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How do I Choose the Best Barista School?

Harriette Halepis
Harriette Halepis

Baristas have been around for centuries, though the term barista has recently gained a vast amount of attention. Prior to large coffee chains educating their staff on the proper ways to make lattes and cappuccinos, Italian coffee makers had been perfecting the art of the perfect cup for many years. Today, those aspiring to walk in the footsteps of many Italian coffee pioneers can attend barista school.

Schools that teach students how to become baristas have popped up all over the globe. Most of these programs are six months long and involve all the intricacies of making coffee. Students will learn how to select beans, grind beans, and pour all kinds of coffee concoctions. Selecting a barista school begins with taking a close look at those countries that are known for turning out impressive baristas.

Frothing milk with a cappuccino machine.
Frothing milk with a cappuccino machine.

Italian schools are, arguably, the best, since coffee is a way of life in Italy. These schools offer complete barista courses for any student wishing to learn. Other countries that have many different barista programs to select from include England, Australia, and the United States. In addition, some Asian schools are now offering these courses due to popular demand.

Baristas need to know how to make an espresso.
Baristas need to know how to make an espresso.

Aside from selecting the country that you want to study in, you should also take a look at the type of program each school offers. Some schools present students with a hands-on approach, while other schools tend to teach students from textbooks. Depending upon the type of student that you are, one sort of school may appeal to your academic sense more than the other. Also, take the time to learn a bit about those teaching courses at any school you are considering.

Baristas make a variety of espresso-based drinks.
Baristas make a variety of espresso-based drinks.

Make sure that any barista school you are interested in employs experienced professors. Any teacher that has placed in the Barista Championship is worth learning from. In addition, teachers that have been working as baristas for a number of years will prove to be excellent teachers. Some schools that you might want to consider include Caffe La Barista; Home Barista Institute; and the American Barista and Coffee School.

You'll find that most of the schools mentioned above are located in various countries around the globe. Partaking in a program that is offered in another country is a great way to experience the global coffee community. If you don't speak a foreign language, you may have to seek an alternative to the popular barista school. Luckily, there are some options when it comes to learning the coffee trade outside of a barista school.

Many large coffee chains throughout North America offer barista courses for employees. While not as intense as some dedicated courses, employees of these chains often gain a large amount of useful knowledge. Another way to learn about coffee is to act as an apprentice to a master barista. If you happen to admire one barista or another, simply ask this person whether or not you can learn from them. Any of the approaches to becoming a barista mentioned above are well worth looking into for the true coffee enthusiast.

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Discussion Comments


I've looked at the Midwest Barista School. They have their own coffee bar that they've operated for like 20 years. They are always busy in their store, have a great staff and great coffees. That means a lot to me as I want to learn from someone who knows what they are doing. And they look very professional.


I attended barista training in Arlington Texas with the owner/teach Tom and totally loved it! It was also rated number one at barista training reviews. So it was the obvious choice for me.

Trust me, you will definitely have a great time there and learn so much. Oh yeah --I got hired in a gourmet coffee shop here in Dallas right after I took his class and I'm working on my business plan to open my own high end customer coffee "beanery"!


After checking into a number of schools, I think the best ones would be either the Midwest Barista School in Michigan or ABC School in Portland. There are a number of places that train that look like they are simply a way for a barista to enter the training business. Not bad, just don't look near as comprehensive.


I've attended Texas Coffee School in Dallas, and it was an absolutely fantastic experience! I highly recommend them if you are interested in barista classes that are quality focused and significantly more up to date than those other schools out there!


@donna61--The outlook for someone wanting to be a barista is pretty good. They actually calculate that the opportunity for this job will continue to grow.

I think this is a great "foot in the door" type of career. From here, someone can learn about running restaurants, specialty shops, culinary opportunities, the list goes on if you love the food industry.


Wow! I had no idea! I thought being a barista was a part-time job for college students. If someone actually attends one of these schools, what kind of future can they look forward to? What does the pay and advancement look like?


Ivy League Barista Academy has a great barista training program that is definitely worth looking into!

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    • Frothing milk with a cappuccino machine.
      By: Andrew Martin
      Frothing milk with a cappuccino machine.
    • Baristas need to know how to make an espresso.
      By: Alessandro Capuzzo
      Baristas need to know how to make an espresso.
    • Baristas make a variety of espresso-based drinks.
      By: contrastwerkstatt
      Baristas make a variety of espresso-based drinks.