Why should you take a coffee class?
When it comes to coffee, there is always something to learn. Whether you want to sharpen your bean sourcing and roasting skills or explore best practices in coffee tasting and brewing, there are a variety of professional development opportunities.
You can improve your job performance and perhaps open up new career prospects by learning more about your current specialty or another area of interest within the coffee industry.
The main types of coffee training courses
Coffee education and certification programs typically cover five key areas.
These courses typically start with the basics and expand to more advanced options for experienced baristas to continue their education.
Established roasters often require some training or experience before they can start roasting their coffee. These programs can help you develop the skills needed for a career in the coffee industry.
While strong managerial skills are important in any industry, these courses will help you develop your skills in ordering, scheduling, creating menus, and other important elements related to running a coffee shop.
Cupping / tasting coffee
Cupping classes can be useful for any coffee professional who wants to do cupping. In these courses, participants often learn about the coffee aroma wheel, coffee processing, and how to properly perform cupping.
Buying coffee, whether from an importer or directly from a farm, often leaves new buyers with many questions. These courses will provide you with the crucial information you need to simplify the process of selecting, purchasing and importing the right coffee for your business.
Coffee courses according to your goals
As a coffee enthusiast and lover of making coffee at home, you may be interested in the following courses:
- Simple latte art
- A beginner’s guide to the world of coffee
- Basics of making coffee at home
Industry professionals or those who want to enter the coffee industry can opt for this option:
- “Coffee Competence” Program
- Introduction to coffee
- Barista Skills
- Preparatory skills
- Roasting skills
- Sensory skills
As a group of friends or family members who want to learn more about specialty coffee, you can choose to offer:
- Private coffee making
- Coffee tasting and appreciation
- Introduction to coffee specialties
What should you pay attention to in a coffee course?
Aside from having the right attitude and passion for learning about coffee, here are some things you should look for in a coffee class to make it worth your time and investment.
Bespoke coffee course
Since most coffee classes are offered for a half or full day, you need to make sure the event serves your ultimate purpose. Be it to use your coffee maker at home or to work as a professional barista.
It is important to have a training provider who can tailor the course to your needs. If your goal is to work as a barista, the course should also cover aspects such as time management in coffee preparation, workflow, efficiency and teamwork.
Work experience in the course
Since most employers require work experience, a course that provides real work experience in a coffee shop will put you in a good position compared to other applicants. It is not enough to show a certificate from a coffee school, but practical experience is an even better indicator of your coffee knowledge.
Training in small groups
A coffee class that helps you reach your goal at the end of the day means spending more time with the trainer. Opt for a class in a small group of no more than 4 people so you have more time to practice.
Because coffee is a hands-on learning experience, learning the basic technique at the machine or pour-over is essential.
Knowledge about coffee
As in any other industry, learning from professionals is key to understanding the current needs of the coffee industry. Good instructors are those who have worked and continue to work in the industry as baristas, so they are familiar with high-level coffee preparation and current trends. Find out who is teaching the course and what their qualifications are.
Look for a course taught by experienced baristas who will give you not only the technical knowledge but also the interpersonal skills needed to be a good barista.
Assessing the quality of the institute running the course by their former baristas is one way to determine the effectiveness of a coffee training program. Do your research and find out what the graduates did there. This is one way to tell if a course is just a commercial venture or if it’s committed to setting its students up for success.
Pay attention to what courses a school offers and how far they can take a barista. If the only course she offers is a three-hour basic barista course, that might not be enough. There is a lot to learn and it is unrealistic to expect that you can learn everything you need to know in a half-day session.
Once you start learning, you enjoy it and you have a certain ambition, you also want to continue your education. So, make sure that the institute you choose can also offer this.
Format of the course
Find out what kind of training you will receive – is it a hands-on course or just a demonstration?
The skills and knowledge that go with it are changing rapidly today, so make sure the syllabus is up to date.
A reputable barista training institute should be able to objectively quantify the important aspects required to be a good barista. Find out what method the school uses to measure the proficiency level of its students.
What makes a good barista?
There are many places that offer coffee classes, but what separates a good barista from others is their attitude to constantly improve as a barista. This not only in the coffee preparation, but also in his constant curiosity to acquire knowledge about coffee and the different stages of the coffee supply chain.
Training to be a competent barista requires a combination of practical skills, scientific understanding and a thirst for knowledge about coffee.
While it is possible to brew coffee without this knowledge, knowing the journey from seed to ‘cup’ is helpful as part of the service offering is to educate customers, particularly on specialty coffees.
It’s important for baristas, as part of their coffee knowledge, to understand coffee’s profile and how it affects farming practices in the country of origin.
Learning is a very important part of the coffee community, so take the opportunity to continually expand your knowledge.
A good training program not only gives you the basics, but also the technical skills. It is designed to teach and inspire you to provide excellent coffee beverages with outstanding customer service.