What topics should be covered in a coffee training program for new baristas? Aside from espresso preparation & theory.

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Everything from how to clean the machine at night to making your menu of drinks to latte art.  We have a two-day training that includes the basics and making our menu. Then, they are required to make drinks for our managers and other trainers.

Also, encourage them to practice! I'm not sure of your financial situation, but where I train, it is almost expected that the new baristas will come and hone their skills. Practice may not necessarily make perfect, but it will definitely make better. Hope this helps!

Thanks Emily! We're redesigning our training program to include a standardized education in everything that happens before the coffee arrives in our store. What would you be sure to include in that kind of training program?

I'd take a look at the course offerings and table of contents of some well-regarded programs for ideas. The BGA's Level 1 program would be a good point of reference, but there are many others.

Off the top of my head, you may want to mention: seed-to-cup cycle, growing regions, major varietals, basic extraction principles, the spectrum of coffee beverages, basic equipment operation, cleaning, safe food handling, customer service fundamentals.

Not all-inclusive, by any means though. The idea is giving people an understanding of the bean, the beverages, and more position-specific topics.

Hope that helps.

Thanks Brady!

Customer service, how to be time-effective and how to keep a clean and orderly work environment are vital skills that have been left out of training programs I've been through. It's one thing to know coffee, but it's another thing entirely to show coffee.

Understanding extraction? Way cool. Able to discuss growing regions and taste profiles? Awesome! Cleaning up after yourself and not wasting time? Absolutely critical, as well.

I think you'll do well :)

Great ideas, Alex! Thank you!

Now that I'm on the same page (sorry about that) I agree with Brady. Start with where coffee comes from, what it is- blends, SO's, varieties, etc., and also focus on customer service and efficiency/cleanliness- no one really wants a drink from a filthy bar. That's actually the biggest decision maker for me when I visit other coffee shops.

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