barista can be compared to a sommelier. This person should be able to determine the slightest shades of coffee taste and aroma, to know coffee varieties and regions where the beans are grown, and to distinguish between certain nuances characteristic of a particular roasting degree.
Coffee championships are held several times a season. They can be devoted to both latte art and filter coffee brewing methods. This is one of the best opportunities for baristas to express themselves. This year, I have ambitious plans to get ready and take part in one of them.