American Barista & Coffee School Grads


American Barista & Coffee School Grads

This group is for those who have graduated from the American Barista & Coffee School in Portland, OR. Keep in touch with fellow students on the progress of your retail coffee businesses.

Members: 173
Latest Activity: Oct 8, 2018

American Barista & Coffee School Graduates

Hello to all former students of the American Barista & Coffee School. Welcome to Barista Exchange! Feel free to use this section to keep in touch with fellow students, ask questions, post photos, etc.

Discussion Forum

What class did you go through?

Started by Peggy Gargaro. Last reply by Alison Powers Dec 26, 2011. 24 Replies

Coffeefest Seattle

Started by Jason Duncan Aug 28, 2008. 0 Replies

Coffee Fest D.C

Started by Matt Milletto. Last reply by Joe Smith Jul 25, 2008. 4 Replies

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of American Barista & Coffee School Grads to add comments!

Comment by Jen Hurd on January 28, 2016 at 2:32pm

Hey, everyone!  I'm one of the trainers at ABCS, and I've been trying to gather info on what everyone is up to.  If you've got FB/Twitter/IG for a coffee business you're a part of, let me know!  I love to link to our grad on our social media.

Comment by Denise Smith on October 10, 2014 at 1:13pm

Dennis McQuid, I understand what you mean. ABCs spoiled us too. They were our first contact in the Specialty Coffee World and none has measured up to them. POS systems are the worst! We have tried two different companies and there ‘training’ is always lacking. I just paid for 2 hours of ‘training’ during an upgrade and all the tech person did is meander around my system tweaking issues that never should have been there to begin with. I need a soil training video like the ones ABCs makes. We train all our employees to their standards. I wish I could train my employees on a POS system the same way.  

If it had not been our training at ABCs before we even bought the property or did the build out or opening our doors... we never would have made it. Of all the ‘professionals’ that have crossed our paths in this business, they are the only ones with true integrity.

Comment by Dennis McQuoid on February 10, 2010 at 2:16pm
I originally posted this in response to a question about the value of coffee schools. So this is a cut and paste version. Sorry to any who have received a double email ;-(. But it's appropriate here, yes?

ABC was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I haven't had a good espresso drink served to me at any local cafe since attending - and I try to visit a few every week. Ignorance truly is bliss. Matt spoiled me on day one with his creation of a traditional cappuccino.

My worst experience was with a large, local Hawaiian - based in Honolulu, roaster that has it's own coffee bar and offers tours. Without mentioning the name, I'm sure many of you can figure it out. Their coffee is served and sold in virtually every grocery store, drug store, and convenience store in Hawaii, not to mention several coffee shops. If they can't train their own employees properly, they certainly will not train you or your employees properly.

Here's the case:
I went into their cafe at 10:30 AM and it was empty. To be clear, it is an industrial area and not many people walking around during work shifts. I ordered a cappuccino as this is my standard. First thing I noticed when the young lady pulled the portofilter from the group head was that she did not wipe it off. Mistake 2 - the grinder doser had about two inches of ground coffee sitting inside (remember empty shop) so the ground coffee had been sitting for who knows how long - maybe two hours? Mistakes 3, 4 and 5 - she fills the portafilter, never tapping to settle the grounds, tamps once very lightly, and without wiping the loose grounds off, sticks the portafilter back into the grouphead, (mistake 6) without flushing out the grouphead. Of course the shot took about 7 seconds to completion. Mistake 7, 8, and 9 - she re-steamed milk that had been sitting I guess since the last customer, then added more milk, then re-steamed again (redundancy, I know). Mistake 10 - espresso is served in a "12 oz" take-out cup. Mistake 11 - she filled the cup to the brim with a mixture of over-steamed and under-steamed milk. Mistake 12 - she then served the drink to me.

The roaster's cafe made at least 12 mistakes making 1 cappuccino!

Obviously being a roaster, even a well known roaster does not mean they know how to make and serve drinks. This also brings into question the quality of the roast. Popular and good are not equal terms. I think getting professional training from a school like ABC offers a competitive advantage that really separates you from them.

One thing I found out, by questioning the servers (I would not call them baristas) that made my bad drinks, is that they don't care to learn. They had no idea about what beans were being served. They push a couple buttons, serve a few drinks, grab the paycheck and tips, and go home. That's poor management more than poor service.

So thanks a lot ABC, for taking away my bliss. But no doubt when I open my shop, I'll serve a much better drink than anyone else around here makes, and train my employees to learn more, and share their knowledge and passion with the customers. These are some of the values instilled at a professional school. How much is that worth?
Comment by Jon Mitchell on March 17, 2009 at 9:45am
What kind of recipe development are you talking about? Food, drinks, or both?
Comment by Sarah on March 17, 2009 at 9:16am
It doesn't look like anyone has posted in awhile, but I'm going to give it a shot! I need some help with recipe development work and am looking for baristas/operators interested in working with us. Feel free to reach out to me with interest.

Comment by espressoitaliano on August 29, 2008 at 11:39pm
Is anyone going to coffeefest? I'm considering, let me know.
Comment by Steve on August 17, 2008 at 9:29pm
You cant put a price on this class, for what they give you in such a short time is truly priceless!!! Thanks to Matt, Jared and Ed for all your expertise!!!
Comment by Holly Josey on April 23, 2008 at 12:51pm
ABC was time well invested - absolutely. How many of you return home to find that your old trust espresso machine has evolved into a piece of unworthy junk?!? Amazing how quickly one's perspective can change!!

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