free online barista course

Online Barista Course

This Fun & Flavorful Course Includes

coffee shop cafe

Reading Material

Be the best Barista

Topics covered

  • How do coffee beans differ?

  • Popular coffee beverages.

  • Milk frothing techniques.

  • Latte art.

  • Machine care and maintenance.

Get a full overview on coffee and all the best tips and advise to improve your barista skills.

learn latte art

Video References

Watch it all on Video

All of the course topics will be covered by an online library of video references.

Video references covered by experienced and successful baristas that really know their coffee well.

Videos make it fun and easy to learn.

coffee shop

Coffee Menu

Your own Coffee Menu

The course will teach you in depth how to master 6 popular coffee beverages.

  • Espresso

  • Cappuccino

  • Caffè Latte

  • Caffè Americano

  • Macchiato

  • Mochaccino

5 Lesson Course Structure

Lesson 1 - Understanding coffee beans

How many different types of coffee beans do you get?

how to grind coffee beans

The grinder has too many settings and you are not sure of the difference between a French roast and an Italian one.

How do you know which beans make the best espresso?

It is best to start with the basics. Cappuccinos and lattes are variations on espresso. They differ only in their ratio of espresso to steamed milk. Neither requires its own separate kind of bean.

The uneducated consumer could easily be overwhelmed by trying to chose from the multitude of beans on the market, but do not despair. Sellers sometimes take advantage of the common misconception that there is a multiplicity of beans to give the impression of a large and varied inventory. In reality, only two kinds of beans are available commercially,

Arabica and Robusta

Arabica is grown at high altitudes, a minimum of 2,400 feet above sea level, and has a smooth, slightly acidic taste. It is generally grown in eastern Africa and Central and South America.

Robusta is grown in lower altitudes and has a more forceful, slightly bitter taste. It can be found in Southeast Asia, central Africa and Latin America.

All roasters subscribe to their own methods and beliefs about roasting, but in the basic process the green, raw coffee bean is exposed to temperatures of 480 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, usually for seven to 12 minutes. The heat tampers with the natural acidity and bitterness of the bean. The longer the roasting time, the more bitter and the less acidic the beans become.

There is no one right way to roast or grind beans for espresso. In fact, espresso is usually made with a blend of beans of different colors and consistencies. It is not uncommon for different geographical areas to favor a specific blend. For example, in northern Italy, they prefer espresso roast in the medium range, while California tastes lean toward the darker, French roast.

The chances of getting fresh beans in a supermarket are slim to none, and that is a fact when talking about pre ground coffee. Your best bet is to pay close attention to the expiration date on the package. When buying from a coffee house, the best way to guarantee freshness is to get the most popular, fastest-selling bean. The quicker the bean sells, the faster more will have to be roasted, increasing your odds of getting the most freshly roasted beans. Ideal freshness results from grinding your own fresh roasted beans immediately before brewing.

It is also important to consider the time lapses in the roasting-grinding-brewing time cycle of coffee. The condition of the equipment used and the quality of the water are also important factors. No doubt the debate over what constitutes the best beans will be endless, but in the end it is only a matter of taste.

Everything you've ever wanted to know about coffee

By: Chandler Graf

This video gives an in-depth explanation of the two main types of coffee, their origin & differences. A must watch for all coffee enthusiasts.

How To Grind Coffee Beans

manual coffee grinder

Once air comes in contact with your coffee grinds, they begin to lose their flavor. Coffee manufacturers vacuum seal their grinds to keep them fresh while they sit on the shelves at the supermarket but once you break that seal, it’s all downhill from there. Buying whole coffee beans and grinding them yourself is a great way to ensure that your coffee remains as flavorful as possible.

But do you know how to grind your coffee beans properly?

Different types of coffee calls for different types of grinds. So you’ll need to learn to use your coffee grinder properly if you want to make the freshest best tasting coffee possible.

Brewed Coffee

If you plan on brewing your coffee with a percolator or a French Press coffee maker then you’ll need a coarser grind. Place the coffee beans in your coffee grinder and tap the grind button a few times as you would use the pulse feature on your food processor. The goal is to break the beans up so that they look like tiny pieces of coffee bean. If they look like a powder, then you need to slowly back away from the coffee grinder and start again. Remember to tap the button and not hold it down.

Automatic Drip Makers (Filtered Coffee Machine)

Automatic drip coffee makers work best with medium grinds. Picture the grinds that you’d find in a can of supermarket coffee. Those are medium grinds. They can be described as looking like brown sand. Don’t get carried away and over grind your coffee beans. You do not want a fine powder if you’re going to use an automatic coffee maker.

