Images And Pathway Class Descriptions used with the permission of SCA

Barista Level 1 / Foundation Certificate and Practical Exam

The Price Above Reflects SCA, SCAA, SCAE, NCA & CQI Member Discounts

This is a 3 Day program

Class Dates

  • 6-8 FEB 2017 - This Course Is Sold Out
  • 29-31 MAR 2017 - This Course Is Sold Out
  • 19-21 JUN 2017 

This 3-Day course includes SCAA's Foundations of Coffee, the Barista Level 1 coursework and the Level 1 Practical Exam.

With three levels of dynamic content the Barista Certificate Programs present a series of certificates designed to accelerate a student’s professional trajectory with world-recognized instruction in espresso and espresso drink preparation, equipment operation and customer service. Upon completion, graduates have established a set of skills that are immediately relevant and ready to enhance the workforce in any coffee bar operation with a focus on high-level, high-quality execution to the standards and best practices of the Specialty Coffee Association. The focus of the 3 Day Barista Level 1 Certificate Program is to learn the basics of espresso preparation, milk, and drink building. With access to the best tools, coffees, and industry leaders, Level 1 Barista students receive expertly lead training and a comprehensive introduction to the craft of espresso preparation and coffee brewing. Succesful completion of the The Barista Level 1 Program will qualify you to receive the Barista Foundation Certificate from SCA.

Classes at the Academy of Coffee Excellence generally run from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm unless otherwise noted.

Day 2 & 3

The last two days of the Barista Level 1 Certificate Program are the Foundations of Coffee Module. If you have already taken Foundations of Coffee at the Academy of Coffee Excellence, or other certified SCA Campus or Event, you do not need to take this 3 day course. You would only need to register for and take our 1 Day Barista Training and the Barista Level 1 Practical Exam. Simply return to the Barista Certificate Training Menu and select 1 Day Barista Training and then the Barista Level 1 Practical Exam.

Day 1

Exceptional espresso preparation is a requirement for anyone in specialty coffee retail. Students work closely with an instructor in a small group, pulling shots, steaming milk and preparing espresso beverages to SCAA Standards in this laboratory-style class. CP101 / CP102 Espresso and Milk Steaming Fundamentals is designed to enable you to:

  1. Demonstrate SCA Espresso Standards and current industry trends.
  2. Demystify espresso machines, grinders and preparation techniques.
  3. Provide hands-on experience under guidance from SCA Instructors.
  4. Administer basic preventative maintenance and essential cleaning to espresso equipment.
  5. Explain and demonstrate the importance of workstation cleanliness and hygiene.

Day 2

Orientation to SCAA Cupping: Cupping is the Specialty Coffee Industry’s standard for evaluating green coffee. Using the SCAA Cupping Protocol and exploring two flights of coffee, participants are introduced to and practice the SCAA protocol, and focus on basic vocabulary from the Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel for objective, professional coffee quality evalution.

Roasting Demonstration: We will roast a batch of coffee to experience, first hand, the visual, olfactory and audible milestones of proper roasting. This coffee will be cupped and discussed the following day. Here you will develop an understanding of the soluble compounds inherent in green coffee and how the roasting process transforms them so that the barista can expertly extract them into a quality beverage.

Seed to Cup: A fundamental skill of any specialty coffee professional is to be able to identify key points and explain the journey coffee from seed to cup, having a basic grasp of concepts of coffee’s history, growing conditions and chain of custody. This information is an underpinning for purchasing decisions and communication along the chain from farmer to consumer. Engaging, educating and enriching consumers of specialty coffee are inherent in the work of baristas, roasters and retailers, and this class provides accurate, concise information that surveys the custody of coffee, from farmer to barista. Having this basic framework of knowledge will help newcomers to the industry position new information as they learn on the job from others. A large portion of this day is at the cupping table.

Orientation to Espresso Equipment: Here you will receive an orientation the the espresso machines at the Academy of Coffee Excellence. Once oriented, you will be free to make espresso and espresso beverages in advance of Day 3. Lunch is provided.

Day 3

Brewing and Extraction Principles: This class is the foundation for all coffee brewing and is essential for any newcomer to the coffee industry. Coffee professionals need to have a strong knowledge of the principals governing optimum brewing methods and must be able to brew coffee to SCA’s vetted standards.

Brewing and Extraction Principles Applied: This class continues to explore the six essential elements of coffee brewing, both through mechanical and manual brewing methods. Students get hands-on time with several hand pour brew methods including but not limited to: French Press, Clever Dripper, V60, Chemex, Kalita, Siphon and Aeropress.

Customer Service Essentials: Outstanding customer service is a critical component of creating the specialty coffee experience. Students will identify common keys to great customer service and also steps of service recovery for when things go wrong. During group discussions, students strategize how to improve customer service interactions and exchange experiences and approaches that have been successful. The class focuses on the specialty coffee barista, but is relevant for all members of the specialty coffee community. The bulk of this day is at the brewing and tasting tables.

Review of The 13 Steps of proper espresso Extraction: Here you will learn and practice The 13 Steps of proper espresso extraction. This will build the comfort level necessary to enable greater focus on dialing in espresso to SCAA Standards in Day 3. Lunch is provided.


Prior to arriving at the course, you will need to receive an SCAA Account Identification Number. This number is how all of your class credits are compiled for receiving a certificate. It is currently free to create. If you do not have an SCAA Account Number, go to Create SCAA ID Number and create an SCAA Account Identification Number. After you have created an account, your SCAA ID Number will appear in red, right below the words "My Profile". 

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