The Barista Skills Professional course should be taken by baristas with considerable experience, having also completed the Intermediate qualification. It takes both a scientific and managerial perspective to coffee and making espresso based drinks.
Coffee contains many possible flavours, aromas and textures due to the complex range of acids, sugars and bitter compounds. Every bean offers different possibilities to the barista based on its variety, origin, processing and roast. However, it is up to the barista to unlock this potential using the tools at their disposal, such as, dose, grind texture, water temperature and quantity and pressure. This course looks at the science of how espresso extracts and how to use this knowledge to get the most from beans of different styles. It looks at modern ways of evaluating extraction through measuring TDS, extraction percentages, and expressing this through espresso brew formulas. In addition, the course covers baristas’ awareness of the constituent compounds of coffee, recognising different organic acids, and understanding how roasting affects the potential flavours and dissolvable solids available for our final espresso.
A similar scientific approach is taken with the other of our main ingredients, milk - understanding its make up and processing methods, and ultimately what may lead to problems foaming it. Baristas will learn how to maximize their drink quality through mastering their milk techniques, and should be able to coach improvements in others. A mastery of latte art to complete two different patterns will be required for the final exam.
Water is also studied: How to test your supply, understand what filter equipment is required, and ultimately how water quality affects your drinks.
Baristas will learn of the new advancements in espresso equipment and be prepared to make informed choices when purchasing machines and grinders. They will also learn how to carry out basic maintenance procedures such as replacing grinder burrs, showers and seals. Managerial aspects of running a good café are also considered, such as planning your café layout, managing your customer service, dealing with customer complaints, and calculating your profitability.
It is recommended that students have been working for a minimum of one year in a job with exposure to barista skills before taking this module.
The course provides you with the key information to enable you to sit your Barista Skills Professional certification that consists of 4 practical tests and a written exam (35 questions with a pass rate of 80% required). Successful students will be awarded 25 points towards the SCA Coffee Skills Diploma. During the course, you will have a chance to work on both of our espresso machines (La Marzocco Linea PB and Linea Mini) in our purpose built coffee lab.