With an abundance of cafes and coffee bars around Australia it is obvious that Australians love their coffee! This is ideal for backpackers. As there are a lot of options when it comes to choosing hospitality work, specifically a barista. If you want to work in a cafe, a bakery or even chains like Gloria Jeans, Starbucks etc, you will have to master all types of coffees and pass specialised barista course training. In this article we will cover the fundamentals of coffee and how to become a barista in Australia.
What is a Barista?
Here making a coffee is an art! In Europe there are two choices; a nutty or a long whereas in Australia, the list of styles of coffee available is almost endless. Indeed, you can opt for short black, long black, macchiato, mocha, flat white, latte, cappuccino etc etc. And that without counting all the possible options: strong, lactose free milk, skinny milk, soy milk, almond milk etc… But in addition to being good, your coffee must also be beautiful… in short, quite an art!
A barista is someone who has been specially trained to make and serve coffee in cafes, restaurants and coffee roaster bars.
Previous barista / café experience is highly sought after when searching for a job therefore if you haven’t already, it’s worth doing a barista course for the specialised training. Making coffee in Australia is considered a work of art, so not only does the coffee have to taste great, it’s expected to be presented beautifully.
Being a barista means being available to work early in the morning, or on weekends. This can be a full-time job or allow you to complete a job.
A barista course is mostly hands-on training therefore it cannot be completed online. You are required to attend small group classes which run for one to three days depending on the organisation. They cost anywhere between $150 AUD – $350 AUD. You also have longer training courses, which extend over several days or even weeks!
It doesn’t matter whether you are in Victoria or Queensland etc. as the training is recognised nationally and is valid all throughout Australia.
During a barista course you will learn the origin of coffees, the history, how to operate, clean and maintain coffee machines, how to prepare coffee in all the different ways, coffee art such as flowers and hearts. You will also learn extraction times, how to lather milk, what strategies to use to manage your stress if there is a queue of 20 people all waiting for their coffee and much more!
You will find barista training in every city in Australia, big or small. Prices can vary from city to city but will generally start around $150 for basic training. There are quite a few organisations to choose from, so to help you decide on the best barista course, consider these important points;
- Access to your own machine
- Ability to make as many coffees as you like
- Thoroughly learning the cleaning, dismantling and assembly of mills and coffee machines
Barista Course with RSA Melbourne
Although there are barista courses all over Australia, we recommend training with accredited organisation, RSA Melbourne which is located at 28 Elizabeth Street (Level 3) in downtown Melbourne.
The barista standards in Melbourne have a worldwide reputation for being the most experience and creative in the industry. RSA Melbourne offers two types of barista courses; a basic course and a master class. During both courses you will have access to your own machine and will be able to make an unlimited number of coffees during your training. This is a real advantage for better learning and training during your course. In addition, it is important to learn how to properly use, clean, assemble, disassemble the coffee machine.
Barista Coffee Course – Overview
The Barista Coffee Course is a basic 1-day course running from 9:00am to 4:30pm and costs $195 AUD. During the hands-on training you will learn the ins and outs of a coffee machine:
- How to tamper coffee
- Adjusting, cleaning and maintaining the grinder and machines
- Milk Textures
- Pouring of the different coffees
At the end of the course you will receive an accredited certificate of participation.
Barista Master Class – Overview
The Barista Master Class is a 2-day course running from 9:00am to 4:30pm. You can enrol for $295 AUD. During the master class you will learn:
- Everything that a basic course offers
- Latte art
- Approved food handling practices
- How to pour all the coffees from a coffee menu
- How to clean and maintain machines
At the end of the course you will receive an accredited statement of attainment for those units :
– SITHFAB005 – Prepare and serve espresso coffee
– SITXFSA001 – Use hygienic practices for food safety
You will also have the option of returning to participate in refresher classes for the following six months free of charge.
Where to find a job as a barista?
In Australia, you will find many restaurant chains dedicated to coffee. This is where you need to start your research. Indeed, these chains are the main companies hiring baristas in the country. Among them are: Starbucks, The Coffee Club, Gloria Jeans Coffee and Jamaica Blue. You will find these coffee chains in all the large or medium cities of the country.
We also advise you to drop off your resume directly in the cafes you may come across in town. If you can ask to speak to the supervisor or manager. Remember that the cafes are very busy in the morning before 9 am, so prefer to go after the rush in the middle or late morning.
You can also target chains like McDonald’s or Donut King by going to restaurants to submit your resume or by applying directly on the companies’ websites.
Finally, do not hesitate to talk about it around you, in your hostel, to your contacts… it is very likely that X knows Y who is leaving his job as a barista to travel…