Photographer: Adrianne Ohan
Photographer: Adrianne Ohan

The Global Barista Survey

In cities around the world, coffee shop employees tend to have certain traits in common. They’re young. On the edgy side of stylish. And probably not in their dream job. What does the future look like to the espresso-pulling set?
Krystallia Ninou, Athens
Krystallia Ninou, Athens

Age 24

Weekly take-home pay: €200 ($224) 

Are things getting better or worse for you?

I’d be doing better if we weren’t in an economic crisis. I used to make much more. Clients don’t have as much money, so they don’t come as often, and there’s been a huge decrease in tip money. Also, employers use the economic crisis as a viable excuse to lower wages.

Photograph and interview by Eirini Vourloumis

Yanan Zang, Shanghai
Yanan Zang, Shanghai

Age 25

Weekly take-home pay: 1,000 yuan ($157)

Are things getting better or worse for you?

Better. I’m getting to know more people through this job, and they ask me to do drawing or design work on the side.

What would you do if you got a windfall?

Travel. It’s not that important where, just somewhere beautiful. 

Photograph and interview by Eric Michael Johnson

Peter Ochieng, Nairobi
Peter Ochieng, Nairobi

Age 24

Weekly take-home pay: 3,750 shillings ($36)

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’m sure I’ll have my own company. I’m always thinking up new ideas and trying to do something different. I’d like to create my own products, like a clothing line. But that’s just one idea.

What would you do if you got a windfall?

My business would be started tomorrow.

Photograph and interview by Adriane Ohan

Viviana López, Buenos Aires
Viviana López, Buenos Aires

Age 21

Weekly take-home pay: 1,700 pesos ($181)

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I would like to be a teacher—a university teacher in communications. But also I would like to keep being a barista. I love everything related to coffee.

Would you rather live somewhere else?

Right now, I like Argentina a lot, and I want to try my luck. But I’d also like to know Canada. I like the ambiance.

Photograph and interview by Albano Garcia

Ruslan Ashurbaev, Moscow
Ruslan Ashurbaev, Moscow

Age 23

Weekly take-home pay: 12,000 rubles ($183)

Are things getting better or worse for you?

The dollar increased, so for sure it isn’t good. Everything changed in this country, absolutely everything.

Would you rather live somewhere else?

I do not care where I live. The more important [question is] how a man can set his life. Anywhere, you can find your place.

Photograph and interview by Igor Starkov