Envisioning a coffee school conjures images of eager eyed baristas clutching clip boards and cupping spoons. However there is another coffee school much nearer at hand. Being a great barista means opening the doors of coffee school every day. There is only one instructor: the barista. The student might also be the barista, or it might be the guest on the other side of the counter. Either way, let the learning commence!
The self-taught barista syllabus is driven by curiosity and creativity.
When people say they are “in training,” they mean that they are practicing or learning a set of skills with their eyes on a specific goal. They may be in training for a marathon, in technical training on a new system at work, or in obedience training with a new puppy. Sometimes a coffee shop approaches training the same way. Give a prospective barista a week, or perhaps two weeks, of training, then leave them behind the counter to make consistent beverages the way they were taught to make them for the rest of their tenure.
Seasonality is a word that is ingrained in the vocabulary of specialty coffee. Coffee is a seasonal crop, just like strawberries and other fruits. Throughout the year, specialty coffee offerings will vary based on harvest schedules in different countries, and many coffees can only be found at specific times of the year. Seasonality is more than just a buzzword though, it signifies freshness, provides transparency and can be utilized to increase variety and add value to your products and your menu.
Despite the period of rapid growth and progression that the specialty coffee industry has been enjoying around the world as of late, much about our industry and our product remains esoteric to the general public. To a person that has lived their entire life thinking that the pre-ground powder in a can at the grocery store brewed through a $20 auto-dripper is the extent of what coffee has to offer (and whose palate has likely adapted to now genuinely enjoy these products),