The 6 Must-Have Barista Skills (A Complete List)

Last Updated on December 16, 2021 by John Moretti

If you are eager to receive some quality job experience in an upbeat work setting, being a barista might just be right up your alley! Thanks to the national craze for specialty coffee, there are dozens of coffee shops in what seems like every street, and they are always looking for talented and enthusiastic baristas! 

Barista skills are known as a set of skills you need to have to be able to become one. Having certain traits and skills is important! Barista skills are very useful, and some of them include communication, good customer service, a good attitude, paying close attention to detail, and so much more.

Do you want to know just exactly what these barista skills are? Join me as I take you through the most important and useful skills you will need to have what it takes to become a top-notch barista!

what are barista skills

The 6 Most Important Barista Skills

To work as a barista, you will need some good customer service skills. Let’s take a good look and explain each of the key skills you will need to become a barista.  

1. Customer service

As a barista, you will be dealing directly with several different customers all day. This requires strong interpersonal skills as well. When interacting with customers, you will need to have several qualities. 

Approachability, remembering orders, and answering different question levels are the most important skills of a barista.

You will also need strong communication skills, along with the following skills good customer service needs:

  • Friendliness
  • Approachability
  • Enthusiasm
  • Team player
  • Interpersonal
  • Personable
  • Both written and verbal communication skills

Remember, not all customers and coworkers will treat you kindly. Sometimes, over-caffeinated customers will yell at you, and it is your responsibility to stay calm.

When something goes wrong in the environment, you will need to take out your problem-solving skills and guess what? Solve the problem! This is especially important in a shop where the tension easily rises and rushes are frequent.

2. Attention to the little details

Many customers who visit coffee shops have very specific drink requests. As the barista, it is up to you to measure and mix all the ingredients correctly and then create the drink that the customer wants from scratch. 

As the barista industry falls under the food service position, you will need to go the extra mile when it comes to cleanliness. Show that you go through the required steps to ensure your customers that the equipment and surfaces you work with are safe, clean, and dry before opening and closing your shop.

This requires constant focus, great attention to detail, as well as basic math and measuring skills. The focus and attention to detail are also necessary for when a barista works the cash register. 

Following are a few of the key math and measurement skills a barista will need to master:

  • Cautious
  • Cashiering and cash handling
  • Concentration
  • High level of accuracy
  • Math 
  • Measuring and converting measurements
  • POS (Point Of Sale Systems)

3. A master of multitasking

Whether it involves point of sale systems or cash management, a barista needs skill in all! Some barista jobs involve them having to handle both the register and espresso coffee machine on the same day, and more often than not within the same five minutes! 

Multitasking is one of the most important skills a barista should have, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a POS system or a digital register. Sometimes, on top of making several drinks and attending the cash register, baristas are asked questions. 

They will need to be able to answer these questions effectively while remembering the exact drinks and cash flow. All of this can add to stressful situations, especially in a busy shop. 

All baristas need to be able to work under the continuous pressure of a busy and impatient work environment while staying perfectly cool and calm. 

Can you calculate the exact change within seconds to give to a customer? Can you count every cent that moves through your hands during the busiest hour? These are all valuable skills that will make or break your barista career! 

Take a look at some of the key multitasking abilities a barista needs to have under the belt!

  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Calmness
  • Efficiency
  • Adequate stress management
  • Initiative
  • Flexibility

Along with multitasking comes the speed and efficiency you, as the barista, should be performing at. Somebody who is an expert at serving coffee seems to move like a multi-armed creature while maintaining a high standard of coffee. If you can do this, your path of becoming a barista just got easier!

4. Responsibility and reliability

How good you are with timing can make you succeed or fail in the barista industry. If your boss, managers, and coworkers can trust you to show up on time, they will know that they can depend on you. This makes you a good asset to your employer, especially with the uncertain shift switching that often happens in this field. 

Though you can mention and elaborate on this skill in an interview, showing them during work hours will only benefit you. Hiring managers will want to know if you will be able to take responsibility for your actions. 

You can show this skill by simply showing up a few minutes early to your shift, dressed in appropriate and clean attire. And yes, this is a skill! 

When responsibility and reliability come to mind, also consider these keywords when thinking barista skills:

  • Timeliness
  • Punctuality
  • Professionalism
  • Dependability
  • Flexibility
  • Correctly following instructions
  • Reliable

5. Knowledge and technical skills

The best thing about some coffee shops is that they don’t refrain from hiring baristas who have no experience making coffee and other beverages. This makes the barista industry a wonderful chance for new workers who are courageous to learn and study the art of having their first paying job! 

However, quite a few companies require you to have some experience. You will need to read the job listing very carefully, and if there are any technical skills required, you will need to provide them with clear and truthful evidence of your skills.

Following are a few things a hiring manager might ask you to do during an interview to become a barista:

  • Tea
  • Coffee drinks and coffee tastings
  • Taking or counting inventory
  • Latte art
  • Juice bar drinks
  • Specialty coffee drinks
  • Basic health and safety codes

Generally, it isn’t a lengthy process to become a barista. It can take as little as a few weeks to learn the basics of several coffee drinks and how to create them. 

The first weeks of your training are absolutely crucial. If you learn and pick up things easily, you can definitely use your training time to your advantage!

6. Cleanliness and hygiene

The best for last! Cleanliness and hygiene are one of the biggest skills a barista should have. Exactly knowing how to clean the machines and workstations is crucial, so it’s safe to say that a barista’s job description goes far beyond just making and serving coffee.

You also need to double-check that all equipment and cups are sterilized and ready to use. Baristas need to have the necessary skills to wipe table surfaces, mop floors, and make sure they don’t leave anything behind. 

Maintaining personal hygiene is crucial by making sure your clothes look neat and that you are well-groomed. 

Furthermore, having health and safety skills that you will be able to apply in your workspace will go a long way to assure that you, your customers, and your colleagues are never put in danger. 

A skill might include that you took a first-aid course. This means you will be the one who is responsible for being on the scene if there is ever a serious incident that requires immediate attention! A skill like this will make you a great asset to any hiring business. 


As a barista, you will be the face of the coffee shop, so having a wide variety of different skills and exactly knowing when to apply them will ensure that you flourish in this unique and fun work environment.

Having a unique set of skills will leave an impression on the customers, creating a healthy business flow. If you are unsure about each of these barista skills, it might be time to step up your game!