Espresso Maker / Barista Machine
 
Finally, if you’re using an espresso maker, you want a finer powdery grind. Espresso makers need a finer grind to produce a better Crema. The only way to ensure your grind is correct is by a means of trial & error until you achieve the best result. This setting will vary depending on the type of coffee beans that you are using and the type of grinder. You know your settings are correct when your drip time has increased and your machine is delivering a beautiful velvety Crema.

Grinding your own coffee beans right before you brew your coffee is a great way to make sure that you’re getting the freshest cup of coffee possible. Learning how to grind your coffee beans is an important part of making great coffee.

Crema

coffee crema

Crema basically is that orangy golden glow at the top of your espresso, the Crema is an integral part of a Perfect Espresso.

Its important to understand that Crema is part of a good cup but not the be all and end all of it, for a better understanding of Crema and it’s role in your espresso watch the video below.

These guys explain it well………..

Here are some pointers to help you make a better espresso

  • Coffee drinkers who are serious about making good espresso should invest in a good espresso machine.

  • When making espresso, always remember to turn on the espresso machine and allow it to heat properly.

  • When buying coffee beans, it is better to grind them as you use them because keeping them even in a tight container after grinding can result in a loss of aroma.

  • Your Coffee should be correctly ground.

  • Have you tried changing your beans, some beans are just not for espresso.

  • Using cleaner and purer water will improve taste to some degree.

  • Keep your coffee beans away from direct sunlight.

  • Your espresso should drip out of your machine slowly but should have an even and steady flow.

Lesson 2 - 6 coffee beverages

A Brief History of Espresso

Espresso - "A Fast Cup of Coffee"

espresso

Luigi Bezzera, the owner of a manufacturing business invented Espresso

Luigi Bezzera was simply trying to figure out a way to brew coffee faster.  He figured if he could just add pressure to the brewing process it would speed things up.  Thus the “Fast Coffee Machine” was created.  His idea of a fast cup of coffee turned out much better than he had planned, what he ended up with is a better, fuller tasting cup of strong coffee, as well as a much faster process.  He found that the quicker more efficient brewing method allowed for the quality of the beans to be extracted as opposed to over extracting he had previously experienced.  The term “Espresso” means fast in Italian, hence the term.

It wasn’t until later when Desidero Pavoni purchased the rights from Mr. Bezzera for the espresso machine that it became popular.  Pavoni was extremely successful in marketing the product and probably changed the way people drink coffee from then on.  Just look around!  Coffee and Espresso shops are popping up everywhere, even in the U.S. it has become not only popular for the delicious beans, but has given us a new place to socialize.

Espresso Timeline:

In 1901 Luigi Bezzera filed a patent for the espresso machine that contained a boiler and four “groups”. Each group could take different size filters that contained the coffee.  Boiling water was forced through the coffee and into a cup.  Ambrogio Fumagelli says that this was the birth of (fast) espresso coffee. 

In 1903 Luigi Bezzera’s patent was then purchased by Desiderio Pavoni and put to market in a big way.

In 1905 The Pavoni company begins manufacturing the espresso machines solely based on Bezzera’s patent. 

In 1927 First espresso machine was installed in the United States.  It was a La Pavoni Espresso Machine installed at Regio’s in New York.

In 1938 Cremonesi designed a piston pump that forced hot water through the coffee.  It was installed at Achille Gaggia’s coffee bar. 

In 1946 Gaggia begins manufacturing the commercial piston machine.  Resulting foam or cream layered coffee or cafe’.

Mastering 6 Popular coffee beverages

coffee beans

Espresso

So what exactly is an espresso?  Espresso coffee is sold at the café in a small cup and is a strong cup of coffee. Espresso is made in the espresso machine by forcing hot water through tightly packed finely ground espresso coffee.

The resulting liquid is a deep brown color with a slight froth on top.  Espresso makers differ in the water temperatures, the fineness of the espresso coffee, the pressure with which the water is pressed through the coffee and how tightly the coffee grinds are packed in the machine.

Making A Good Espresso

Espresso makeup – Good coffee and espresso maker

To make a good espresso, one has to start with a good coffee variety that must have undergone proper grinding. A good espresso maker handled by a capable barista can yield an espresso that can taste heavenly. The goodness of espresso can be determined even from its aroma alone.

While the kind of coffee beans used for the espresso must be chosen well, baristas should also make sure that only filtered water is used for the espresso as the water’s mineral content can affect the taste of the espresso.

Important Measurements

Single Espresso

8-10g – Freshly ground coffee with 1 Ounce (30ml) Filtered Water

Double Espresso

14-18g – Freshly ground coffee with 2 ounces (60ml) filtered water  

Making espressos is considered an art with a professional espresso maker being referred to as a Barista.  Being an espresso barista in some countries is considered a serious occupation requiring occupational training.  Baristas learn and practice making a consistently high quality shot of espresso. They learn how to grind the perfect espresso coffee, how to pack the coffee right and how to operate the commercial espresso maker.

