To many individuals, the word "professional" is sacred. Meaning, that it takes a great amount a skill, talent, and other physical and mental encouragement, for some commonly taught after jobs in the United States to obtain this title. "Barista" is one such title.
In the last 30 years, the barista occupation has not often been deemed as a job holding much desire or value. It was a side-gig, reserved for the college going hipster trying to make their way through student fees and ramen noodle packets. But, as the United States faces harder employment achievement, and more food service jobs are made, a new era is beginning to turn. The era of the professional barista.
Coffee Grounds By: Mariah P. K. Ardrey
In 2019, it was no secret to the general public, that jobs were, and still are hard to come by. Especially in the State of New York. Where the term "dog-eat-dog" is still very much alive and well.
As a matter of fact, 2019 flowing into 2020, saw New York State fall to rank 35, with an overall unemployment rate of 4.00%, according to this Unemployment Rate By State 2020, article--beating its previous 4.6% in 2018.
Yet, even though the percentages would seem to suggest greater achievement sine 2018, most individuals in New York State must turn to more traditionally unconventional occupations, to support themselves and their families. Jobs that were once reserved for teenagers, trying to make a quick buck, are now evolving into career paths for many adults. According to the New York Restaurant Industry At A Glance, foodservice jobs averaged about 9% of overall employment in New York. Making a whopping total of 865,800 jobs within the State in 2019, estimating to only grow another 5.6% by the year 2029.
With New York State minimum wages pivoting--dependent on job type--between $11.80 and $15.00 hourly, for mainly foodservice workers, it is not a great surprise to anyone living in The Big Apple, that many more are turning towards foodservice to pay their bills.
Glass Coffee Mugs By: Mariah P. K. Ardrey
Even though the compensation may sound more than fair to some out-of-state visitors, the payment does not entirely cover up for the struggles of serving food and beverage to consumers as a whole.
For example, despite the rising popularity, baristas in the United States, are still looked down upon (meaning they are not normally considered professionals) but even when they are given due credit, these hard working men and women, only make an annual salary of about $22,000, according to this article, The Barista: A Sustainable Profession In The Making.
The importance of this job though, as specialty coffee demand begins to hit record highs, cannot be overlooked. It must also be kept in mind, that local baristas do a great deal more than just make cute coffee art.
The espresso machines these coffee masters operate are no walk in the park. When it comes to general trouble shooting and coffee making navigation, these machines prove they are not only works of art in their own right, but a delicate ecosystem of metal and tubing, that allows for even more delicious creations.
Barista Frothing Milk By: Mariah P. K. Ardrey
It takes time, and a great deal of patience, practice, failures, and successes to learn to fully operate these commercial espresso machines. Add that to learning to deal with a fast-paced work environment, and not to mention, all manners of personalities in consumers. Yet, despite all of the pressure, the men and women who make it to the end of their training time as coffee professionals, become the baristas many individuals come to see, know, and even love on a daily basis.
Despite the difficulties, they continue to smile, and fill orders, with a finesse many can only dream of achieving.
Baristas lead by example. Make coffee, drink coffee, love coffee, and be kind.