So you’ve decided to take the plunge and learn how to make that latte you love so much. But you’ve searched for Barista courses and are a little overwhelmed by all the choices. Where should you start? Do you just need to know the basics, or should you learn how to milk a cow and farm the beans yourself? Whatever your interest in coffee-making, we break down what you can expect to learn at different Barista training courses. With this guide, you should be able to determine which course is right for your needs.
Espresso Based classes
These courses are usually the first part of two classes and they cover the essentials of making espresso-based drinks. Depending on the length of the class, you could learn the basics or go a little more in-depth. In most cases, you’ll learn how to prep the espresso, use a professional coffee machine and some basic milk-frothing techniques. If the course goes deeper, you may learn the history and background of how coffee is sourced. These classes may also include instructions on how to set up, clean and maintain a machine.
Some courses even claim to be able to teach experienced Baristas a thing or two. The cost ranges anywhere from $100 - $200 depending on the duration of the lesson and the teacher offering the class. Small coffee shops may charge at the lower end of the price range, whilst more established shops and schools will cost more.
Most Barista training programs offer at least two classes or a two-part training. Latte art is usually the second part.
Whilst level 1 classes do teach participants how to froth milk, this class teaches would-be Baristas how to produce latte art. Those hearts and flowers don’t make themselves. Here, you'll learn how to get the milk to the correct consistency and the pouring method used to achieve pretty shapes. Sometimes these classes also take a deeper dive into the topics that you covered during your first Barista training. Costing around the same as the first class, on average you should expect to pay around $120.
Milk Steaming and Pouring
Beyond the standard latte art course, you can also learn about the nuances of milk preparation and how to create different drinks. Many people think that a latte, flat white and cappuccino are the same thing. But this course will teach you the difference between all espresso-based drinks, as well as how to make the perfect coffee each time. You'll be sure to come away with the best frothing techniques. These courses will also teach you which is the best milk to choose for different coffee drinks.
If you’re not planning to take your skills to expert level just yet, get a taste of Barista life at a Barista experience class. Or perhaps you know someone who’s thinking about getting into the industry? Get them one of these Barista classes as a gift. Especially if you can find a two-person class, that way you can go together and learn a new skill too. Some dedicated training centres will even cater to large groups and events. It doesn’t always have to be serious - you can learn how to make great coffee simply for fun. Experience classes usually cost less than a professional Barista course, at around $90 - $100. They offer a way to dip your toes into the world of coffee, without committing too much money.
Short Course or Intensive Training?
Combined, these classes create a more complete Barista training. The above courses last around 2-4 hours, but there are also multi-day and week-long options. Longer Barista courses aim to bring you up to industry expert standards.
Whilst a class can’t replace years of experience, it can prepare you to get to a higher level, faster. Some Barista training courses even include how to make brew coffee, hot chocolate and tea. An intensive course does seem to cost more than a short course, but it could work out cheaper in the long run. Especially if you're planning to attend several short courses. Intensive programs justify the higher cost with comprehensive subjects and longer contact hours. Intense courses can cost anywhere upwards of $900 and cap at around $2,000. The actual price depends on the duration.
Some Barista classes aim to bring Baristas up to a competitive level. That's right; there are coffee making competitions, and intensive classes prepare you to compete in them. Whether you decide to compete in a local league or at the Worldwide Championships, you may want to hone your skills amongst professionals.
Whether it’s for recreational purposes or to get into the industry one day, this could be the ideal first step.