14 Struggles of a Barista

I don't talk about it often because it's truly not that interesting, but I'm a barista! It's not my deepest passion, but it's a pretty awesome gig for the meantime.

I've worked at two different Starbucks, a Peets Coffee & Tea, and a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. This was all within a year and mostly because I relocated so much. However, I loved every bit of it. I truly mastered coffee and tea in every form and learned the 3 top coffee shops inside and out. That's something I know is beneficial to me.

Now, I'm about to start my SECOND barista job at the busiest Starbucks in the nation (that's a fact, not an exaggeration): at Disneyland. Sweet neptune...why do I do this to myself? I just love Disneyland a lot.

I love coffee and tea. Personally, being on bar is a really therapeutic experience for me. The sweet aroma of espresso grinding. The challenge of steaming the perfect milk. Mixing powders, syrups, espresso and milk into the perfect concoction of a drink. It's lovely! Sometimes coffee is the high point of someones day, and I like to be the one making their drink perfectly. I've gotten my drink messed up so many times and I never want customers to experience that.

I mean, did you know coffee is one of the #1 things people instagram? Coffee culture is something that has gone through the roof within the past 5-10 years. It's all over social media. Celebrities cannot be seen without holding their cup of coffee. People freak out during pumpkin spice season. Coffeeshop playlists are some of the top playlists on spotify. Most people meet for coffee instead of anything else. Everyone is in love with latte art. Coffee is a big part of our culture now and I enjoy being apart of that, as a barista and a customer.

However, sometimes being a barista isn't that lovely...there are some struggles. Let's talk about it, shall we?

{Oh, and happy national coffee day everyone!}
All day September 29th, expect free or discounted coffee and basically every coffee shop in the world.


1. When customers say: "Oh, I wanted it iced."
You might've wanted it iced, but you definitely didn't say that.

2. And we can't forget the classic: "Oh! I forgot, I wanted soy milk."
If you truly can't have dairy, you'll know to say soy milk. I've been ordering lattes for 3 years with soy milk and I never forget because I hate drinking dairy. A lot of people like to say they wanted soy after they paid, but that just makes it inconvenient for all the other customers waiting behind you and the baristas. 

3. Saying you'll shower in the morning but never following through. 
I mean, who wants to wake up at 4 AM to shower? Not me. Overall, your shower schedule gets pretty messed up.

4. Customers coming in daily with extra complicated orders that you know make no sense. 
You accomodate their order, but they still complain. You are left wondering why they don't make it at home.

5. Wanting coffee from a cafe that you don't work at really bad but not wanting to pay for it. 
"I can just make that at work for free...keep it together.."

6. Always judging the playlist of music that plays throughout your shift. 
Wanting to burst out in dance when your jam comes on and wanting to stand in the back for 5 minutes when a Maroon 5 song comes on. 

7. While you love coffee in every shape and form, you can't help but judge the pretentiousness of some of your coworkers. 
At the end of the day, it's a cup of coffee.

8. When the company you work for has strict corporate standards and you're forced to follow them although they aren't beneficial to anyone. 
Who would know what's best for the customers - the executive assistant sitting at an office filing paperwork, or the barista making the drinks and dealing with the customers on a daily basis? *sips tea*

9. When the customers change ends up being 1 cent and they put it in your tip jar. 
When the customers change ends up being 1 cent and they don't put it in your tip jar. I never know how to feel. Should I feel thankful or offended?

10. When you're having a badass conversation with your coworker and a customer walks in and you stop mid-sentence to scream "HEY HOW ARE YA?!" 
15 lattes later..."So what were we talking about?"

11. Yelling out drinks and having a customer come up 10 minutes later, "Which one is decaf? Is this mine? Wait..I don't know if this is what I ordered. Can you remake it?" 
As a barista, we are constantly busy. I probably forgot your name and your drink and moved onto other names and drinks. I don't know if that's your decaf whole milk 5 shot extra hot vanilla latte.

12. Also, we love when you're in a rush so you treat everyone rudely. 
If you plan to get coffee every morning, you should leave the house earlier. *sips tea again*

13. Sticky, syrupy arms. Always smelling like coffee. Burn marks on your hands. Constantly having hat hair.

14. Society romanticizing the barista. 
Sure, it takes a lot of knowledge, art, and skill. And it's a bit harder to get compared to typical food / retail jobs. But it's not like we just stand around drinking gourmet coffee listening to indie music. There's a lot of work we put into the coffee, tea and espresso drinks. And we have to clean...be cashiers...deal with customer service...and clean. There's a ridiculous amount of cleaning.