I'm curious about folks' experiences with these training schools. How does it compare to the on-the-job training you get? (I gotta say, I've got a great resource at my shop!) Are they pricey, and worth the money? What school would you recommend, and how far have you traveled to attend one?

Let's discuss!

(I hope I'm not completely rehashing another discussion).

Views: 9483

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Smanatha,
I see that this is a very old topic. I hope you found some discussion before now. I'm sure by now you know this site was created by Matt who owns and runs a very well know school in PDX. I'm mostly self taught when it comes to what Matt teaches at his coffee school. I would very much like to take some more milk training from him or his staff. Most of my formal training is a roasting school on the east coast. I may have taking some roasting training on this coast in Portland Oregon if there was one at the time I needed it.
I do think Matt's ABC school is well work the $. I would send my staff to this school if I had any and I do plan on hiring soon.
Joseph
Hello! I need a Barista Training school in the Southeast Region. I live in Miami, FL and need a school to attend in the state of Florida or a state that is close in proximity. Thank you!
Albert, I live in Hawaii and went to school in Portland. There were people in my class from Chile, Singapore, Kentucky, and as far away as Vancouver. Save up a little extra and make the trip if you can.



Albert R. Greenwood III said:
Hello! I need a Barista Training school in the Southeast Region. I live in Miami, FL and need a school to attend in the state of Florida or a state that is close in proximity. Thank you!
We have been open for 20 months now and I have to say what we learned when we attended the American Barista and Coffee School has been indispensable! I wish there was more communication within the industry that could help new start-ups know which businesses should be avoided because of poor business practices (they lie, cheat, etc...) but I do understand it would be difficult to assure an honest system that wouldn't permit false reports. We have done so much in a short amount of time but it has been very difficult because of the money lost to crooks and because the down turn of the economy. We are very hopeful now that some upturn in the economy is happening.
Denise,
Not to worry. The upturn will come just as another down turn will come again. I think the challenge for small shops like ours is to watch for the next wave like an ocean surfer on a very small board. If we remain cautious and keep our ear to the grounds so to speak we can see and position our selves for the next wave. Congrats on your 20 months. We here at JoLinda's are sitting at 26mo. and counting.
Joseph


Denise Smith said:
We have been open for 20 months now and I have to say what we learned when we attended the American Barista and Coffee School has been indispensable! I wish there was more communication within the industry that could help new start-ups know which businesses should be avoided because of poor business practices (they lie, cheat, etc...) but I do understand it would be difficult to assure an honest system that wouldn't permit false reports. We have done so much in a short amount of time but it has been very difficult because of the money lost to crooks and because the down turn of the economy. We are very hopeful now that some upturn in the economy is happening.
Gina Marie,
I'm a coffee roaster/cafe / shop owner in Stevenson, Washington. I have known Matt Milletto for at least 3years. I know him for his professional coffee skills and training I received from him at the 2007 SCAA convention in Long Beach Ca. I have not personally been through his school but read many positive comments from former students of his school. The barista that I did send to his school is now in the process of starting her own business locally.
Based on what I have seen I would say the part of this school that will put you "God Shots" above other barista's is the business side of the training. When you finish training with ABC you will have the tools and skills to open your own business. Aside from the Barista and drink building skills the business side of the coffee world is where ABC excels. IMO. By the way I have no business interest in ABC or Matt's Coffee Roastery/cafe.
By the way things are going I wish I did.
JoeR



Ginamarie Gianandrea said:
It is clear that ABC as a school is a favorite. As a barista [and more importantly, broke college student] working her third year as a low level barista, is it worth the time and travel? Personally, I would love to go just to learn--but will the skills I acquire through ABC's training put me above and beyond my other baristas?

My husband and I went to the American Barista and Coffee School. It was the best investment we made toward opening our business. We are about to celebrate our second anniversary and we still use that training and information every day. ABCs is in Portland, Oregon and we timed it so we could go to Coffee Fest right after the school. We took the full week training that is more than just barista and latte art. It was wonderful to learn from some of the industries top professionals. By learning how to do things right to begin with we didn't have to worry about the pitfalls and mistakes so many people do when they first open.

