Becoming a barista

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


What I want to consider in this chapter is the nature of the ubiquitous skills of
making and serving coffees as a barista. Rather than look for general theories of skill that remove it from the particular workplace, tools and contingencies of the job I want instead to try and reveal what the skills are for this particular culture of catering as it is done in a particular place. Doug Harper (D. A. Harper, 1987) meditated in two parton the skills of a rural mechanic. e first part on just what work of that mechanic was in disassembling, repairing and rebuilding and, in the second part, on how nevertheless that was woven into relationships the rural community. What I will do here is borrow that structure to consider just what the work of a barista is in making an espresso-based drink and then turning to that task’s insertion into the order of service in a cafe.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCafe Society
EditorsAksel Tjora, Graham Scambler
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781137275929
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • cafe
  • Coffee
  • skill attainment
  • Ethnography
  • ethnomethodology
  • service industry
  • customers


Dive into the research topics of 'Becoming a barista'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this