Making the best espresso possible is very important as THEE ESPRESSO will be the starting point or base for all the other coffee beverages that will be covered in this course.

Refer to espresso blueprint for a better understanding of how to manage ingredients. 

Cappuccino

A firm favorite in most places around the world, possibly the most popular type of coffee that is being sold in coffee shops. A cappuccino traditionally consists of three layers, first a good espresso then steamed milk and last a layer of foam, however in this course we will make cappuccinos slightly different, avoiding a very thick layer of foam at the top.

Making a good Cappuccino

Cappuccino makeup – Espresso, steamed milk, foam

  1. Espresso, a good cappuccino must begin with a good espresso, which you have mastered by now. 

  2. Steamed milk, you need to master the art of frothing/steaming milk which is covered in lesson 3 of the course.

  3. Foam, after mastering the art of steaming milk, you will learn that a good cappuccino requires you to mix the foam into the milk, this allows you to create latte art, which will be covered in lesson 4.

Once you have mastered these three techniques you will be able to make a perfect cappuccino.

Refer to cappuccino blueprint for a better understanding of how to manage ingredients. 

Caffe Latte

Caffe Latte is somewhat a variation of a cappuccino, its served in a taller glass with different ratios of espresso, steamed milk, and foam. The latte is widely believed to have originated in America and is noticeably more popular in American coffee franchises.

A latte is served in a taller glass to a cappuccino so that it can hold more milk, before we get technical on the differences a latte is almost a weak cappuccino, the increased volume of milk weakens the coffee taste, people who don’t like too much of a bold coffee taste will prefer a latte over a cappuccino.

Making a good Caffe Latte

Caffe Latte makeup – Espresso, steamed milk, heavy foam

A latte should be served in a tall clear mug so it clearly shows the 3 layers of ingredients separately and here your milk frothing technique differs as you must create a thicker layer of foam at the top, latte’s funny enough is usually not served with latte art, as this is not possible because of the heavy foam for the top.

You will learn more about frothing milk for lattes in the video library.

Refer to caffe latte blueprint for a better understanding of how to manage ingredients.

Caffe Americano

Nobody is really sure why this drink is called Americano, there is a majority belief that American soldiers made their coffee this way during the second world war and hence the name. It is believed that they needed the coffee to last longer, so they just added more water to it.

Making a good Americano

Americano makeup – Espresso, hot filtered water

So basically all there is to a Caffe Americano is a good espresso topped with hot water.

If this is your beverage of choice, your range and choice in coffee beans may differ to that of cappuccino drinkers. Different types of coffee beans vary in taste when mixed with milk and water, so basically, some coffee will be great if made into an Americano but maybe not so great as a cappuccino, you will learn more about this in the video section of the course.

Refer to caffe americano blueprint for a better understanding of how to manage ingredients.

Caffe Macchiato

Macchiato, the middle ground where cappuccino and espresso lovers meet. This drink originates from Italy but is best described by the Portuguese as Café Pingado which translates coffee with a dash of milk.

Making a good Macchiato

Caffe Macchiato makeup – Espresso, steamed milk

  • Making a good macchiato as always begins with a perfect espresso

  • Serve in a double espresso cup (100ml)

  • Pour double espresso

  • Top up with cappuccino style milk

  • If you’re good enough, finish with latte art

Refer to caffe macchiato blueprint for a better understanding of how to manage ingredients.

Mochaccino

Two of the worlds most serious addictions meet, Coffee & Chocolate, what a great combination a Mochaccino isn’t just when coffee meets chocolate, you can have a lot of fun with Mocha’s, it’s a beverage that you can really explore your creativity.

Every barista has a unique way of making their Mocha, each will vary on what type of chocolate to use or whether to use a chocolate powder or syrup. Recipes may also vary in the amount of chocolate to use and the method in which to mix the espresso and chocolate.

Making a good Mochaccino

Mochaccino makeup – Flavored espresso, cappuccino or latte milk

All it takes is adding your favorite chocolate to either a Cappuccino or Caffe Latte

Best method – made using a double espresso

  • First mix 15-20g of your favorite chocolate with hot water, use as little water as possible and mix it until the consistency is slightly thicker than an espresso.

  • Next, extract a double shot espresso and mix with chocolate mixture immediately.

  • Finish by pouring out either a cappuccino or latte.

  • Tip – mint, caramel and dark chocolate work well with this recipe.

Refer to Mochaccino blueprint for a better understanding of how to manage ingredients.