They also have DVDs and other items which with an ABCs student discount, has been very helpful. People can get lazy and change their method and style but by always going back the training video as a benchmark everyone is trained the same and knows how to do it properly.

There are lessons and experiences found in handling long lines of cranky rush of customers on a busy summer day that can't be learned at any school.  multi-tasking, economy of motion, interplay with customers, trouble shooting equipment on the fly, all of these things can be absolutely essential to being a successful barista.  That being said, I've seen customers walk past half a dozen coffee shops to stand in line for twenty minutes to get a latte because its that much better than those other places.  make a good drink and they'll forgive you for anything, and the training and experiences learned at a well accredited school is probably the best way to get the technical skills required to make world class drinks.
Jordon,
You have some nice points but Jack is right on here. I have owned and worked the Barista side of this business at JoLndas for going on three years here, a quality drink is only one part and no they won't forgive me just because I make a quality drink here. I have the rest of the story how much time do you have to read?

There's lots of great feedback here from some very knowledgeable and experienced people.

 

I think it really comes down to what you have available to you.  If you're lucky enough to live in a city where there exists a passionate shop led by skilled and knowledgeable baristas, see if you can work for them and learn the craft there.  

 

But if you're in a place where that kind of learning experience is lacking, then a school format may be your only option.  Especially if you have other responsibilities.

 

I think back to how I started.  I opened my first coffee place and started brewing by asking industry people in my city questions.  Looking back on it, many of these "standards" were less than desirable and I quickly moved on.  But the ability to learn espresso craft was lacking and so I went off to a now defunct trade show, NASCORE and took an espresso making class for three days.

 

For three days we learned about making espresso.  It was a good foundation and I made a friend in the class.  That friend introduced me to someone he knew and that person ended up taking me into his circle and becoming my mentor.  Through him, I learned an incredible amount about coffee making and the coffee business and then I got to meet so many people and learned indirectly from them.

 

The craft is one that is constantly evolving and is one that you can evolve alongside. You just have to take the chance to learn.

 

So, take that course at a coffee school.  Meet people.  Engage. Discuss. Ask questions.  Attend industry events and meet more people and learn more things.  It's an incredible craft to be a part of.

David-

Nothing inherently wrong with being the leader and the de facto "mentor" to others when you still feel that you need more learning.  The key is to always improve yourself.  I remember the day when my mentor and I were talking about his trip to some class where he was the student and he expressed to me that "he got schooled." Certainly there are those who might be put off by their mentor admitting such a thing, but for me, it was a vote of confidence and a reassurance that even my own mentor, someone who knows vastly more about coffee than myself, is still in the pursuit of learning.  It was a great moment.

 

I'm lucky in that I have the opportunity to meet and work with great people across different industries and one of the key factors I've noticed in the best is that they always have a continuing hunger to learn.  It's never enough to think that you're the best - even when the worldwide media has declared you "the best", the learning continues and never stops. To my mind, that is the hallmark and the biggest problem our 3W coffee community faces.

 

And the fact that you're working as the manager and de facto owner is only going to help you.  Better to make your mistakes on someone else's dollar than your own.  Use this opportunity to sharpen your skills and hone your business acumen.  It will make the difference when you go to open your own business.

 

Also, don't fall into the trap thinking that coffee schools like ABC and the others are the only repository of coffee knowledge.  It lies in many places but you have to go out and demonstrate that you are worthy of people taking the time to share with you.  Merely attending coffee shows and meeting people can open doors to knowledge.  Volunteering at events is another. The SCAA is continually in need of volunteers in their classes and you might be the right candidate.  You help out while absorbing some knowledge along the way while meeting and creating friendships with industry peers.

 

In fact, I remember 2003-2006 being the most exciting time for me in the industry.  It was right when many of us were getting started or off the ground - people like Andy Newbom, Miguel Meza, Sandy Hon, Aaron Duckworth, Nick Cho, Ellie Hudson, Heather Perry and a whole slew of others.  We got to know each other and build friendships around the coffee events.  It was new, fun and exciting.  Most of us met while either participating in competitions or volunteering for events.  Heady times.

