Winning at a cafe trial

We are always asked at Black Market Training; “How do I get a job as a Barista?” Naturally you want to know, and prospective employers will want to know that you can make a good coffee. Whether you are in Melbourne, Sydney or Amsterdam, the answer is always the same. You need to win over at that cafe trial.

Think about the NEED from a cafe owners/managers point of view:
  • To fill shifts in the cafe to serve coffee
  • Someone responsible and to look after their customers
  • Someone to be able to achieve the quality that have been serving already
  • The employee to be trustworthy as they may be in the shop when no-one else is there

There is a lot that the owner NEEDS. If you look at that list, 50% of those are personality based. So, unfortunately if you’re not responsible, trustworthy and cant work independently, I can’t help you get a job!

If, on the other hand, you satisfy these characteristics, then read on. We need to get a bit technical.

Depending on where you are going for that job, will determine how technical you need to be before you go for the trial. In Australia for example, you will need to know how to adjust the grind, tamp evenly, steam milk and do some basic latte art, as a base level. In Amsterdam, on the other hand, your milk just has to be silky, tamp well, and a knowledge on how to adjust the grind.

In summary, some technical skills, we recommend nailing before a trial:
  • Adjusting the grind given a set dose, time and goal yield/volume
  • Tamping evenly
  • Weighing coffee quickly
  • Understanding a good tasting extraction from abad one
  • Being able to talk to a customer while making coffee
  • Steaming silky milk
  • Pouring a love heart
  • Knowledge of the coffee menu
  • Delivering a cappuccino, latte and flat white in a timely manner

This may sound like a lot, however you will feel so much more comfortable during a cafe trial if you can improve all these aspects. To learn all about the technicals of making coffee, check out our beginners barista course.