Those who are truly passionate about coffee could look at educating themselves with a coffee certification. But what does a coffee expert certification entail and where do you go for such training? We answer all those questions today.
Why Choose Coffee Education?
Specialty coffee is quite the advanced industry these days. It goes from the knowledgeable barista to the sourcing and roasting of coffee beans. In other words, coffee certification is larger than ever before.
Expanding on these existing areas could bring you new job opportunities or even expand your current coffee business.
What Kind Of Coffee Education Is Available?
There are quite a few options for those looking into coffee education. Below, we have listed some of the most important and prominent areas to look into.
Barista training: The in-training barista will encounter the basics of the coffee industry, with a strong focus on grinding and brewing techniques.
Coffee professionals that have this certification can then move onto other areas of the coffee industry and build their career.
Coffee roasting: Everyone knows that coffee roasting is a cornerstone of the specialty coffee world. If you are interested in roasting coffee as a profession, then you will need to have the correct certification to back it up.
Management: This certification is useful for those looking to start their own specialty coffee shop. It will give you insight into building menus, ordering roasts, and other vital aspects of the coffee industry.
Cupping: There are courses out there that will teach you all about the coffee flavor wheel. Cupping courses certainly belong to that particular range of coffee skills and they are useful for a variety of coffee professionals.
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Coffee buying: While this could be a part of management courses, there are courses specifically aimed at coffee buying. Evidently, this is one of the coffee skills most useful to those running a coffee shop or a barista thinking of opening their own coffee shop.
Where Can I Find Coffee Courses And Education?
There are numerous programs around the world for coffee professionals who want to obtain certification or take their coffee skills to the next level. Today, we will discuss some of the most important ones.
1. Specialty Coffee Association Coffee Skills Program
As the name suggests, this coffee skills program is organised and developed by the Specialty Coffee Association. It includes in an introduction to coffee, but also barista skill modules, green coffee module, brewing module and so much more.
The SCA program also comes in three different levels. There is the foundation levels that is suitable for students of every skill level. The intermediate level on the other hand, is most suitable for those who already work in the industry. Then there is the professional level, aimed at professionals who are looking for courses to specialize into one specific field.
After the completion of the program, you are awarded a CSP diploma. The diploma requires a total of 100 points to complete. Each level contains modules with a certain amount of points.
Foundation level modules provide 5 points, while intermediate modules provide 10 points. The professional modules provide 25 points. For example, you would need 10 modules on the intermediate level to get this diploma.
The price of the skills program is variable by level. Overall, professional modules are the most expensive, while the foundation level program has the more affordable options.
2. Bellissimo’s American Barista & Coffee Workshops
The name of the program makes it clear that these workshops are heavily focussed on barista skills. So, baristas looking to take their skills to the next level and work their way up in the world of specialist coffee can certainly find some benefit from the programs offered here.
For the basics, you can count on a two-day workshop that looks at the basics of coffee prep, including barista skills such as milk steaming, menu building, equipment operation, latte art, and other vital skills you need for certification as a barista.
The program goes further than basic skills alone though. There is also an advanced workshop and business workshop, which can help baristas to work their way towards owning their own coffee shop. In short, it is definitely a diverse coffee skills program to obtain certification and go further in the industry.
3. Coffee Business School of the Cascades
Those with little time to attend school or workshops may look at alternatives such as an online course. If you prefer an online course and are working towards starting your own specialty coffee shop, the Coffee Business School of the Cascades might be the better choice for you.
The Coffee Business School of the Cascades provides fa four day course looking at various aspects of starting your own coffee business.
During the first day of the course, you will learn more about planning and creating your own business, preparing you for the challenges this brings. Next, you will look at actually opening your business and how to run it. This course goes into great detail, as it even covers employee management, training and acquisition.
Of course, starting your own coffee business does require a lot of barista knowledge as well. This course also expands on that, giving you instructions on how coffee is roasted, how espresso is extracted, milk steaming, and all other vital skills you need to know for a business certification.
Specialty beverages are covered on the fourth day of the program. It includes some of the more advanced barista skills, including pouring latte art.
One of the biggest advantages of the program is its availability as well as the price. It is most certainly an interesting pick for those looking to start their own coffee business. However, if you are looking for more official certification, SCA tends to provide the better option. On the other hand, if business is your sole focus, then this online course might be the best way to start your own business on the right foot.
Starting a business requires a lot of knowledge, even for popular industries such as specialty coffee. Running a business comes with a lot of pitfalls and challenges, so being able to identify these, avoid them and make your business a success should be the highest priority. The online course does provide you with a huge range of tools that business owners need.
If coffee is your passion, you can most certainly make a career out of it. The industry offers numerous opportunities and there is most certainly a program that fits you.
However, take into account that courses will require an investment, whether you are taking a module about green coffee or a simple introduction to coffee. So, whether you want to hone your barista skills or even create your own coffee shop, you will have to make the investment.
Fortunately, most of these courses are quite affordable for everyone who works in the coffee industry.
As we stated earlier, we recommend the SCA’s course for the official certification. Of course, if you only want to master your skills to get into the specialty coffee industry, than the barista workshops are solid choices as well.
It all depends on the plans you have within the coffee industry.
Naturally, you are not obligated to get education or certification, as you can also learn through experience. That being said, those with certification can get some advantages on the job market and could potentially get higher paying jobs in the long run.
So, if the coffee industry is the career path you have chosen for yourself, it is well worth looking into the education options available to you.