Mickael_esp Senior Member Joined: 20 Nov 2004 Posts: 30 Location: Portland OR Expertise: Professional
Espresso: LaMarzocco FB70 2grp Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly Timer Vac Pot: what?? Drip: Aroma Roaster: So many good ones! Cafe'...
Posted Sun Nov 20, 2005, 8:57am Subject: Re: The Barista Code of Conduct by Nick Cho
Outstanding!!! I am a repair technician and former Barista who has seen every type of Barista, from the Deli person told to work the Super-auto espresso machine to the 12+ year pro who knows his/hers craft 100%. I'm printing and E-mailing your column to everyone I know. The biggest industry difference I have noticed is the type of training. Ten years ago (A large specialty coffee chain) spent so much energy on drink making, now they exclusively train customer service and drink crafting is secondary (probably due to super-auto machines). The drink is so important, but if the service is bad it doesn't matter. Thank you!!
litwardle Senior Member Joined: 23 Oct 2005 Posts: 25 Location: UK Expertise: Professional
Posted Tue Dec 13, 2005, 6:04am Subject: Re: The Barista Code of Conduct by Nick Cho
This is a copy of an e-mail I sent to Nick, I thought I would include it in this thread. If you've had similar a experience, and you probably have then please give me a little advice!
I read your barista code of conduct with interest, and admiration. I live and work in the south west of the UK. I pride myself on my skills and knowlage, however, it's always growing. I remember the first few months of making coffee. I thought of myself as a barista then (well, the training manual said I was.....) and thought I know loads. That was seven years ago and thinking back always puts a smile on my face because I see that guy in lots of coffee bars around the country. Which is why, no matter how God-awful my espresso is i never say a word. It has always been my personal rule. I broke it 2 weeks ago, and I felt really bad.
It was about 9pm. I had been driving for 3 hours on the motorway (highway) in the pouring rain. I was tired and really needed a coffee. I stopped at a rest stop where I knew there was a nation chain coffee shop. After standing un-noticed at the counter I asked for a Large extra shot amaricano to stay. The barista waked upto the beautifully shiny La Cimbali, semi-auto 3 group. I watched in admiration as he put the hot water in my mug first (doesn't happen much in this part of the world beleive me) but it all went down hill from there. He pulled a double from a lovely (apart from the piston tamper bolted to the doser) Mazzer Super-Jolly, gave a half-hearted push on the tamper and without blessing the porta-filter stuck it on the machine. He then went to the cash register, by heart hurting as my espresso was burning in the group head and charged me. He placed a dry-epresso-covered 9 Oz mug under the group-head and flicked the switch. He filled up the mug and poured it into mine. He then, and brace yourself this is a tough one, put the mug back under the head, the head with the same spent porta filter and flicked the switch again! MMMMMMMM YUMMY! He let it run to half full and pored it in my drink. I just looked at him, a little dumb-founded.
This was when I broke my golden rule. I complained. I was very polite too. I asked for a fresh one. He asked why, i told him, he argued and said I was wrong, I shouted and demanded a refund. He said no, I stormed out. I called from the car and asked to speak to the manager. I arranged to meet him inside and I told him what happened. He apologised and said he's look into it. He took my number to tell me the out-come. I was out of signal when he called back and he got through to my voice mail which said.... "Hello your through to Lee Wardle at the Havana Coffee Company etc. etc." I really didn't want him to know my job or the company I work for, and I didn't mention it during my rantings to the PBTC either. He left a smug "the problems been dealt with and the PBTC has been discaplined" message and I just felt embarrassed.
I love my job. We distribute beans\machines\ etc. My main role is touring the bars we supply and training them. I'm so, so so so so passionate about my coffee and I love the fact that I can spread my coffee message in a positive way. There is nothing more fulfilling to me than training someone to be a barista. Seeing how they grow and become passionate about the art you love so much.
It's just really hard when some PBTC doesn't care as much as you do and is completly blind to it.
Muddycup Senior Member Joined: 3 Dec 2005 Posts: 11 Location: New York Expertise: Professional
Espresso: yes Grinder: yes
Posted Sat Dec 17, 2005, 3:37pm Subject: Re: The Barista Code of Conduct by Nick Cho
What it comes down to is quality of product and customer service. Teaching your staff to pour a correct shot of espresso and maintain quality control can be down, I have three stores and we have been able to maintain top quality. I have found that I have had to create a standard of operation for all my staff and periodically check to see if our standards are being upheld.
Anytime a barrista or staff person does something incorrect it is clearly the fault of the owners and management for lack of training and standards of operation.
Posted Mon Jun 5, 2006, 8:46pm Subject: Re: The Barista Code of Conduct by Nick Cho
It is important to note that people, enthusiastic about the "Third Wave" may question a drink, not from ciritcism but from interest. In a really good shop I will frequently, maybe too frequently some times, ask about my Capp or Espresso because I am really enjoying it and wish to know more about its' 'construction' or content. This, in the manner of being in a fine bar and asking the bartender what kind of scotch it is. One does this primarily because the drink is special AND you know the bartender is a knowledgable professional.
Posted Fri Aug 3, 2007, 7:38pm Subject: Re: The Barista Code of Conduct, BGA Files
I really appreciate this article. It is so easy to fall into any of those errors, and in the short time that I've been involved in the coffee world, I've fallen (I think) to at least 3 if not all 4. Thanks for this. I wonder (often to my co-owner) whether the barista code should include a dress code. I realize that this is a "relaxed and groovy" business, but I've seen too many tattered jeans, short shorts, and tattoos, even in my own shop! Other craftspeople have uniforms: jumpsuits, toolbelts, or whatever. What about nice slacks/jeans, collared shirt (rolled up sleeves, of course, to maintain our relaxed and grooviness), and apron? To me, that speaks volumes of professionalism. It also looks so darn good.
My thinking is that an agreed-on 'standard' of dress may work, even an apron. When I come into your cafe, I don't wish to see any trappings to remind me of a McCoffee chain. I believe the coffee and the attitude of your baristas set the tone of indivduality for your shop, not costumed sameness. Just my thoughts. Best wishes.
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