Help Wanted: Must Make Coffee, Change World

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2008 3:25 PM CST
Baristas participate in espresso training at a Starbucks in New York.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Coffee is pretty serious stuff in Portland, Oregon, but a relatively new shop on the block is taking the preparation of caffeinated beverages to a rarified extreme, the New York Times reports. The Ladybug Organic Coffee Company requires applicants for barista positions to fill out a five-page application, complete with 10 essay questions such as “What is something that you do on a regular basis to make the world a better place?”

More than 2,000 people have downloaded the application from the store's website since 2007 and 150 have finished it. Only 25 have been hired. Some in the business laugh off the intensity, but an instructor at a Portland barista school (yep, they exist) notes that "a barista has a unique position in the community, and personality is important. It’s very rare to get a job just by dropping off a résumé.”