This course is designed to develop and expand on Barista Foundation curriculum and is recommended for those with experience within the Specialty Coffee industry (at least 6 months). A passing score on barista foundations tests is HIGHLY recommended, although not required. This is a day and a half long course, allowing for an additional half day for testing (12 hours of class time).


This class covers: 

  • Arabica varieties 

  • Origins impact on flavor 

  • Processing methods: effect on flavor and body

  • Roast degree: effect on solubility and density 

  • Efficiency on bar: layout and working in pairs 

  • Grinders: models, types and advantages and disadvantages of each 

  • Consistent dosing, distribution and tamping techniques 

  • Calculation and expression of brew ratio and Espresso Brew Formula (EBF)

  • Strength and extraction in brewing espresso 

  • Using a refractometer 

  • Sensory: compounds and flavors extract at different rates (and why)

  • Relationship between taste and flavor development 

  • Using SCA flavor wheel to describe flavor and aroma attributes of an espresso 

  • Milk: composition, foam quality and stability 

  • Milk substitutes

  • Advanced milk steaming and foaming techniques (milk sharing)

  • Latte art standards: free pouring 

  • Espresso-based drinks: range and construction 

  • Café management: stock management, rotation, temperatures

  • Personal hygiene and preventing cross contamination 

  • Wear and tear: preventing strain, prolonging lifespan of equipment and personal 

  • Espresso machine cleaning and maintenance 

  • Water quality: TDS, hardness, alkalinity (SCA testing and guidelines) 

  • Coffee menu: design 

  • Customer service: service recovery, cost of goods sold, customer interactions 


This course is designed to supplement the SCA diploma program for Coffee Skills. Passing a practical and written test is required for course certificate. 

SCA Barista Intermediate (2 days)