What Is The Best Job To Have If You're Too Young To Bartend?

By Ori Geshury

I just talked to a girl, who is very serious about bartending, but won't be 18 for almost a year. She was wondering what job would be the best for her to prepare to be successful in the industry

She also happened to be going to school in New York, and surrounded by dozens of high quality, 3rd wave coffee shops.  The answer was obvious:

She also, apparently, happened to be going to school in New York, and surrounded by dozens of high quality, 3rd wave coffee shops. 

The answer seemed obvious to me:

Start as a barista.  

Every city has Thursday night throwdowns where baristas compete with each other to see who can make the best latte art.

Dealing with customers:

Caffeine affects people in a very different way than alcohol does, it stimulates adenosine receptors, promoting alertness, energy, and tension.  Alcohol relaxes inhibitions, and promotes mild euphoria. 

Because of this, many people rely on coffee to kickstart the day, and will be in a worse mood without it.  If you can handle them, the crowd bartenders deal with will seem easy by comparison.

Attention to detail - From weekly cuppings where taste is developed, to technical closing checklists and handling espresso machines that cost more than starter cars, coffee culture rewards the kind of obsessive attention to detail that is essential in a bar.

If you're under 18 and have a passion for the industry, try to get a job in a 3rd wave coffee shop.  The reason 3rd wave coffee is better than national coffee chains is that you'll learn more learning with the owners, than you will following a procedure that is set up by a higher power, or corporate entity, such as what happens within Starbucks. You will also get a larger variety of sampling and be exposed to way more of the culture than you would be if you stayed in a chain.

If you'd like to start bartending school click this link!