The cafe and coffee culture in Australia is massive and aren’t we proud of it? We love our coffee and with the prices of coffee these days, consumers aren’t afraid to push for exactly what they want. The perfect latte, flat white, short black, short mac, cappuccino, macchiato, mocha, long black and the list goes on.
So What Exactly Is A Barista –
Well technically speaking a barista is someone who is professionally trained in making espresso. Though most of us think that anyone who makes and sometimes delivers espresso-based drinks, no matter what their training was, is a barista. As a certified barista, you have the ever-important task of serving the perfect cup every time. Barista’s skills and experience are valued all around the world. Regardless of how small, regional or remote a town or suburb may be, almost everywhere has a café, bar, pub or restaurant with people hungry for a decent cup of coffee.
Even if you don’t have enough coffee making experience but do have a passion for making coffee, a barista training course will provide you with the skills and experience you need to ensure your chances of getting a job are higher. After an intensive course with an expert barista, you will be bumping and grinding your way around some of the coolest venues in town. There are literally hundreds of courses available in Australia with a range of hands on and affordable courses available in all major cities. If you’re looking at doing a course ask around first, talk to your local barista or café manager and get their impression on the best course to get you where you want to be.
Barista Job Description –
We’d love to give you a complete checklist of the exact tasks you would need to perform in the barista role, but every employer will expect different things from you. The basics are:
- Preparation, brewing and delivery of coffee
- Order taking
- Attending the cashier
- Providing customer service
- Possible ability to assist in other areas of the establishment
- Ability to work split shifts
Key Traits For An Awesome Barista
Confident Communicator –
The age old clear communication doesn’t cut the mustard anymore. We need confident and capable communicators who are easy for customers to chat with or voice their complaints to. Someone who can take control of a situation and set everyone back on track, whether that’s off to work with a soy latte or calming the ruffled feathers of the manager.
Fast Thinker –
Most barista roles will be fast paced with little time to procrastinate or debate a situation. The ability to process and move through a situation quickly is a key trait all employers wish their staff had. Often employees who demonstrate lateral thinking will develop this particular trait with understanding and experience in the job.
No two days are the same; no two customers are the same. Thus your ability to transform from the speedy server at 6am, to the cheeky funny barista with the best coffee at 10am into you saved my life deliver of coffee and sugar at 3pm hit. Some days may be a breeze and others may be brutal, but your ability to maintain the moral and momentum of the business will be a key in keeping everyone happy including yourself. Some people thrive on the rush and crash in the calm and vice versa an employer wants the best of both worlds.
People Person/Extrovert –
Being a barista means you are constantly dealing with customers, some you will like others not so much. But it’s a basic fact you cannot escape you will be in contact with the public every shift. So if you don’t really like talking to strangers, find it difficult to be pleasant to that arrogant customer or generally hate people definitely seek a different profession. Having said that you don’t have to be the loudest most out there person in the room. Friendly, warm and funny are the words most people use to describe their favourite barista.
Nobody wants a coffee from someone who looks like they may have not bathed since they stopped living with their parents. A clean up kept appearance is imperative to a good impression and a return customer. Don’t get us wrong dressing as a hipster, flower child, gothic, fashion goddess or whatever your style is has nothing to do with cleanliness, that’s just what you put on top to go out in public.
Most barista / cafe / wait staff jobs require you to work a variety of shifts. They can range from three hours to seven or eight hours (sometimes more). If you are employed as a casual employee, you will work on an hourly rate. This can be a really great way to earn money quickly because you can try and pick up more hours and work as many as you can. Often the hourly rate paid is higher than full time work. Employers will also favour those staff members who are always willing to fill shifts making their lives easier.
The Best Place To Find A Barista Job In Australia –
Well that depends what you are after, doesn’t it? For example Melbourne is arguably the food capital of Australia and the constant development and expansion of such a title means there are always new and interesting jobs available. But if your more into a relaxed friendly vibe then Byron Bay may be more your style. Here are a few snippets on our hubs around our great land, in alphabetical or so as not to offend anyone;)
Watch this space! Adelaide is developing into a fantastic coffee hub. The city now boasts over 30 must go to coffee hot spots. Job wise it is a smaller market but quality staff are always needed and in this developing area new cafes and opportunities open their doors every day. So if you are looking for a barista job in Adelaide you’ll have to act fast and stand out from the crowd.
