The Everyday Struggles of Being a Starbucks Barista

I believe I’ve mentioned this before, but I love my job. I love being able to make peoples’ day by adding a caramel heart on a latte or making a S’more frappucino look extra-Instagram perfect.

However, as with all things, there are stereotypes and other things about being a Starbucks barista that I can’t really seem to shake. Here’s just a few:


The Disdain of Local Coffee Shop Baristas
While I love my ‘Bux coffee, I love my local coffee shops more. They possess unique qualities that make such local shops as The Morning Times, Global Village, and Jubala some of my favorite haunts.
However, while chatting up the baristas, I usually ask for tips about how to perfect my latte art. They usually get more animated about my being a barista, but when they find that I work at Starbucks, I get this immediate look of disdain every single time. It’s like working for Starbucks destroys my legitimacy as a barista, and it drives me crazy.
Come on, guys. We’re all baristas here.

The Online Rants against Starbucks
“Starbucks has no quality!”
“You pay for the brand, not the quality!”
“Starbucks baristas don’t know anything about coffee!”
“Starbucks is so basic!”
I know I shouldn’t, but I take such rants against Starbucks and its baristas very personally. I feel like I do well at my job, and I definitely know a good deal more about coffee than most coffee “aficionados.”
Yes, I get that Starbucks is super “mainstream,” and our coffee is a bit expensive, but if you’ve ever visited local coffee shops, you know that every single one of them is just as pricey as Starbucks.
Give me some credit, y’all. You can bet that (if you’re nice to me,) I’ll make the best coffee you’ve ever had or I’ll remake it. I’m cool like that.

“You Look Like You’d Work at Starbucks”
What?! What does this even mean? Because I’m blonde and white? Ugh stereotypes.


Basically, I resent any stereotypes that are held against us Starbucks baristas. I read online all the time these tidbits that mock the legitimacy of Starbucks baristas as “baristas,” that we don’t know how to make anything, that we wouldn’t survive in a “real” coffee shop. I’d like to be taken seriously as a barista outside of Starbucks, just once.

Put me to the test, y’all. I think I’ll surprise you.

Keep it cool, keep it classy,
Kristin ❤

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