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Working as a Barista

Working as a Barista

To Kit Yan Glenda's Story
Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine

HKU has no shortage of coffee fiends, as you can tell from the never-ending café queues during lunch. But some students take their passion even further. One of them is To Kit Yan, Glenda, a fourth year nursing student, a coffee lover who worked as a part-time barista for the social enterprise Café 330 last year.

“I wanted to get involved because I love coffee!” explained Glenda with a laugh. The self-proclaimed caffeine addict already uses plenty of coffee-making apparatuses (including a French press and coffee pod machine) at home, but Glenda wanted to go above and beyond. After completing Café 330’s trainee programme, she started working as a real-life barista at the social enterprise.   

Glenda was a whizz at making latte art. “I’d practise every chance I got!” she said. Takeaway cups were Glenda’s battlefield, as she could practise to her heart’s content, knowing that any errant mistake would be masked soundly by the coffee lid. Glenda’s favourite shape to make was the heart. “I can make double hearts, empty hearts, full hearts…” she counted thoughtfully. “I like how there could be so many different styles!”

Photo of a cup of coffee prepared by Glenda
“As part of the society, we should be more understanding and accepting.”

Apart from teaching her to make the perfect cup of joe, this unique job also strengthened Glenda’s calling towards mental health nursing. “As Café 330 is a social enterprise that employs persons in rehabilitation, I learned a lot about mental health needs,” Glenda explained. “Unfortunately, many people feel stuck in their paths due to emotional hardship… As part of the society, we should be more understanding and accepting.”

So the next time you buy your daily java at Café 330, savour it slowly – it’s a pick-me-up in more ways than one!

Written by:
Tse Mei Ying Gabrielle
Year 4, Faculty of Law
January, 2021

Working as a Barista