The labour force responsible for preparing coffee, and for creating the Cafe atmosphere we’re all accustomed to.

Employment: 121,189 (UK, 2018)

Most jobs offered by the industry are relatively low skilled and the majority of vacancies are part-time positions. As a result, the industry has a relatively large labour force and average wages are low.

Quirky Teas

– What do you think of ‘coffee culture’?

‘I think it definitely exists…Considering my business is called ‘Quirky Teas’ and everyone comes in for coffee!’

– How did you become involved in the industry?

‘My husband’s in the military, and I needed something to do at home because I have three sons. Until they were at school I couldn’t go back to being an accountant because he was never here, so I started baking from home. And then I started delivering afternoon teas to people’s houses. Then I started doing christening and weddings, and it just got bigger and bigger. I got offered two other places before I took on this place.

I opened up this shop July, last year, and we’ve been for training at Devon Coffee company. They are probably the best support system from a coffee company because they give all your staff free training. They help maintain your coffee machines as well, to give it regular maintenance in case anything goes wrong. They want the best quality of their coffee, and everyone compliments us on the quality of our coffee here. I think it’s because of them and their training – because they obviously want their product to go out and be the best…You can actually go and sit with them and come up with your own blend – that’s what we did.’

Plymouth University

 UPSU: Costa

– What do you think of the ‘speciality’ coffee movement?

It’s very exciting, as we go into a whole world of new flavours and possibilities.

– Do you know where your coffee is sourced from?

Yes, we like to always use local as that’s very important. We use a company called ‘Moore Coffee’

– Do you drink coffee? If so, what kind, and how do you like it?

I’m more of a tea kinda gal, but when I’m shattered from working a lot of hours I do treat myself to an espresso!

– Do you like or dislike being a Barista?

I LOVE it.

– Do you think you should know more about any aspects of coffee?

Yes, you can never stop learning.

– Describe what coffee is to you in a word or two.

Tranquil energy.

– How would you describe the majority of your customers?


– In a sentence or two, describe what you think the coffee industry is.

Going to a coffee shop, to have a chat because your having a bad day and want to have a delicious drink!

– How do you think the coffee industry will be in 10 years time?

Vegan, LOL.

– Does ‘coffee culture’ exist in the UK?

Yes, but not like Italy or Amsterdam (my two fave places, coffee being the main factor)

Starbucks & Costa

Anonymous, Costa: 

‘I drink a lot of coffee just to feel alive. I had 4 coffees before I came to work this morning, and I woke up an hour before I started my shift. I usually have a shot over water – that’s because I’m quite an environmentalist. I don’t like drinking too much milk.’

– Are you vegan or vegetarian?

‘Neither, because you don’t have to cut it out completely, I think you just have to start reducing.’

– How do you think the coffee industry will be in 10 years time?

‘I think every other shop that you look at on the high street will be a coffee shop. Since I started working at Costa 4 stores have sprung up in Plymouth alone.’

‘We all want our own unique coffee I find. A lot of the regulars that come in will have only one shot or an extra shot, or they will have their unique twist on it.’

– Do you like being a Barista?

‘I like being a Barista, I don’t like working in customer service. That’s the most honest answer I can give you. Making coffee’s great – if I didn’t get complaints. Making coffee feels great – if I didn’t have to do it as the same speed McDonald’s makes their food. I want to take my time and make nice looking coffee. Particularly, in this job, it’s more of a fast-food coffee shop, so… I’m just being brutally honest on my last day mate – I don’t care.’

Aiden, from ‘Hi Coffee’:

‘I think fair trade only works when used properly – it often makes 1 producer richer, and the surrounding producers’ poorer.

There are 150 types of coffee beans. The western world uses only two.

We have a three-bean blend, all roasted in small batches to avoid over roasting and burnt flavours, unlike larger companies like Starbucks, which have one bean blends that are over roasted – due to their large batch sizes. Our coffee is roasted in Glasgow.

Our main selling point is our actual coffee quality: not sugar-pumped items. A lot of our drinks are done just slightly different to other companies. I.E, Our flat white is smaller than most others because we use a full double expresso – using the coffees cream: the richest tasting part of the coffee.

The coffee market is very much a youth-driven market. I think the growing ‘complexity’ of coffee scares away the older generations, whereas the youth in this country jump on it, as it is new and different.

Personally, I think I should know more about our coffees origins and its process from bean to cup.’

The Good Coffee Company

Marks & Spencer