Coffee Blueprints

Lesson 3 - Milk frothing

Correct Milk Frothing Techniques

Milk Frothing

Milk frothing may seem as easy putting your milk jug under the steam wand, however, I’m sure everyone just wished it was that simple. It is very important that you learn this technique well, if you don’t get milk frothing right you will struggle to serve most coffee based beverages. 

It does seem to be a bit of a stumbling block for some beginners, but if you just apply the basic principles with some practice you will succeed.

The video references will really help you with this lesson.

Frothing milk for Cappuccino

Always stick to these basic principles

  1. Keep your milk and milk jug cold
  2. Just have a little more milk in your jug to what’s needed for the one cappuccino, two if you’re making two.
  3. Use good quality milk. You can use whatever milk your diet requires, remember that fattier milk will give better results and taste.
  4. Make sure your machine is heated to optimum temperature. 
  5. Before you start steaming your milk, always run your steam wand to push out water. The steam wand must push out only steam when you submerge it into your milk. 
  6. Position the tip of your wand just below the surface of the milk and hold your jug at a 45 degree angle, then turn the steam wand on.
  7. You should get a slight hissing noise and not a very loud howl and your milk should move around the jug in a whirlwind like fashion.
  8. Watch the temperature, keep a part of your hand towards the bottom of the milk jug to feel the temperature, once your hand starts to tell you it’s getting too hot, that’s actually the milk saying I’m done now.
  9. Tap your milk on the counter or use the top of you tamper to knock out access air bubbles.
  10. Practice

Master milk frothing and have fun with latte art in the next lesson.

Frothing milk for Caffe Latte

Stick to the same principles of cappuccino milk.

Finish your lattes by steaming your leftover cappuccino milk with high pressure to create a more thick and bubbly foam to spoon on top of your cappuccino milk.

You now have two separate types of milk to create a 3 tier Latte.

Video references - Milk Steaming

Lesson 4 - Latte art

Correct Milk Frothing Techniques

Learning Latte Art Skills

Latte Art - How to?

How do baristas create those beautiful designs on your coffee?

There isn’t an solid evidence to know the actual history and beginning of latte art, it is however believed to have originated in Italy. Definitely a fun category to watch at the World Barista Championship for all coffee lovers. One thing for sure they make a cappuccino much more enjoyable.

How do you perfect Latte Art?

There are basic steps to follow, to get a better idea, watch the videos below.

Latte Art The Coffee Shop Chill Jazz Cafe

This video doesn't contain any lesson instructions but showcases some unique patterns by a talented barista.

Learn more than just pouring patterns, this video teaches latte art with chocolate & more.

Lesson 5 - Machine Care

Cleaning & Maintaining your Coffee Machine

Coffee machine maintenance

When was the last time you thoroughly cleaned your coffee maker? Cleaning the exterior is important but getting the internal components of a coffee maker clean is a task that shouldn’t be skipped. Did you even know that you were supposed to clean it? A clean coffee maker can be the difference between a good and a bad cup of coffee.

A clean coffee maker really makes a big difference in how your coffee tastes. Leftover coffee oils can accumulate inside your coffee maker. Also, mineral deposits can form especially in areas with hard water. These deposits are called “scale”. There are two kinds of scale, lime scale, and mineral scale and you don’t want either one. The scale can affect the heating unit and the water flow of your coffee maker and reduce its efficiency. How quickly scale forms depends on the quality of your drinking water. If you use bottled water to make your coffee, scale probably won’t form as fast but you still have to worry about accumulated coffee oils. Better to play it safe and clean your coffee maker regularly.

Cleaning your coffee maker is not a hard task to accomplish and in fact it’s as easy as making coffee. All you have to do is pour your preferred choice of descaling solution into the coffee maker’s water reservoir. Then just turn on the regular brew cycle, once this is complete, now rinse the coffee maker out by using only water this time in the water reservoir and running the brew cycle again.

This cycle may have to be repeated 2 to 3 times depending on what machine you have.

Descaling solution adds to your cost of making coffee at home but its a small price to pay for a good cup of coffee and will also increase the lifespan of your machine.

Another easy way to keep the coffee maker clean is to put a glass marble in the water chamber. All the mineral deposits that would usually accumulate inside the coffee maker will instead accumulate on the marble. Every once in a while just remove the marble, wash it and then place it back in the chamber. How much easier could that be?

The best solution would be to clean your coffee maker with a descaling solution monthly while also using the marble method. Change the marble once a week and your coffee maker will be in great shape.

Tips

  • Descaling solution can be substituted with white vinegar.

  • Clean your steam wand properly after use, make sure there is no milk left on it, run the steam wand after cleaning to make sure no milk has settled at the bottom of the steam wand.

Shop Descaling Solution

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