A reader emailed recently and asked:

I am wondering if you have ever had posts or articles or advise columns on “how to become a barista.” etc. I would LOVE to work in a coffee house, but lack the experience. I am wondering if there are any resources for learning/training/breaking into the industry.

I can’t think of any articles written on this site that specifically address this topic, and so figured it would be a great question to pose to the community. What tips do you have?

Arizona Coffee

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  1. Steve

    Visit a shop you really like or potentially want to work at, talk with the baristas, show some interest and express that you may lack the experience but truly have the desire to join the coffee industry. It does depend on what shop you enter OR desire to work at, but I can assure you that if you show enough interest, doors will open.

  2. Jeff

    I agree with Steve. If the shop has a coffee bar, take a seat in the late afternoon when it might not be as busy. Take an interest. Ask as many questions as you can. If the barista is any good, she/he’ll love that you are taking an interest. Some places might let you ‘stage,’ or take a volunteer shift where you have the opportunity to learn about the coffee, the machinery, the service.

  3. Visiting shops is definitely a goods start. There are books as well. Espresso Vivace sells books and videos, and of course there’s always YouTube. I

    f you’re looking for a more interactive experience, we periodically do latte throwdowns that are open to the public and to baristas. They are a great way to meet others who are passionate about coffee as well as creating an opportunity to actually play on different espresso machines, especially if you hang out to the end. Come on out, we’d love to meet you! 🙂