this is rhetorical:

My coworker, Janice*; is a barista.

I am a baristo.

We are baristi.

Yes? No?

Why?

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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I assume you mean my original post... yes - I concede that "baristo" is not the masculine form of "barista" - gender neutral as Jason has said...

I suppose this discussion has reverted to semantics instead of perception applied to position...

that may be due to my first postulation and the way I fronted the query...

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

if you're fine with 'barista' that's awesome - but 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'?
Way to go Tom, you done stirred up a hornet's nest of debate.
My reply is simple: make amazing coffee.
Here's a little story as example:
My shop is in the middle of the business district. Lots of office regulars and lots of indie coffeeshops (plus the Green Giant). One of my regs. brought his wife in. She was visiting the office for the first time and noticed a shelf lined with to go cups. When asked, he explained that they were from all the local shops the office visits and were ranked in order of their favorites. Ours was close to the top. They don't care if we have accreditations or awards or if God personally blessed our tamper; all they care about is that we make amazing coffee.
That's all I need to fulfill my sense of self worth.
I think when Jason and I were first going back and forth about this, the point was on how to defend the "barista" craft. It was never about mainstreaming our recipes, or techniques, it was about how we ARE baristas, not "Cash-istas" or "Button-Push-istas." I asked if there was a universal fundamental certification in the works somewhere. Fundamentals being the key. We can all agree on espresso preparation, for the most part. And no where in there does it include "Step 1, push button. Step 2, serve drink." The word "barista" has been mainstreamed.

How do we defend our craft?
damn you and your simplicities! Can't you throw a few rocks at that nest too?! ;)

...I'm gonna come see you at T2 now...

but only because I agree with you, and I'm tired and I want to inflate your self-worth because you make some tasty shots... >:)
Ah man, Jeff I missed you too!

I know what you mean about the 'Love' - sure; I could have passed up Tatiana's offer last year when she saw me on the sidewalk, sellin' clothes to the goth kids on Broadway...

But Dammit-All, this is a great gig. Where else do you get to wax poetic and philosophize about everything and nothing with awesome random/everyday people? Honing your craft and taking knowledge from others and passing it on down the line?

Making it look pretty...

Gratuity...

Synessos...

Hella street cred...

;)
Jeff and Tom, I'm gonna miss working with you two...
(wipe away beer induced tear...)
When all is said and done it's about seeing that expression on somebody's face that reads, "Damn, that tastes incredible."...
Sending somebody into a moment of pure pleasure, working someone's taste buds like they were a musical instrument, and the ego gratification I get from them having to come back for more...
Screw adulation from my peers, give me an enthralled regular...
And the Street Cred, yo...
Alright, for those of you who have been following the "What are we?" forum discussion, please indulge your time into this article also.

My manager brought this article to my attention and I was fully offended.

While waiting to board the plane to Minneapolis for SCAA Conference and USBC, I read an article pointing out that the public believes Starbucks is good coffee because they tell them it's good coffee. We stress educating our customers and public.
Irrespective of what public perception of the word is I am proud to call myself a Barista.

Sbx &McD will never take that title from me because in my heart that's what I am - a lover of an idealised traditional italian bar, run by family, same customers back every day because the coffee and the conversation add to their lives.

My actual title is 'coffee training executive' I've also been a 'Cafe/Restaurant manager' a 'site director' and a 'general assisstant', regardless I always say I'm a Barista - and I love my job
I also am proud to be an actual barista. True, Starbucks can't take that title from you, but they have taken the word.


"Experts?" (taken from article in linked above)...wtf?
*continuation of thought.

We stress educationg our customers and public, is it time to accent how we differ from SBUX?

I'm not a SBUX basher, I respect what they've done. Could we still charge what we do if they hadn't mainstreamed "good coffee?"
In Italy, a retail cafe is called a "BAR" ... often you can get espresso, alcohol, pastries, panini, etc.

In the Italian language "ista" is added to a word to express that someone is an enthusiast, operator, etc. and that it is their profession/hobby.

If you ride a Ducati motorcycle, you are a "Ducatista" ...

Now this may not work for all Italian words obviously, but a Bar-ista is well defined by this model. It is not feminine as the word applies to all people who serve espresso.

The plural is Bar-isti ... however, in the US, it is not as common of a translation. No one orders two Pizzi right?

Sorry if I am repeating anyones past posts, but thought I'd chime in.

- Matt
I heard that originally the "barista" was the coffee stand. Not the employee.

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