“Flourishing” is the way critics are describing the coffee scene in Brisbane. With earthy coffee houses like Bean, off George St, to Coffee Anthology the crème de la crème for coffee lovers on Margaret St, this city is pumping some good quality coffee. On the job front, barista jobs in Brisbane are defiantly available now for the right applicant. This is the perfect best of both worlds location with the city and surf mixed together, what more could you want?
Don’t let being situated in our smallest state fool you, the coffee craving in Canberra is thriving. Whether it’s all of the working professionals in a concentrated location or Canberra’s put something in the water… We’re not sure but its certain if your thinking of moving to Canberra to pursue a barista job you wont be disappointed.
Gold Cost (QLD)
‘Fresh’ like everything seems to be in this state the fresher the better, whether it’s the beans or the décor. The options in the Gold Coast are very good, surprisingly so, you have wholesale roasters and suppliers who also produce a magnificent brew, Silipo Coffee, and slightly hidden gems under the TAFE, Simple Coffee House, and highway highlights like Caffeine Kings. This is a great place for baristas in a cool relaxed part of Australia, the demand for baristas in this are is fairly high and demand seems to be increasing.
This is a smaller market for coffee lovers and producers. With limited choices finding work in this area may prove difficult. But there are still some fantastic options in Darwin, for example Cavenagh Street will not disappoint or take a look down Vickers Street for a highly regarded brew.
“Saturated” has been used to describe the ever-improving Melbourne coffee scene. More and more cafes are turning out artisan delights and striving to be the best of the best in this packed market. The CBD alone boasts over one hundred must stop at locations, from laneways, to the Queen Victorian Market and every other corner in-between. Moving slightly further out to the suburbs, majority of strip shops have at least two very credible options for your taste buds to delight in. It doesn’t matter if your looking for a standard short black or a batch brew, just about every suburb has something for you. More often than not the best most sought after barista jobs in Melbourne are in slightly obscure locations making their mystique all that much more alluring. If you are interested in Melbourne barista jobs you definitely cannot go wrong as they are in abundance. The only thing to worry about in Melbourne is the competition!
New South Wales
There is much more to New South Wales than just the hustle and bustle of Sydney. Delving deeper into the First State you will see many opportunities for barista work, it’s just a matter of picking your favourite place. If you’re after the beach, surf, sun vibe then from Port Macquarie through to Byron Bay offers you endless possibilities. From the brew house of Peak Coffee in Port Macquarie, to Salute Espresso in Coffs Harbour and the famous Byron Bay Coffee Company there are plenty of good employment opportunities along this coast. If you are after a more of rustic approach try The Blue or Snowy Mountains. Both of these areas provide a magnificent view of nature at its finest. In The Blue Mountains, Katoomba is a great place to start with Cassiopeia Specialty Coffee showcasing just what you are in for in this ever-popular tourist area. In the Snowy Mountains your choices are more limited and tend to favour more of the adventurer than the coffee connoisseur. Perhaps you are looking for more of a foodie area, the Hunter Valley is the one for you then. Although this region is known for its wines it is now more of a food mecca and of course coffee is a very big highlight. If you’re after a barista job check out Newcastle, barista jobs in Newcastle are on the rise as is their coffee scene. This state has much to offer for anyone seeking a barista job and we could go on all day but we wont;)
This is a very big tourist area for Australia and is perhaps one of our least developed areas in terms of barista work. The demand for jobs in this market is limited so unless you are willing to start at the bottom or have some awesome talent we would suggest this might not be the area for you. Don’t get us wrong this territory hosts some of Australia’s most amazing natural wonders and as such draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. If you are interested in tourism and working within a resort or hotel then this may suit you.
The Perth coffee scene is described as two things ‘Australia’s most expensive state to purchase coffee’ and simply ‘Pride’. Wow this state certainly sets the bar high and you can really see where the ‘pride’ comes from after visiting just a handful of local crafters. It’s not just a cup of coffee for $5 it’s the best quality machines, grinders and brewers, the best milk, the best beans, environmentally friendly cups, the best staff, and of course all the stuff you don’t see like insurance, rent, bills etc. Barista jobs in Perth, this city is bustling with opportunities, though not as big as its sister cities of Melbourne and Sydney, Perth offers a more relaxed approach to the perfectionist coffee scene.
