This advanced course is designed to test the skill set of those seeking to embark on a professional coffee career. Successful candidates should have a detailed understanding of techniques and theories involved in espresso extraction, milk steaming and drink making, and possess proficient and competent latte art skills. A knowledge or use of a wide variety of equipment is helpful and encouraged. Passing the written and practical Barista Intermediate tests is REQUIRED in order to register for this course. This is a 3-day long course, taught over 2 full days (16 hours) and 1 full day for testing. This course covers: 

  • Influence: how origin, variety, processing, roasting and age contribute to density of the coffee bean and influences flavor 

  • Organic acids and flavor: identifying complex attributes in flavor 

  • Balance: formulate espresso recipes that demonstrate balanced levels of acid, sweet and bitter, and understand how to modulate each attribute 

  • Cupping for blends: developing blends ideal for varying methods of preparation and performance 

  • Gaining an understanding of the decaffeination process and summarize various processes of decaffeination 

  • Freshness: how age effects extraction, the effects of degassing on brewing (and how to adjust that), and new techniques for slowing the aging process 

  • Café design: maximize café layout to create ease of workflow and efficiency 

  • Grinder selection specific to needs and output/ efficiency 

  • Using barista tools: exploring various options available 

  • Density and flow rate specific to roast level

  • Technical barista routine: perfecting and expanding the barista’s dosing, tamping and distribution 

  • Extraction and flavor profile maximizing: getting the most out of the coffee available 

  • Pressure profiling and brewing temperatures and how they interact with the coffee being used 

  • Phases of extraction of an espresso 

  • Proficiency in using a refractometer 

  • Defining “extraction percentage”, “total dissolved solids” and “espresso brew formula” as it relates to espresso 

  • Discovering the interrelationship of various extraction parameters and its effects 

  • Analyzing extraction inconsistencies from other baristas and prescribing fixes 

  • Accurately describe the flavor, body, aroma, and aftertaste of any coffee prepared as an espresso 

  • Deeper dive into milk: processing, troubleshooting and plant-based alternative options 

  • Consistently delivering the highest quality milk product to customer (in terms of texture, temperature and latte art)

  • Identifying how to adjust the technique of other baristas and how to trouble shoot steaming techniques 

  • Thoughtful workflow: polishing the barista routine to deliver beverages in an efficient, logical and timely (and hygienic) manner 

  • Developing operational systems and procedures for beverage preparation, customer service, cleaning and storage as well as general operations 

  • Training the trainer: how to become an effective communicator and trainer of staff and leadership 

  • Expanding the customer experience: exceeding customer expectations 

  • On-selling and upselling 

  • Developing systems for collecting feedback from customers 

  • Detailing espresso machine and grinder maintenance 

  • Recognizing when service calls are warranted 

  • Alkalinity and its effect on espresso brewing (using a drops kit) as well as total hardness 

  • pH and its effect on espresso 

  • Recommendations for water systems based off water testing measures 

  • Developing menu pricing and analyzing COGS 

  • Building relationships with suppliers 

  • Techniques for managing staff and scheduling 

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 Professional (3 days)