this is rhetorical:

My coworker, Janice*; is a barista.

I am a baristo.

We are baristi.

Yes? No?


Why not?

Talk amongst yourselves.

--EDIT-- 05/06/2008
for clarity - and the title "Barista"

I'd like to know what YOU think of the phrase...

if you're fine with 'barista' that's awesome - but that is not what I'm interested in; but how you feel about it... how do you perceive yourself in that title and how do you project yourself - in any title - toward the public from behind the bar? to your friends? to your colleagues? etc. etc.

can we be more than 'barista'?

--EDIT-- 06/03/2008

I'm not talking about gender-role, I'm talking title; I'm not talking pay, I'm talking perception; I'm not talking about YOU, I'm talking WE.

*not a real person

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In southern Middle TN there are few who know what a Barista is... I have to tell them it's a 'coffee bartender'. I'm going to have a tough time teaching them to say Celtic Cup pronounced "ket-tic" which is the proper way. To say it "sell-tic" is an Anglicized version that was started in England. The Celtic people were the Kells which predates the Roman invasion. I like Baristo better then Barista for a man... cool! Anyone speak Italian, it this proper? If I have to educate folks I might as well do it right.
no, but I know someone who does. I'll get back to you on that if I can get an answer.
hmmm, i too have wondered this and asked my only male coworker.
have you come to a conclusion???
not yet - I want to make the title fit (other than 'barista') the attitude I have -

on some days maybe I'm a barista -

but on others I'm an espresso slinger -

- or even change those titles between customers?

side note:

I still like baristi for groups of us all, though...
maybe baristae???

sapiens baristae???

I don't think a position title is related to your mood that day.
"Webster's New Millennium™ Dictionary of English -barista
Part of Speech: n
Definition: a person who works at the counter of a coffee shop; a coffee bar server
Example: He plans to become a barista at Starbucks.
Etymology: 1982; Ital
Usage: pl. baristi "

Lately I've been pondering this term, "barista" and what it means to me. I had recently posted, and deleted, a forum about the use of the term "industry professional" or "professional" and when you can call yourself one, amongst other issues. So what are "we?" With MacDonalds now serving "Fresh Ground Espresso" (wtf?!) then what are we? Even MacDonalds employees are now "baristas." Not that it is needed, but how do we defend our craft? Public cuppings are great, educating our customers is awesome and fun, but is there a way to fight back. I know I'm beating this to death, and I hope I have not offended anyone.

What is everyone's thoughts on this?
I think this is when organizations like the BARISTA Guild of America need to step up and fulfill the definition of "Guild". From the EU (when salient to Labor/industry): Organization of skilled craftsmen acting as a mutual benefit society to take care of the needs of its members.

I'd say right now we need to defend our titles and the legitimacy of the definition of "Barista".

In my experience, I've educated my customers, friends, and family on coffee. But seldom do I included my role in the craft. It's something that's a little more difficult to explain without an espresso machine and grinder in front of you. We strive to educate the public about specialty coffee, but should we include our role? Is that too egotistical? If you walked into a cafe, and the barista was talking about what they do to make their 'spro "flow," would you be disgusted?
If they used the word "spro", I would probably think that they don't respect their craft enough for me to respect their job title.

I correct people when I can. Every barista serves coffee. Not every coffee server is a barista. This was about the only reason I joined the BGA in the first place.

These days, I feel more like I joined a self-gratifying fraternity than an actual industry organization. Maybe that's just me. I don't hate the BGA, but I don't think it's doing its job.
I have yet to join BGA, I have a public "account" but nothing special.

Where would you draw the line of the term "barista?"

There are some employees at reputable companies, who have served me a horrific beverage. Then there are some employees at Starbucks, who have a passion for coffee, but they're just "stuck" there.

I don't necessarily believe that there has to be a line. Not everything can be black and white with coffee.

Mentality? Skill? Maybe a combination of the mentality with the development of a skill level?

Should there be a universal certification that accompanies the business wanting to call themselves a "specialty coffee" shop? I work at Trabant Coffee (Seattle,WA) as a "certfied barista." My certification and training isn't the same as Vivace or Stumptown. Should there be a fundamental certification of what all baristas have in common?
Yes, there should be. And this is a line and definition for the BGA to approach earnestly.

A "Cerified Barista" should mean certified to SCAA or BGA standards.

The SCAE has something like this, as does the AASCA. Why don't we?

Maybe the inner turmoil that the SCAA experienced in the last couple of years has something to do with it, but we are sadly behind.
Is it safe to say that if "SCAA is the world's largest coffee trade association." then we should also be a shining example?

Does anyone from BGA or SCAA care to comment from their hotel room?

I am fully supportive of the SCAA, I just am viewing this topic as "how can we improve our industry and craft"

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