How do I Choose the Best Barista Courses?

Sarah Valek

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best barista courses. First, know that labeling a course as the “best” is subjective and based on your individual needs and wants. One set of barista courses may the best for a particular person, but not for you.

Baristas need to know how to make an espresso.
Baristas need to know how to make an espresso.

Think about what you want from a training course. Do you want to take barista courses to primarily have fun and learn a little about espresso, or do you want to gain in-depth knowledge on how to make a perfect cup of coffee? Some barista courses are more of a social event for consumers, whereas others are serious business training sessions. Know what you want.

Frothing milk with a cappuccino machine.
Frothing milk with a cappuccino machine.

Decide how much money you want to spend on courses. Some courses cost a couple hundred dollars or more and others are much less expensive. Determine if you want to enroll in a real, live class or purchase a training packet of books and DVDs.

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If you want an actual class, figure out how far you’re willing to travel to take barista courses. Do you have money to spend on a plane ticket or do you have to stay close to home? If traveling, are the courses offered in a city known for its coffee and is that city a good travel destination? Also consider how much time you have to spend on courses. Some barista training sessions last a day, a few days or a week.

Some barista trainers will come to you and, if you own a coffee shop, train you and your employees. Benefits of this type of training include being taught in an environment that’s comfortable to you and being trained on the exact equipment you use on a daily basis. Theses courses are especially helpful for staff team-building.

When you have a few courses in mind, make notes of their individual pros and cons. Are these courses of quality? Make sure your chosen barista courses aren’t biased toward a particular brand of coffee or machinery and that they offer diverse training methods. Look into the types of training offered to see if the courses are hands-on, lectures or a mix of both.

Look into the instructors to see if they recognized in their field. Find out the student-to-teacher ratio and what, exactly, the courses say students will walk away with. Will you get a certificate or any type of training credits?

Perhaps the best way to find the right barista courses for you is to ask former students for their opinions. Ask around for student testimonials. With the right research, you’ll find the best courses for you.

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Discussion Comments


@ocelot60- If you have some free time, why don't you consider getting a part-time job at a coffee shop? This is a great way to learn barista training hands on, while making a little extra money on the side.

Most coffee shops have flexible hours and hire part-time employees, so you should be able to find this type of position without committing to a full-time job.


@ocelot60- There is a lot of good information online about how to be a barista. Though learning from a website might not be the same as taking a barista course, you will get a good idea about what it takes to be a good barista.

You can also do some self-instruction along with following the online information by purchasing some specialized coffee making equipment. For example, you can find cappuccino or espresso machines that aren't too expensive at retail or department stores, and experiment with them to perfect your coffee making skills.


I have always wanted to learn how to be a barista, but there are no barista courses in my area. Does anyone have some suggestions for other ways that I can learn this craft?

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