Types of Jobs in the Coffee Business

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The U.S. is the largest consumer of coffee in the world, with over 400 million cups consumed every day. Coffee shops are increasing seven percent every year, making it the fastest-growing segment of the restaurant industry, according to Coffee-Statistics.com. Coffee is clearly big business; thus, if you want to turn your passion for caffeine into a permanent occupation, there are popular careers to be had.

Coffee Shop Manager

  • A coffee shop manager is one of many customer service roles in the coffee industry. If you work as a shop manager for a chain, you will typically have an oversight role to ensure that food and service meet company standards. You will also be involved in hiring as well as bulk ordering coffee and food from the central supplier. Coffee shop managers have often worked their way up from baristas (coffee servers) to assistant managers to manager.

Coffee Supplier

  • A coffee supplier acts as middleman between coffee growers and the bean-buying cafes and shops. To be a coffee supplier, you must be a coffee expert, knowledgeable on varieties and sales trends. You must have strong business and organizational skills to arrange packaging and shipping. You must also be equally comfortable speaking to top coffee chain executives and growers. Language skills are extremely useful here, particularly Spanish, since so many coffees come from South America.

Coffee Taster

  • A coffee supplier wanting to sell to a chain must submit beans to the company's coffee tasters. A taster (much like a wine taster) has an extremely advanced sense of taste and smell. For example, top Italian coffee taster Michele Mastrantuono can distinguish between 100 types of coffee. A taster's job is to determine the quality and usability of beans and develop new blends. The taster does not actually swallow the coffee, because it would mean drinking more than 100 cups per day. Instead, the taster sucks it from a spoon to the back of the mouth to sample the flavors, then spits it out.

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  • Photo Credit cup of coffee in coffee beans image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com Coffee image by Salem Alforaih from Fotolia.com man drinking coffee image by Leticia Wilson from Fotolia.com
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