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Barista Training Programs: Information and Overview

Barista training programs are offered through community colleges and continuing education departments as individual courses. Some employers offer on-the-job training, which teaches students how to make hot and cold coffee drinks.

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Essential Information

Barista training programs teach students how to grind and brew coffee as well as prepare various coffee-based and other types of drinks. Some programs include instruction on various roasts, growing regions and grind types. The training generally includes procedures for customer service, cash register operation and inventory. Some programs offer specialized instruction in skills such as latte art and cupping.

Programs range from one day up to 15 weeks, while on-the-job training may be ongoing. Most community college programs do not have admission requirements for their barista training programs. For on-the-job training, each coffee shop has its own requirements and preferences for hiring.


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Barista Training Course Topics

Students prepare for jobs in coffee shops, bistros, free-standing coffee kiosks and restaurants by learning about the different growing regions, roast profiles and grind types of coffee beans, as well as common workflows, and procedures for the job. Prospective baristas learn how to steam dairy and soy milks and how to maintain and properly use common equipment, like espresso machines and coffee bean grinders. They also learn how to measure ingredients and prepare specific coffee drinks. Training programs typically include:

  • Coffee bean grading
  • Coffee flavor profiles
  • Decaf processing
  • Espresso brewing
  • Milk steaming

Employment Outlook and Info

Since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) did not specifically track employment statistics for baristas as of 2015, forecasts for the industry in general are the most relevant to this specialized career field (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that workers in the food and beverage service industry could look forward to 10% growth in employment from 2014-2024.

Education options for aspiring baristas is available through standalone courses, postsecondary college programs or on-the-job training. The training involves basic equipment use, drink making, customer service and inventory, along with more advanced topics like coffee types, regions and varieties.

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