A "barista" is simply a person who prepares coffee professionally. It is nor more and it is no less. However, not all baristas are created equal.
Honestly, I don't know what a "certified barista" is, what it means or whether it matters. As a barista/owner of my own coffee company, if someone came to me with a barista "certification" (BGA or otherwise), I might laugh them out of the shop because the only "certification" I care about is my own.
Meaning that baristas who work for me are expected to measure up to my standards - which are greater and less tolerant than those of any barista certification group (including the BGA).
If you are considering becoming a "certified barista", ask yourself why and to what end? What is it that you want to do in the craft? Are you looking to learn skills to become a proper barista? Own your own shop? Once you've identified your goals then it becomes easier to offer you advice that's pertinent to your situation.
The training is just a tool. It's how you make use of it that matters.
Hi there, I'm a Barista I currently work in a coffee shop at old San Juan. Right now the certifications in P.R. range in from $200-$350, depending on who you are asking. Like Maria and Jhon I think the certification in here are just a tool for an end, I work for about a year and a halve without a certification. Being a Barista is a thing of practice, a certification do not make you a good Barista, practice does. I'm curently the Barista Champion of P.R., and my certification mean nothing without all the hours of practice and dicipline I had.
Sadly, "barista" is still a pretty ambiguous job title in most places. No offense to the big chains, but their employees who work (effectively) on an assembly line are not baristi in the same way that, say, Michael Phillips is a barista. Then again, with three years and countless hours of practice behind the bar, neither am I!
I don't know how certifications work in Puerto Rico, but like Jesus said, certifications mean nothing without the practice, discipline, and skill involved in our beloved trade.
Even so, I'd love to see the fledgling BGA become widespread enough to offer classes and certification exams in every major city. As we get there, maybe the public's vocabulary will shift to viewing the title barista with more respect.
One can hope :)