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.
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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.
How to become a Barista in Australia?
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.
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!
It is not possible to take this training online. The courses are conducted in classrooms, in small groups. The basic trainings are conducted over a day and cost between $150 and $350, depending on the organization chosen and the type of training desired. There are also longer trainings, which can extend over several days, or even weeks!
You can find barista training courses in all cities in Australia, big or small. The prices may vary from one city to another, but generally start at around $150 for the basic training
Key points to check before choosing a training course
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…
Do not hesitate to also apply to hotels and restaurants, as they often hire for their bars and cafes.
Employment opportunities for baristas in Australia are plentiful, especially in large cities and tourist areas.
Is the Barista Training recognized throughout Australia?
Once completed, this training is valid throughout Australia and does not expire.
You may wonder if barista training is sufficient to find work. If you are looking in big cities like Sydney or Melbourne and in renowned cafes, the training alone may not be enough without additional experience. However, barista training can help you land a job in smaller cafes, bakeries, brasseries, restaurants, etc.
What is the average salary for a Barista in Australia?
The average salary for a barista in Australia varies depending on where you work, your experience, and the type of establishment. For example, the salary will differ if you work at a McDonald’s cafe versus being a barista in a restaurant. The average hourly rate for barista jobs in Australia ranges between 25 and 35 dollars. The average annual salary for barista jobs is between 60,000 and 65,000 dollars.
Other useful training in the hospitality industry
If you want to work as a waiter/waitress in the city, it is compulsory to obtain your RSA in addition to barista training.
The RSA ensures that you are aware of the regulations concerning alcohol consumption in Australia. You are trained to be responsible when serving customers to avoid alcohol-related damages.
Regulations are specific to each state and territory, and there is no RSA valid for all of Australia. This means you will need to obtain the RSA in the state where you want to work.
Get your RSA in Australia (with special discounts!)
Pay less for your RSA course (Responsible Service of Alcohol). With this certificate, you are allowed to work in all places where alcohol is served or sold.
Food Hygiene Certificate
If you’re working in food handling, some establishments will require you to complete the ‘Food Hygiene’ training. This course is designed to teach you the hygiene rules to follow in the field of food safety. The training usually lasts half a day.
Barman / Barmaid
The Bar Skills training teaches you everything you need to know to work behind a bar. You’ll learn how to pour beer, prepare cocktails, and more. This training generally spans over two half-days.
You will need to have the RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) to serve alcohol!