Barista Exchange Program

Barista Exchange Program

We’re really happy to write about our first ever barista exchange that took place this February between Coffee Collective and Prufrock Coffee - a partnership that has flourished through years of working so closely together. Anna Ida, the bar manager at Coffee Collective Jægersborggade in Copenhagen came to be with us at Prufrock Coffee for two weeks while our very own manager Ewelina ventured over to Coffee Collective in Copenhagen.

The idea behind the barista exchange is to enable individuals to work in different environments and exchange knowledge. We believe in sharing and learning from each other to be able to move forward and grow within this rapidly changing industry. We definitely see great value and purpose in the barista exchange, a brilliant way to inspire each other, cultivate new friendships and raise questions on why we do what we do.

Read more about Anna and Ewelinas' personal experiences below:

Anna Idas' experience:
What was your personal expectation?
The barista exchange program is something new that we just incorporated in our master level program at Coffee Collective. It’s for staff that have been here for 3 years. The exchange is really about sharing knowledge, learning and being inspired by each other. I am the first person to try the exchange and I was excited to meet others from our industry, work in a different environment and see how the exchange goes!

What did you find difficult / challenging? 
The most difficult part was probably the food menu, being on till on the first day and having many people asking questions about dishes etc. But that’s also the fastest way to learn. You learn by doing and failing.

What did you find easy?
I found it very easy to blend in and to be part of the team. People were kind to me; we all have coffee in common so it was very easy to connect with each other.

Any cultural differences you noticed?
Not really, it felt easy because I speak english very well and lived in London in the past so I was very comfortable at work and going around the city.

Would you do it again, or do anything differently?
Yes absolutely! 100%, the exchange is a great way to get to know other baristas and work together. We get to see different ways of doing things but also similarities. We can always become better by learning from each other. The exchange is a great way to stay open minded. I think one thing to improve on would be more training (a full day). Going through the entire menu, tea, coffees and food. It would also be nice to look at pictures of the team and some info about each one to know them a little before starting.


 Ewelinas' experience: 
What was your personal expectations? 
I wanted to understand if and how we could make the exchange work in the future - and to build a solid foundation for the next baristas. 

What did you find difficult/challenging?

Danish for the first couple of days :) 

What did you find easy?

Blending in behind the bar. The guys were lovely and patient and quickly made me feel at home. It was very easy to get into their workflow. After a couple of hours it felt as normal as being behind the bar at Prufrock.

Any cultural differences you noticed? 

People very much respect their private space, they don’t like sharing tables, which is very different to London, where we are used to being squeezed on the tube, bus and coffee shops. 

Would you do it again? What would you do differently?

Yes, tomorrow if I could! I loved the experience and the time I spent with the people at Coffee Collective. For me as a General Manager, it felt that after two weeks it was time to go back to Prufrock, but in the future baristas should stay longer to get fully immersed into the work life elsewhere.

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