Saudi aid agency launches project to help Syrian orphans in Jordan
JEDDAH: Saudi baristas in cafes in most major cities in the Kingdom say they have received widespread support from people they come into contact with at work.
Arab News spoke to some of them about their experiences.
Taibah Ibrahim Al-Ruhaili, a barista in her twenties, joined Joffrey Cafe in Jeddah 15 months ago after applying for barista jobs at numerous cafes.
She said her dream of being a barista finally came true thanks to her passion for coffee.
“I’m a coffee enthusiast and would love to learn more about the secrets of making great coffee,” she said.
The biggest challenge she faced was work pressure and customer relationship. However, she said she managed to overcome all the obstacles.
Recalling his first day, Al-Ruhaili said, “The team members who worked with me were very cooperative and I quickly learned the skills that baristas need in their job. It made me come every day with more eagerness and willingness to learn something new,” she added.
Al-Ruhaili said she has learned both to satisfy her customers with cups of coffee that hit the mark, to take responsibility and to bear the pressure of work.
“I learned self-discipline and commitment. I also learned how important career achievements are. In fact, I learned a lot of things that I was not aware of before.
This was not accepted in the past, but over time people have become civilized and it has become normal to see women working everywhere. Some of my male clients proudly introduce me to their families. These families are now my frequent clients.
Entasar Hubail, a barista from Eastern Province, joined Starbucks in 2019 and has since been promoted from barista to shift manager and now assistant store manager.
Hubail said she loves coffee and has volunteered at coffee shows and even bought a coffee machine for her brother, although she was the one who ended up using it.
“I still remember when I bought my first bag of coffee beans at Starbucks and made coffee from them. I signed up for coffee roasting classes and learned new techniques,” she said.
She is also a chocolatier and practices pastry. The time came when she had to decide whether to pursue cooking or join a coffee business. She chose the latter and ended up at Starbucks.
Talking about what attracted her to this position, she said that when she applied she was surprised to have been accepted for the position, which she said showed the focus of the company. on promoting gender diversity and attracting local talent.
When she started, Hubail had mixed feelings of surprise, happiness, and fear. “I was afraid because I was a very shy person and suddenly I was going to deal with colleagues and clients. In fact, I wanted to take this job opportunity to overcome my inhibitions and focus on understanding the coffee industry and building a future in this great company.
Like Al-Ruhaili, Hubail’s biggest challenge was dealing with customers; it was the first time she communicated with strangers. She said that with time and practice, she was able to overcome her fears.
“The first day I went to work was a really scary experience. It was like my first day at school. I even wanted my mother and my sister to work with me. Fortunately, I was able to overcome my fears by pushing myself more and more,” she said.
Faten Bahussein, a university graduate in Islamic studies, is also a coffee enthusiast whose mornings start with a cup at home before heading to the Chocochino cafe, where she works.
“I had an old coffee machine and practiced making coffee during the curfew period. It helped me become good at it and it reflected positively on my current career,” Bahussein said.
After nearly four years working as a barista, Bahussein said she noticed how much happier people looked when they saw a Saudi woman working in a restaurant.
“It was not accepted in the past, but over time people have become civilized and it has become normal to see women working everywhere. Some of my male clients proudly introduce me to their families. These families are now my frequent clients,” she said.