With this state, outside of the major cities, its hard to pin point where their coffee market is at, by this we mean Queensland has so much to offer that focusing on just one segment is not really their style, not when they can say ‘hey come check out our amazing coast, picture perfect islands, heritage listed great barrier reef, rainforests, desert, year round festivals, amazing and scary wildlife, etc.’. However we found that because of the tourism across most of the state baristas are in demand. It has been said that this market is nowhere near as developed or sophisticated as majority of the other states but where it lacks it definitely makes up for in diversity of environment. If you want a relaxed, world is your oyster job then Queensland and its varied barista opportunities may be the place for you. After all it is the state Where Australia Shines
South Australia is just as its capital, Adelaide, a watch this space coffee hub. The Adelaide Hills are alive with music…no wait is it coffee?? Taylor Blend kicked off our snippet in South Australia and what a way to start, a beautiful brew house with a hint of quirky. Hopping around South Australia leaves you with a definite sense that this is a happening place for baristas. Between the Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Clare Valley the foodies are out in force and everything from boutique brew houses to cellar doors offer up barista coffee. Moving along the coast from Port Lincon down to Victor Harbour and most stops along the way offering barista quality coffee. South Australia is a defiant must look at for anyone after a barista job.
Sunshine Coast (QLD)
‘Funky’ and ‘Fresh’ is the vibe for coffee on the sunny coast. We could list heaps of places that fit this description but we will just randomly pick a few. Starting with awesome coffee out of Boardstore, a premium skateboard shop in Maroochydore. Onto Hand of Fatima, a seriously talented barista with amazing customer service in Peregain Beach. Plus lots of quirky in between like The Pallet Espresso Bar, this place is literally made from pallets in Mooloolaba, and Clandestino Roasters in Noosaville where anything fly’s! Sunshine Coast is defiantly a great place to work as a barista, the job market is not huge but excellent staff is always wanted.
If Melbourne is ‘Saturated’ then the best way to describe Sydney is ‘Abundance’. What’s your favourite brew, because you can definitely find it in Sydney! It feels like every second nook and cranny has something brewed to perfection, a mecca for us looking for barista jobs in Sydney. The CBD is obviously the heart of this market but as with Melbourne the surrounding suburbs definitely don’t let the team down. With roasting houses and brew houses becoming somewhat common Sydney delivers a more holistic coffee approach. On the job front the possibilities are really endless with an average of over 150 barista positions vacant at any given time. Polish that resume to shine for you have to stand out of the crowd to win that job in Sydney!
Foodie heaven! Melbourne has a LOT to offer but that’s not all Victoria has and you should absolutely take a better look at this state. As with most of the states it really has a bit of everything so it’s about looking for what you are after. If its beaches and surf then you’ve got The Great Ocean Road, Bellarine Peninsula, Mornington Peninsula and then from Phillip Island down to Wilsons Promontory. For those who love the vines, Yarra Valley and Goulburn Valley are just a few of a long list for this state. If you’re more of a relaxed bed and breakfast kind of barista then look from Bright across to Daylesford or on the coast with Portland. For the adventurers there is the Grampians, or the High Country even these more remote areas are now catering to us caffeine addicted souls with top quality brews. We could literally write an essay on the opportunities abound in Victoria but instead we’ll let you discover them yourself;)
Western Australia is our largest state and our largest coastline, so it is no wonder majority of the population live along the coast – and where there are people there is coffee! Outside of Perth you don’t have to go too far before you hit another gem. Like in Fremantle, where coffee hubs Blink and The Little Concept are fun and on trend. Further afield in Margaret River you will find delight, being a world renown wine region the tourist element in this area has enabled great establishments like Yahava Koffee Works and the Brew Shack to showcase just what good coffee is. Further down to Albany and The Naked Bean where helping you hone your coffee skills is their thing! There are a lot of hidden gems in this state and the barista jobs in Western Australia are in moderate demand.
How To Stand Out As A Barista –
Is it the ability to create swans out of milk froth, the ability to produce six delicious coffee creations in fewer than 2 minutes or is it simply the hard worker? Different employers will want different things so this one is tough.
A definite must, if you really want that job, is to visit the business before you apply or at least before your interview. This allows you to see what type of experience the business provides the customer and what they would most likely be expecting of you. It also gives you the opportunity to see which of your skills you should highlight in a cover letter or your interview. For example if it is a busy café then speed would be a big factor, focusing on our ability to produce quality product at an amazing pace would be the go in this situation, or a more boutique business may focus on your communication and presentation skills to grow relationships with customers. You don’t necessarily have to chat with anyone when you visit but getting an insiders view by asking other staff what the business is like in regards to customers, hours, business and of course how the staff view their employer is always going to provide useful information.
Good luck on your search for that perfect barista job!!