A Letter to my 16 Year Old Self (as a budding Barista)

Dear 16-year-old-Izzy,

You’ve decided that coffee shops are where you want to work, as it seems more interesting to you than any of those other ‘boring shop jobs’ you could get. Oh how little do you realise how this is going to shape your future.

I know, it’s been difficult. You’ve been visiting your local Costa Coffee for years now, and upon handing in your CV they said they would be passing it on (but honestly - I have a huge inkling that they simply put it into the bin once you had your back turned).

I’m proud of you, because you didn’t turn your back on any more opportunities and give up like most people would do. Instead, you set up this cute little blog. For the majority of the world you keep it a secret, but you put it pride of place on your CV to give you that little ounce extra of experience which may set you apart from other candidates. And guess what - I still do it today, and heck yes - it’s one of our greatest achievements and remains with pride slap bang at the beginning of my CV.

This is where you’re going to find a job listing for a relatively new shop in Birmingham called Yorks Coffee. You shouldn’t go for it but you do anyway, and you get the job! Wow, well don’t you feel grown up. Here’s a little realism for you: You really aren’t.

These people use you and manipulate you because hey, you’re 16 years old and friendly. You know what that equals? Being a human dishwasher and being stuck on the till for your constant eight hours of work.

Sounds dull and exhausting, but you’re a trooper. You never took it to heart, and understood that this swanky new coffee shop in Birmingham would only allow the best of the best baristas on the coffee machine, and you of course were not up to that standard. You will get a HUGE workbook regarding coffee training, and it will be totally infuriating to never get enough spare time between studying to plough through it and make some coffee.

Okay, you will quit this job, and in some ways you’ll feel even more grown up because you did this. What’s even scarier than getting your first proper job is leaving it, and you leave with your head held high. I mean, they were very d***ish and you never blame yourself over your demise. Better things are to come, and the coffee part of you is here to stay.

I’m going to break it to you, you’re going to have a really rough few years. You’re going to be prodded and pulled, ditched by those who you thought were genuine friends, and also pushed to your limits both mentally and emotionally. Scared? You should be, but it’ll pass. You’ll only get one more coffee shop job more in Birmingham before you leave for University in London, but my gosh - once you get out of the Midlands you’re going to begin the rest of your life.

Oh, and your blog never stopped - it just kept growing, and people define you as a person through it now. Sounds weird and cringe-worthy, I know - especially at your time when you remained the blog on a hush hush due to the amount of negativity you received from it. But this all changed, and don’t ever give it up. It’s your haven, and you’ve developed as a barista throughout the many years of talking to other coffee lovers over the years. You’re at peak of your barista career so far, and you’re just going to keep on going.

And my gosh, you will be so proud of yourself. Just keep hanging on - you’ll get there.


#coffee #barista #blogger #baristablogger #filtercoffee #cafe