The lifecycle of specialty coffee begins with the farmer and ends with the consumer. However, the steps taken by the barista are important in retaining the integrity of the coffee.
After production, coffee is sourced by roasters as green (or raw) coffee beans. Coffee is roasted and cooled according to flavor and origin to be brewed for drinking. This brewing method is chosen by the barista based on the outcome of flavors and their original profile.
Specialty level baristas should know the origins of the coffee they are serving as well as a basic understanding of how they were roasted. The last step is entirely up to the barista and can make or break the consumers experience.
As a new barista, you might consider becoming SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) certified. This certification carries a lot of weight in the third wave coffee industry and is highly sought after by high end coffee shops in the United States and around the world.
You should also learn about the production, sourcing, and roasting process in detail. Proper brewing methods and equipment are crucial to a successful cup. Just like a hairdresser or bartender, you will find yourself surrounded by many tools to complete the task. Understanding the basic coffee drinks is also very important. Below is a helpful guide to get you started.