A Day in the Life of a Barista

Davina Gomez, Writer

Photo by Davina Gomez

Everyone loves a good coffee, no? A typical day in the life of a barista involves preparing and serving beverages to customers, and making sure the coffee shop is clean. It can be very fast-paced and stressful during peak hours. 

Typically, my shifts don’t start till 1:30 pm so I have the morning to myself and to prepare. I try to wake up early and go to the gym or a morning walk, but for the most part, I like to take it slow. I like to focus on getting homework done if I’m behind or just to get a head start. 


At the beginning of my shift, the morning shift gives me a rundown of what we have/don’t have. Also, of what needs to be done and how the morning shift was. When I first started at my barista job, I would work in the mornings a lot, so I know how crazy it can get. I’m one of the main closers now, I don’t mind it, I actually quite like closing. 

We close at 9:00 pm, but I typically like to start closing the store around 3:30 pm. The only reason is because it’s a long process, with the peak hours and we do have downtime to clean and organize the store. We do

Photo by Davina Gomez

bar dishes every day, we wash all of the hot bar dishes and cold bar dishes that we use to make the drinks, we always wash them in the evening so they are clean for the morning shift. I have to take time to schedule breaks and lunches, usually have to time around when certain people leave and sometimes other co-workers need their lunch when I arrive. 

I take my first break around 3:30 pm and I take my lunch around 5:30 pm. Usually, within those two hours, I like to roll up the mats, wash dishes, and get the mop bucket ready. Everyone runs their shifts differently, and I like to have the bigger tasks out of the way so I don’t start stressing the closer it gets to closing time. Our lunch breaks are 30 mins but sometimes we take 45s when it’s dead slow. I like to take this time to do more homework or just take time to decompress and take a breather. 

Photo by Davina Gomez

Around 7:30 pm, I like to have the floors swept and mopped, but it depends on the day and on who you have. Sometimes we get late-night deliveries, which can throw you off. You have to work as a team to get things done, and typically you have that one person that doesn’t like to help out, which can suck because we need all the help we can get. Especially on weekends, they are always busy.  


By 8:30 pm, we start emptying the coffees, making sure the counters and tables are wiped down, checking all of the trash, and making sure everything is restocked. Some days can be pretty stressful but for the most part, it is a pretty fun job.