Careers in Specialty Coffee


How to impress

It’s a cool job, but how do you get behind the coffee machine?

Working for an independent specialty coffee business offers autonomy, creativity, the chance to learn all aspects of running a small business and the joy of building your own base of loyal customers who crave your coffee.

The latte art is pretty, but it’s not the full picture in landing a job in specialty coffee. Here are some top tips.

Lee Harte, founder of Giddy Up Coffee reveals how to impress him as an employer, and progress past the CV and interview stage.

What top 5 skills / qualities are you looking for in a candidate?

The capacity to learn


Observant (and friendly) with people and machines. Both need plenty of care.


Problem solving

How can I impress you during an interview?

Dress to impress as you would for any professional job. (Clean and smart). Be on time. A lot of new candidates rely on google maps for the first time, but spending a little bit of time familiarising yourself with the area before hand will save you from being late.

How should I prepare for an interview?

Do your homework and know who we are and our ethos. The specialty coffee area and Giddy Up as a company has grown a lot since we started several years ago, and knowing what we do helps a lot in you being able to tell us what you can bring to the role and help the business grow.

What should I NOT do during an interview?

Look at your phone. Someone did this recently the entire time…this doesn’t show me you are interested in the role and will be attentive to your job. It shows me you are attentive to your phone.

Do I need lots of experience to work at Giddy Up?

We often interview candidates who have very little experience in coffee (and sometimes none at all).

If the candidate has transferable skills (communication skills, customer service etc) and shows enthusiasm and commitment to learn the trade, we offer a one-on-one mentorship.

Giddy Up happily offer plenty of training time with our new baristas as we do things a little differently to mainstream coffee shops.

Are there any courses I can do in specialty coffee?

The foundation course by the Specialty Coffee Association is a great starting point for certification, and I can also recommend Well Grounded and Prufrock’s Barista Skills Foundation classes. These are by no means a guarantee to a job or required for entry, but can certainly help you on your way in your career in coffee.

Can you recommend any good books to read?

Yes, check out The Professional Barista’s Handbook: An expert Guide to Preparing Espresso, Coffee and Tea by Scott Rao and Espresso Coffee: Professional Techniques by David C. Schomer. David also has a couple of videos on YouTube if you want to go down that rabbit hole! But you can’t beat real hands-on experience, so get yourself out there.

Think you have what it takes? Email your covering letter describing yourself and what type of role you are looking for along with your CV to

We look forward to hearing from you. Good luck!