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Jack Merriman

Content Marketing Manager

The world of coffee is complex, and there’s a huge amount you can learn about brewing the perfect pourover or shot of espresso. From brew ratios, grind size, coffee quality, processing methods, roast levels and more, the rabbit hole goes deep in terms of how much knowledge you can acquire in the specialty coffee game.

But, to get started brewing great coffee, you really just need to nail the basics. That’s where barista training courses might come in handy, to give your learning a head start and start serving delicious coffees to your guests by conquering the fundamentals. Many businesses who are looking to start serving specialty coffee, or to improve their current levels of quality, will consider investing in SCA Barista Training. In this article, we’re going to dive into the role that barista training plays and whether it’s something you actually NEED for your coffee business.

To highlight our potential bias, we do offer barista training courses to our existing and new wholesale customers. That being said, we don’t want waste our time trying to upsell you on a service that you don’t need, and setting you up for success is our top priority. With that out of the way, let’s dive right in…


What Do Barista Training Courses Include?

 The contents of a barista course varies depending on who you go with, their qualifications and specific skillsets. However, for typical barista training courses you can expect to cover areas such as coffee history, extraction theory, milk steaming, latte art, grind size, brew ratio, and tasting. For Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) accredited barista training there are different modules available, including; introduction to coffee, barista skills, brewing, green coffee, sensory skills, and roasting.


What are the Benefits of Barista Training?

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably well aware of the benefits of Coffee training courses. Whether SCA accredited or not, barista training provides a great foundation for new baristas, and provides a chance for existing coffee professionals to upskill and refresh their knowledge.

Professionals within coffee can always benefit from learning more about the history of coffee and the theory behind the industry’s best practices. Casual coffee hobbyists would also benefit from barista training early on in their coffee journey, or when purchasing a new piece of equipment, to help them learn the theory and gain practical skills in coffee brewing.

Can a Barista be Self-Taught?

Yes, absolutely. And in all honesty, even if you go through a formal training course, the majority of your learning will be ‘self-taught’ by gaining experience behind the coffee bar. Barista training courses are fantastic for giving you a head start and learning the theory, but the majority of your knowledge is gained through experience and practice. I’ve been making espresso based coffees for nearly four years, and my latte art is definitely still a work in progress.

A barista can absolutely educate themselves on the fundamentals of brewing great coffee through social media, books and YouTube videos. If you haven’t already, checl out our very own YouTube channel here. The problem with self-learning is that you have to be somewhat motivated and passionate for learning more about coffee. But for many people, especially business with a lot of employees, this isn’t realistic for everyone.

What Do you Need to Serve Great Coffee?

Great Coffee Beans

This should be obvious, but your finished drink will only ever be as good as the coffee you started with. Much like how some of the highest quality dishes you’ve eaten in your life started out with fresh, high-quality ingredients. To serve incredible coffee, you need to look for fresh-roasted, well-grown specialty coffee. These can be found all around the world and the range in flavours you can explore is vast and exciting.

Good Quality Water

This is a complex topic which we won’t get into here, but the largest ingredient in a finished cup of coffee is the brew water. It’s important that this water is relatively soft, has no harsh chemicals and tastes good on its own. This can be accomplished with commercial water filters, smaller domestic filters, bottled water, or creating custom brew water using distilled water and minerals.

A Consistent Coffee Grinder

It’s often said that your coffee grinder is more important than the quality of your espresso machine if you’re looking to serve high quality coffee. This is absolutely true. A great coffee grinder is one that creates a uniform grind size, a consistent dose of coffee, and has a easy and intuitive workflow.

A Reliable Coffee Machine

To brew great coffee, all your coffee machine really needs is to be able to consistently push hot water through your bed of coffee. So, what do you need to look for in a coffee machine? Temperature stability, pressure control, programmable shot buttons and a timer, ease of cleaning and maintenance, and enough group heads/capacity to suit your needs. View the top four most reliable coffee machines here.

Knowledge and Experience 

It’s the job of the barista to put all of these other ingredients together to brew an incredible cup of coffee. Knowing how to dial in the grind size, what ratio to go with depending on the coffee, how to steam milk and pour great latte art, are all things that can be learned and develop over time with experience. Many of these fundamentals can be accelerated by increasing your knowledge through self-learning, mentorship, or barista training courses.

So, Do you NEED Barista Training?

No, absolutely not. If you’re already serving great coffee and taking the time to learn more from your peers and through self-education, barista training might not be something you need to spend your money on. However, if you’re just getting started with serving coffee or you want to shorten the knowledge gap that exists between employees inside your business, then barista training may be worth considering. Of course the final decision is up to you, and there’s plenty of other ways of learning more about the ins and outs of serving great coffee.

How much does Barista Training Cost?

Barista training course prices vary widely depending on the specific course you enrol on, whether it’s SCA accredited, whether you would like to sit the exam and gain the formal qualification, how many people are being enlisted, and which company or barista trainer you choose to go with.

Our courses cost anywhere from £165 to £1,319 depending on the number of days, attendees, and course modules covered. The cost of certification is an additional £55 per person if you are looking to sit the examination at the end of the course. Learn more about our Barista training courses here.


Are Barista Training Courses Worth It?

Well, that decision is yours to make. Hopefully this article has given you enough information to answer that question, or at least get you thinking about whether barista training is something you or your business needs.

If you’re passionate, experienced, and knowledgeable about serving great coffee, and you’re ready to share this knowledge with your business, dedicated barista training may not be something you need! However, if you’ve got enough on your plate, your business is a little too big for you to manage the full barista training operation, or you need a refresher yourself, outsourced barista training might be something to consider.


Looking for Barista Training for You and Your Team?

Learn more about our tailored SCA acreddited barista training courses including pricing, modules and more, here -> SCA Barista Training.