Do you think it is hard to become a barista with no experience?

“I mean, how hard can it be to throw some coffee beans into a grinding machine, fill a portafilter and push a button?”

That question garnered a typical response from me to the tune of, “Depends on your natural aptitude, I suspect.”

Sometime later, as I was throwing expensive instant coffee into a mug, the question began to niggle away in my brain and demanded I seek out the facts, not merely express my thoughts on intellect and skill playing any role in the ability to make a great cup of coffee.

What I discovered was that, to some degree, I was right. Natural aptitude and innate talent are certainly skills that cannot be taught and allows the magical barista to transport your taste buds to another realm. I also discovered there is more to being a barista than throwing some coffee into a cup and adding boiling water. In fact, there is only one time a professional barista will ever use instant coffee, and that is when they make a Dalgona coffee.

Oh, you’ve never heard of Dalgona coffee? Truth be known, I had no idea they existed until I began to research all things barista and stumbled across a website for a five-and-a-half-hour barista course.

An hour later, I discovered that my knowledge of coffee was limited to the selection displayed on the menu at my local coffee houses and cafés. That is a crying shame due to there being a lot of extra, unknown to the masses, styles of coffee to consume and enjoy. This discovery then raised another question.

 How Do Baristas Become Baristas?

While there is a high degree of in-house training in any café, there are dedicated courses you can take in Australia for around $150 that, upon completion in one day, will appoint you a nationally recognised and accredited certification from any one of the Registered Training Organisations. So, down the rabbit hole I ventured, exploring the world of coffee and all that it entails.

Now, while you might be reading this and thinking, I can learn everything I need to know by reading the content on a webpage, why do I need to get certification? The answer is, technically, you don’t need certification to be a barista. Anyone can make coffee using an espresso machine. A trained monkey could do it without a problem. Being a barista isn’t about using an espresso machine. Being a barista is about knowing coffee. It is about knowing what temperatures individual styles need to process at, what milks to froth and what alternatives are an option for people who are intolerant or allergic to one product and need an alternative that doesn’t mar the flavour of their chosen coffee style. And let me be frank, plenty of ‘alternative’ plant-based milk products change the taste of coffee considerably. If you want your coffee to have a nutty flavour, then use almond milk. If you want it to have a malty flavour, use oat milk. If you desire it to be sweet without the added sugar, use rice milk. The more you discover about being a barista, the more you have to extend credit for their skill base and knowledge of coffee beans, coffee styles and how to blend beans to give truly unique flavours that are heavenly on the taste buds.

To give you an idea of how many styles of coffee a barista needs to know how to make and why taking a barista course either for personal use or to assist you with gaining employment is a great idea, here are a few of the orders a barista might get on a typical day at work.

Café Latte / Cappuccino / Espresso / Piccolo Latte /Vienna / Mocha/ Affogato /Flat White/ Long Black/ Americano/ Irish Coffee/ Macchiato/ Ristretto/ Cold Brew/ Frappuccino/ Iced Coffee/ Café au Lait/ Nitro/ Dalgona … to name a few!

That Latte Art On Top

Unless you take your coffee black, you will be familiar with the range of latte art baristas place in the foam on the top of your espresso beverages. From simple swirls to shamrocks and then onto the complex snowflakes. Latte art is a course of its own, and there is a reason why that is the case. It takes a professional barista to teach you the tricks, tips and insider knowledge that cannot be gained by watching a video clip. Then there are the hours and hours and hours of practice you need to make it appear effortless and remember the steps without referring to your training material.

Benefits Of Doing Barista Training And Education

There are benefits to taking a certified barista course. Regardless of why you are interested in the course, the skills and knowledge you learn in one day can be applied in the home for personal use to wow your family and friends and please yourself with the perfect cup of coffee to suit your mood. The certification can also open doors to employment as baristas are in constant demand. More than ever, independent cafés are popping up on street corners and in arcades and malls. Competition is fierce in the commercial world, and a truly amazing barista can make big money for the company employing them via the regular customers they specifically bring in or for themselves in their own business.

Customers are the driving force behind an exceptional barista. When you find a barista that knows precisely how to blend your chosen mix without burning the beans and destroying your taste buds in the process, you find yourself wanting to return to the person who made your mouth and taste buds sing with joy. When you find that barista, you will travel if need be to have them make your coffee. You will pay ridiculous prices for your daily fix (fixes), and you will probably even tip them on top of it! When you stop and look at the coffee in your hand, and you ordered a triple shot latte to go, and it cost you six dollars, then you add a two-dollar tip, you have paid eight bucks for what had better be an oral religious experience for the tastebuds!

It stands to reason that your barista is a magician and that while natural aptitude and innate talent got them so far, you can bet they, too, had a teacher who showed them the initial ropes.

Skills Training College offers barista training courses in several locations across Queensland and in Adelaide. There is a nationally certified barista course for everyone from the novice to the expert. If you are bored and looking for something to do to kill time, consider taking a one-day barista course and becoming a barista magician yourself!


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