 

Beyond that, today there are more opportunities for learning beyond the schools.  The Barista Guild has a "camp" in October and you can submit a video to try to win a free trip.  The MANE Coffee Conference is an excellent, non-mainstream coffee event with very high quality programming and affordable rates.  And the various trade shows, like CoffeeFest and SCAA offer relatively affordable coffee classes for you to take.

 

Then there are the local jams and throwdowns which can be great opportunities to meet coffee people in your region.  Check them out too.  Not to mention online resources that weren't available to us five years ago.

 

In reality, this is a great time to get started because there are so many resources available to you.  I think the key is to just start testing techniques and implementing those that deliver results that taste good to you.  And know that if you continue to refine, learn and improve your game, the coffee you brew today will be nothing like what you'll be producing in a year or five.  It's all a process and now is a great time to start.

Jay,


A very inspiring response for David or anyone looking to move to the next level. Put your self where the game is and be open to learning as much as possible.

Thanks for sharing your journey Jay.

Joe

 


Jay Caragay said:

David-

Nothing inherently wrong with being the leader and the de facto "mentor" to others when you still feel that you need more learning.  The key is to always improve yourself.  I remember the day when my mentor and I were talking about his trip to some class where he was the student and he expressed to me that "he got schooled." Certainly there are those who might be put off by their mentor admitting such a thing, but for me, it was a vote of confidence and a reassurance that even my own mentor, someone who knows vastly more about coffee than myself, is still in the pursuit of learning.  It was a great moment.

 

I'm lucky in that I have the opportunity to meet and work with great people across different industries and one of the key factors I've noticed in the best is that they always have a continuing hunger to learn.  It's never enough to think that you're the best - even when the worldwide media has declared you "the best", the learning continues and never stops. To my mind, that is the hallmark and the biggest problem our 3W coffee community faces.

 

And the fact that you're working as the manager and de facto owner is only going to help you.  Better to make your mistakes on someone else's dollar than your own.  Use this opportunity to sharpen your skills and hone your business acumen.  It will make the difference when you go to open your own business.

 

Also, don't fall into the trap thinking that coffee schools like ABC and the others are the only repository of coffee knowledge.  It lies in many places but you have to go out and demonstrate that you are worthy of people taking the time to share with you.  Merely attending coffee shows and meeting people can open doors to knowledge.  Volunteering at events is another. The SCAA is continually in need of volunteers in their classes and you might be the right candidate.  You help out while absorbing some knowledge along the way while meeting and creating friendships with industry peers.

 

In fact, I remember 2003-2006 being the most exciting time for me in the industry.  It was right when many of us were getting started or off the ground - people like Andy Newbom, Miguel Meza, Sandy Hon, Aaron Duckworth, Nick Cho, Ellie Hudson, Heather Perry and a whole slew of others.  We got to know each other and build friendships around the coffee events.  It was new, fun and exciting.  Most of us met while either participating in competitions or volunteering for events.  Heady times.

 

Beyond that, today there are more opportunities for learning beyond the schools.  The Barista Guild has a "camp" in October and you can submit a video to try to win a free trip.  The MANE Coffee Conference is an excellent, non-mainstream coffee event with very high quality programming and affordable rates.  And the various trade shows, like CoffeeFest and SCAA offer relatively affordable coffee classes for you to take.

 

Then there are the local jams and throwdowns which can be great opportunities to meet coffee people in your region.  Check them out too.  Not to mention online resources that weren't available to us five years ago.

 

In reality, this is a great time to get started because there are so many resources available to you.  I think the key is to just start testing techniques and implementing those that deliver results that taste good to you.  And know that if you continue to refine, learn and improve your game, the coffee you brew today will be nothing like what you'll be producing in a year or five.  It's all a process and now is a great time to start.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Barista Exchange Partners

Barista Exchange Friends

Keep Barista Exchange Free

Are you enjoying Barista Exchange? Is it helping you promote your business and helping you network in this great industry? Donate today to keep it free to all members. Supporters can join the "Supporters Group" with a donation. Thanks!

Clicky Web Analytics

© 2020   Created by Matt Milletto.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service