Going on her fourth year as a part time barista, University of Oregon junior Lydia Fecker is a seasoned coffee connoisseur. Her warm and inviting personality is enough to make even the grumpiest customer smile while they’re waiting for their morning dose of caffeine. At this point in her career, Lydia can make any drink on the menu from memory.
This wasn’t always the case.
Lydia stopped by her local coffee spot almost every single morning on her way to school. When she came in for her interview, her manager actually recognized her as one of their regulars.
“I had been dreaming about how fun it would be to work there, interact with customers, and make a fun group of work friends,” she said. “By the time I showed up to my first day of training, I had completely forgotten that, while working, I’d have to have drink recipes memorized and ready to be made already in my mind.”
In fact, the baristas at Lydia’s coffee shop are expected to know how much sweetener, syrup, ice and espresso every drink gets just off the top of their heads, adding up to around 80,000 drink variations.
She spent the first week of training trying her best to memorize drinks on the spot. Feeling overwhelmed, she turned to a coworker and fellow student for advice. They told her to look up Quizlet barista study sets when she was off work.
“I had been using Quizlet since middle school, so when they suggested that I use it for memorizing drinks, a light just kind of ‘dinged’ in my head, like, oh duh! I was using it to memorize terms for my classes, why wouldn’t I give it a try for drink combinations?” she said.
When she got home from work that evening, Lydia logged onto Quizlet, expecting to need to create her own study set. Instead, she was surprised to find an entire community of baristas that had already created study sets with information regarding drink orders, secret recipes and tips and tricks of the trade.
“It made me feel thankful, for one, because I didn’t have to go in and create my own set, but also because I found out that I wasn’t alone and that many other new hires had been feeling the same way that I was,” Lydia said.
Pulling up a barista study set soon became a normal routine while taking a quick homework break or waiting for her high school theatre rehearsals to start.
“I really wanted to do well at work, and being able to pull out a study set and quiz myself for even five minutes in between all of my daily activities made it feel easy,” she said.
Now Lydia encourages all of the new hires at her job to spend a little time using Quizlet to memorize at least the most basic drink orders. Learning the ins and outs of a new job can be daunting at times, and having a community of baristas online to study drink orders with makes all the difference!
How COVID-19 is impacting her university experience
Double majoring in Spanish and education, Lydia is curious to see how the next two years at her university are going to play out. As an aspiring third grade Spanish immersion teacher, she highly values in-person, face-to-face interaction with her peers.
“I definitely think that learning the skills to be able to switch between in-person and remote teaching will help me and my future students in the long run,” she said.
Study tips and tricks
“I think that people tend to associate Quizlet with studying for just school, but there are so many other things that you can learn from it,” Lydia said.
Whether she’s making sure that her Spanish isn’t rusty, or learning a new holiday edition drink for work, Lydia is thankful for her time spent studying on Quizlet. Here are a few tips and tricks that she recommends:
If you work at any kind of restaurant and need to memorize seating charts, food specials or drink orders, search Quizlet first for pre-made sets. Someone might have already made one.
Find or create a study set and favorite it so you don’t have to go back and search every time you want to study.
If you’re a barista looking to memorize orders, don’t be afraid to write down tricky recipes on a small notecard and bring it in your pocket to work.
Find a study buddy.
Summary and key takeaways
Quizlet isn’t only for school subjects. You can use it to study anything you need to know, including drink orders, food specials or seating charts that might be useful if you’re working in food service. Spending a few minutes here and there when you have time can add up and pay off. To get the most out of your study sessions, search for pre-made sets first. Then favorite those, or the ones you create, so you can find them easily and maximize your study time.