Australia enjoys a diverse coffee culture, with lots of Aussies being very particular about the coffee they drink – be it flat white, latte, long black, short black, mocha, cappuccino, macchiato, ristretto and on and on. In other words, there is no lack of great coffee jobs in Australia.
If you’re in the market for a job that could bring in some good income, while also giving you an opportunity to enjoy yourself and make new friends, working one of the hospitality jobs so readily available in the country is definitely a fine choice.
The majority of city cafes go for unique ambience and personality, resulting in interesting customers, cool colleagues and lots of tipping opportunities!
Even if you’re not a city person, and want nothing more than to get away from the noise and bustle of a big city, as a coffee barista, you’re bound to find barista jobs travelling the countryside too! Every town, no matter how small, has a bar, café, roadhouse, pub or restaurant where people want to enjoy a good cup of coffee.
There are also plenty of barista courses available to pick up experience and training from if you’re just starting out. All it takes is one good course in this profession, and you’re all set to make some money serving delicious coffee on your barista job.
Be prepared to work shifts going from 3 to 8 hours – if you’re a casual worker, you’ll be paid by the hour, which is a nice way to make some fast cash by putting in more hours each week, since hourly rate is greater than full-time work. Normally, these rates can vary between $15 and $20 an hour, and more for overtime, weekends and public holidays – this is a lot more than what’s offered in many other countries.
Of course, there isn’t a mandatory tipping / in-built service charges rule in Australia, but you can expect generous tips in bigger city restaurants. A happy customer may leave as much as ten percent of the bill, or even more. Bars tip less, with customers leaving only small change which is pooled between the bar staff.
Why become a barista?
- The employment opportunities are high – there has been a 34.2% rise in the past five years, with the largest number of openings appearing in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia. This is a result of the worldwide increase in coffee’s popularity, as well as the rise in tourism and travel.
- You’ll be constantly interacting with both customers and colleagues, so it will be a work environment full of humour and life lessons.
- If you’re a nomad at heart and want to experience the many sights and sounds of the country, coffee shop jobs are a great opportunity. You can move from one barista bar to the next, gaining new experience, meeting different people and expanding your resume while living true to your lifestyle!
- Creativity: Coffee culture has reached the point where it is considered an art form by its patrons, your creativity will be valued and you’ll face unique challenges, in that you’ll have to improvise, be patient, and in some cases, a bit unorthodox, to create the perfect espresso shot for your customer.
- Job stability: The hospitality industry was able to hold its own in the toughest of economic crises which sank many other industries and resulted in thousands of layoffs.
- Flexible work hours: As mentioned before, this is a job where you can work by the hour instead of doing a regular 9 to 5 job.
Barista job description in Australia
The coffee culture in Australia is slightly different from what’s trending in New York and London. Rather than drinking it in big time coffee chains like Starbucks, people are extremely choosy about their coffee type, and in general, tend to go for coffee houses that let them select their own coffee. Therefore,your café job as a barista in Australia will involve all of the following types of coffee, with variations such as skimmed milk, soy milk, and flavored syrups:
- Espresso or short black: this is a straight shot of coffee without any additives.
- Flat white: this is an espresso shot with hot milk that has been slightly frothed.
- Latte: Like the flat white but with a greater quantity of frothed milk.
- Long black: aDouble espresso shot with hot water.
- Cappuccino: An espresso shot with some hot milk that’s topped with foamed milk. Normally has a cocoa powder topping on it too.
- Ristretto: An espresso shot with a smaller quantity of water.
- Piccolo: This is a ristretto served in a small glass with some frothed milk. Think of it as a small latte.
- Mocha: Latte that has some cocoa powder added to give it a chocolate taste.
- Macchiato: An espresso shot containing some foamed milk.
A typical barista resume goes beyond knowing how to make different types of coffee, using specific equipment and coffee bean varieties, and catering to the preferences of the business. You’ll also be expected to help the customer in choosing the right beverage or bean, and judging a customer’s taste.
Besides barista qualifications, you must also have good general bartending skills that include customer interaction, handling and order scheduling, among others – this is to be expected in almost all catering jobs. You’ll also be expected to have a firm grounding in the whole coffee process to make a cup of coffee exactly tailored to the customer’s demand – this is comparable to sommeliers must know the whole procedure of wine making and drinking.
This means you must know about how to correctly operate, maintain and program the machine, tamping and grinding methods, water quality, and temperature, extraction timing, free pouring, latte art, coffee plant cultivation, drying methods, roasting, correct storage, renewable disposal methods, recycling of ingredients and packaging.
If this sounds intimidating, there’s no need to worry, there are also plenty of places you can take apprenticeships at to learn them on the job; given you’re good with the basics and know how to follow instructions correctly, you’ll be able to take high-end café jobs in a couple of years. If you want to fast track things, however, you could always go for one of the numerous specialisation courses offered by reputable coffee institutes:
Where to learn coffee making in Australia
Barista Basics Coffee Academy
There are plenty of schools in Australia from where you can learn the art of coffee shop jobs through accredited courses – one such top notch institute is Barista Basics Coffee Academy.
This is a Registered Training Institute since May 2008, so it is completely compliant with stringent controls pertaining to its training and assessment. You’ll be getting Statement of Attainments for Prepare and serve espresso coffee, and Use hygienic practices for food safety, when you take their courses.
As far as classes are concerned, you’ll be taught by university-educated professionals, get hands-on with Italian barista coffee machines, and be advised by people who are well-known experts in the industry. Most of the time, you’ll be given hands-on training and live demonstrations, as opposed to dull videos and lectures used in some of the cheaper courses.
Both their 3 hour Barista Basics course and 5 hour Master Barista course will give you nationally recognised statements of attainments SITHFAB204 and SITXFSA101. You’ll also be getting Mandatory Hygiene Unit at no extra cost.The Barista Basics course is the result of a decade of evolution, starting from a relatively elementary coffee training course. Today, it’s a power session combining latest barista café techniques, professional knowledge, and expert advice. Basically, you’ll be taught to prepare espresso coffee in the Australian framework, while also sticking to the original Italian espresso roots. The Basics course is great for those who want to start working a coffee job at once, or even those who want to hone their talents.
The Master Barista Course combines everything taught in the Basics course with two additional hours of continuous coffee making with a focus on coffee art and milk texturing – is prepped to learn the latest tricks utilising freepouring and etching. The course can be completed in one day, or over multiple days. You’ll have unlimited access to coffee and milk, and none of the ingredients will be used past their expiry dates.
Barista Basics Academy also offers coffee management courses, which are designed to help you set up your own barista café from scratch (or purchase an established one) if you’re so interested. You learn how to:
- Create a checklist for purchasing an espresso bar.
- Employing breakeven analysis for your café.
- Dangers to avoid when buying your own café.
- Creating a template for your bar.
- Purchasing an already functioning bar vs. building one from scratch.
- Design elements, product selection, menu creation, staff selection, employee training importance, and visual design.
You are also provided the option to take this management class in conjunction with the Master Barista Coffee Course to get a complete grounding in the coffee industry.