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29 Questions: How to Train The Best Out of Your Barista

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

Baristas are to your cafes as beans are to your coffee.

They define the quality of your brand and service. Too often, it takes the perfect blend of training, confidence and talent to ensure a barista delivers consistently high quality coffee and good customer service. It goes without saying then that a fully fledged barista must be willing to learn the techniques along with a personality to boot that allows him to work capably under steaming pressure.

The list of things you need to train your baristas on is relatively long. But look no further! We at Bean & Barley have summed it up perfectly for you. Here are the questions you need to ask when training and evaluating your baristas:

On Drink Building

This is the primary essence of their service. Customers want their money’s worth and the drink is synonymous to your brand’s image. A quality drink isn’t something you can afford to compromise on.

  • How long does it take for your barista to prepare 10 drinks in succession? Are you looking at an average of 65 seconds or less? Or is it a more dismal 80 to 76 seconds?

  • Does the barista know when and how to adjust the grind settings and calibrate this to the intended brew ratio?

  • When a barista pulls a shot, how do you grade in terms of the target flavor profile, body, and temperature?

  • How is the barista’s skill on making hot drinks in terms of micro foam quality, proper vortex, temperature, and proper latte art fundamentals?

  • How is the barista’s skill on making iced drinks in terms of: temperature and coffee flavor?

  • How would you rate your barista’s knowledge on drink preparation?

  • Does your barista maintain beverage quality consistency?

On Customer Service

It takes more than just a warm greeting, a pretty smile and getting the name right to satisfy a customer who is in need of his or her daily dose of caffeine.

  • Does the barista have a sense of urgency when assisting customers?

  • Let’s talk about speed. Is the customer acknowledged within 10 seconds?

  • Does your barista display good demeanor by being friendly, outgoing and happy?

  • Does your barista make conversation with the customers?

  • Does the barista humbly acknowledge his mistakes and corrects them appropriately?

  • Is the barista well-informed of your menu and ongoing promotions?

  • Is the barista familiar with your regular customers and their favorite drinks?

  • Does the customer come first to this barista?

  • The most important question of all: does this barista give your customer a reason to return?

On Teamwork

The art of drink making and running a café is already taxing as it is so you want a harmonious energy in your coffee counter.

  • Does this barista assist other employees?

  • If asked, can the barista cover shifts?

  • Are items stocked as needed after shifts?

  • Are shift duties promptly completed each day?

  • Are additional tasks completed accordingly?

  • Is your barista aware of your store and his personal shift’s goals?

On Paperwork and Policies

Of what use is a good drink making skill with the absence of discipline, honesty and transparency? As with all things in life, there needs to be a balance. And yes, they apply to the business of running a coffee shop, too!

  • Does the barista read and acknowledge all memos?

  • Are the cashiering policies followed diligently?

  • Does the barista arrive in a timely manner for his or her shift? Is she well prepared?

  • Is the work phone not abused for personal use?

  • Is the barista well-versed with discount policies?

  • Are deposit procedures followed with utmost consistency?

  • Let’s talk about image. Is the uniform worn neatly?

Your baristas, especially the new ones, need to gain experience especially behind the bar. Are your new staff members cementing the knowledge they’ve already learned? Are they consistently learning how to develop new recipes for the love of latte? Training your barista to their fullest potential is an investment you need to cautiously plan for to maximize their efficiency. After all, your barista’s productivity is directly linked to your cafe’s performance and reputation. We hope for you to avoid a situation in which customers receive low quality drinks combined with a sub-par service. Your brand is so much more than that.

Here at Bean & Barley, we couldn’t emphasize enough the importance of honing non-technical skills such as customer service. How do they communicate with the customer, understand what they actually need and create real interest for your coffees? It is in this regard that you have to be prepared to continue giving your staff support. Apprentice baristas who are well on their way to the first three months can be mentored by the more experienced members of your staff. Along with mentorship, we also advocate investing in your baristas through continued training in order to help them establish a good foundation and give them the confidence they need to believe in your brand.

What are your baristas’ motivations? How do you keep them interested in their work? How do you share that love and passion for coffee with them? Knowing the answers to these questions will produce a direct financial impact on you because they determine how quickly your baristas learn, increase their levels of productivity and create a synergistic atmosphere in your coffee shop.

Training your baristas is never an easy task. Designing an effective program takes time. Is it worth the effort? Yes. At the end of the day, not only do your baristas increase your brand awareness. They are the ones making the coffee that keeps your customers loyal, engaged and happy.

The goal isn’t just to serve a coffee. It’s to give customers the premium taste and service they’ll find themselves always coming back for.

We’re sure you have more than 29 questions on how to train the best out of your baristas. Fret not! This is what we’re here for. Message us HERE.


BRILLIANT BARISTA EVALUATION. The Coffee Coaches. Retrieved 4 April 2021, from

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