You most likely stop in to your favorite coffee shop a few times a week if not daily. Did you ever wonder what those Baristas do on their coffee break? Probably not. Why would you? But just in case you are the type of person who ponders, "If the Pope really is indeed Roman Catholic?" or "If bears really do indeed do their business in the woods?"....then this is the perfect blog post to read to get your brain going and get a possible conversation started tomorrow morning at your morning cafe.
Here is the "Barista Coffee Break" skinny from my point of view ---
Being a Barista for Booskerdoo Fresh Roasted Coffee Company has many advantages and amazing job perks, the most important of which are a great working environment and serving a cool product to some really great customers. On the flip side, the occupation consists of long hours...especially standing on your feet nearly 100% of the time. I sort of compare the daily occupational duties to playing a 5-set, 5 hour long tennis match where a Barista basically juts back and forth in a 4 - 8 foot square area, moving one direction then the other in seconds, starting and stoping quickly dozens upon dozens of times, all the while performing a multitude of tasks like pouring coffee and brewing specialty drinks, talking to customers, serving food, refilling sugar and milk containers, working the register....not to mention the early morning set up and evening clean up.
Now I'm not complaining about the job at all. On the contrary....being a Barista is fantastic! But the majority of the Baristas I know or have read about usually hit the ground running from minute one when they open till they close their shift and lock up. Most likely a good majority of standard work place coffee breaks consist of stretching the legs a bit, drinking coffee or tea and/or refreshing ones beverage, having a quick catch up conversation with colleagues in the break room, hitting the bathroom, checking your Facebook page or sports score alerts, etc. The break activity possibilities are pretty vast. Now, what's really cool is....Baristas do all that stuff too - BUT - those things are ALL part of who we are and the product we produce and serve as a whole; the entirety of it all is our being. We Baristas do not stop our work duties for 5-15 minutes to take a break from those duties so we can be our usual selves. Being a Barista equals being our usual selves; the occupation is not necessarily a normal job, and in my opinion should not be approached as one.
Being a coffee roaster and coffee house professional is an all-encompassing mind set and culture. This line of work seriously is something a Barista should believe in and feel good about 100% of the time, living and breathing the fact that the Barista is bringing a quality product and service to a quality group of customers. Baristas work and play in a mindset where the melding of quality and conscious play major roles in the daily bustle of life. The duty of being a Barista as an occupation is an interactive experience for both the customer and the Barista, creating a space that hopefully brings to life all 5 senses of all parties involved. The Barista goal at Booskerdoo, and I would bet at just about any other specialty coffeehouse around the world, is to transform our customer's experience for just a few minutes into something extraordinary every time they walk through our doors. And that takes opening preparation, practice, resetting, and being ready to play consistently throughout the shift and workday, just as in that 5 set tennis match.
And yes, we do indeed sip and drink coffee constantly throughout our day...for our enjoyment, the amazing learning experience, and quality control.
So NOW YOU KNOW...Baristas do indeed take coffee breaks and YES we do drink coffee during them. Now if you'll excuse me, there's a lull....I think I'll take five and go take out the trash.