I think a baristaprogram is definitly an option in some of the major culinary schools. In belgium we have three major culinary schools and it really is my intention to start a program with one of those schools. The thing is it is really difficult to make it a year subject. I would place it (Even thoug i know it's bad) in a course with general beverage knowledge. The coffee culture just isn't that widely spread down here.
I just think its a pitty that most restaurants think of coffee as an extra. In way to many cases i see that a restaurant thinks about the kitchen, the design of the restaurant, the winecave, ... And then if there's money left they think about an espressomachin (in most cases full auto).
Going to a culinary school specificaly for a barista degree is in my opinion a far fetched dream. I don't think that the restaurant world is waiting for someone with a barista degree. You become a barista by experience, not by what you learn in school and books (although it might help a lot).
I agree with Diaya that a program is needed in schools where the culinary arts are being taught.
I would like to return to school one day to get my degree in Caffology or perhaps Espressology ! :-)~
I am glad that ABC offers a complete course outlining how to enter the coffee business and follows up with realistic details. Then offers a hands-on espresso class providing a vital link for baristas entering the market. Even those who have worked for some time as a barista benefit by further education.
Additionally, it would be nice to see higher institutions offering accredited barista courses, perhaps begining with Coffee 101, Coffee 102, and Coffee 103. This could be followed by Espresso 101, Espresso 102, and Espresso 103. Onward to the next semester's classes of Advance Barista, Barista Art Signature Drinks, followed by a class in Master Barista Trainer. The details are forming in my mind.
I think this is catching on as well. We have had numerous culinary school teachers and students come thru the American Barista & Coffee School, and have added coffee training to their classes. I find that many who attend a culinary school share the same passion we have for coffee, with their love for food.
In fact, this week we have a student from the top bartending school in Germany attending our 4 day barista course. He says he does this each year, and picks a new topic each year to learn, last year was cigars, the year before champagne.
I don't think that many would go specifically to a culinary school to get a coffee related diploma, and vice versa. ( we teach panini in our class, but food is not the focus.)
Coffee is a big part of any restaurant, or bar environment and I commend those who are not coffee shop owners, but still see the value in learning about coffee and preparation.
Here in Auckland, New Zealand we have such a set-up. At our Culinary and Hospitality School we offer barista training to all our fulltime students, whether they be studying culinary or hospitality operations. The training offered to the hospitality students is more intense than that offered to the culinary students however it does still give them a taster for the subject. They absolutely love it by the way!
We also have programmes in place where we offer training to high-school students. This is a huge growth area at the moment within the greater Auckland area and the rest of New Zealand. As of this year we have set up and successfully run a High School Barista competition. The winner was then given automatic entry into the Barista Competition at the New Zealand Culinary Fare be it at junior level (under 21 years of age).
We haven't yet got to the stage of offering a 'Diploma in Barista Operations' however at the rate at which the 'barista movement' is in New Zealand it is only a matter of time.
Speaking on behalf of our school (Manukau Institute of Technology) where we have teaching involvement from some of the 'movers and shakers' within the Auckland coffee scene, obtaining a qualification from such an institute be it a diploma can only be a win win scenario for the profession.
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