The barista look on Steve Davis, Espresso Evangelist, Baristador Coffee

This is an example of the 'barista look'

I just caught myself slipping into a ‘barista look’ while whipping up an espresso at home.

You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

Take a closer look at the baristas next time you have coffee at a proper, espresso-making cafe.

Standing behind their machines they adopt a look that is part boredom, part nonchalance, part ‘I’m really too cool to be doing this’, and part ‘I may be looking cool but I am expertly managing the elements to serve you a perfect espresso’.

I started noticing myself adopt this look (well, not as cool as the real baristas but there in spirit) a few weeks ago.

As I shoot some hot water from my machine through the portafilter and filter basket (the part of the espresso machine that holds the coffee grounds) to warm it, the look begins. Then, as a grab for my quarantined tea towel set aside for coffee making, and begin drying the filter basket before tamping in the coffee grounds, the look has truly set in.

Why does this happen?

I think this personallity transformation occurs because espresso making involves a series of small but important steps, carried out with quite some rapidity (and repetition when entertaining), on the way to delivering the most majestic of beverages.

The blend of culture, expectation and responsibility creates the atmosphere to slip into a role-playing mindset.

Does this affect you equally?