Barista
Foundation | Intermediate | Professional
Barista
Professional
BARISTA SKILLS CURRICULUM: Professional
Title of module
Barista (Espresso)
Level
Professional
Recommended course
hours
23 hours including exams
Course aim
Overview: Designed to test advanced skills and detailed
knowledge of the science behind processes used, expected
from a professional barista (for example, from someone working
as a barista for 12 months or more, with some management
responsibilities). Successful candidates should have a detailed
understanding of their ingredients and of the techniques
available to maximize the quality of the drinks made. They
should be able to manage the skills of others to produce quality
drinks and provide excellent customer service. They should be
able to maintain their equipment to ensure continued quality.
Information for trainer
Introduction to Coffee, Barista Foundation, and Intermediate
Brewing are recommended (but not mandatory) pre-requisite
modules. Holding the Intermediate Barista Certification is a
mandatory requirement. All knowledge and skill from these
modules will be assumed as being held and may be tested
through the practical and/or written assessments.
Subject/
code
Sub
code
Knowledge / Skill
(what does the student need
to know/what should the
student be able to do)
3.01
COFFEE
BEANS
3.01.1 Factors that influence
differences in bean density
including coffee origin,
processing style, roast level,
and age (green and roasted).
3.01.2 The composition of the bean
and what the components
contribute in flavor and body.
How different amounts, and
combinations of sweet, acid,
bitter affect flavor and
balance.
Objective
(what does the student need to
do to demonstrate knowledge or
skill)
Describe espresso flavor in
terms of blends, variety, origin,
processing method, and roast
degree. Can recognize how
coffee density affects extraction.
Can name and identify by taste
a range of organic acids and
understand their importance to
flavors in coffee.
Formulate balance of espresso
flavor: acidity, sweetness and or
bitterness by manipulating
extractions.
SCA Barista Professional Curriculum; July 2017 (V 1.0)
3.01.3 Evaluate by cupping different
origins, processing and roast
profiles, and how these offer
different flavors and
performance.
Can describe a blend of their
own in terms of beans variety,
origin, processing and roast and
the desired flavor and mouthfeel
this would achieve.
3.01.4
How much caffeine typically
is in a decaffeinated coffee
vs coffee that has been
unaltered and the effects on
extraction and flavor.
Understand and explain how
caffeine is removed from coffee
via different decaffeination
processes.
Can summarize the various
decaffeination processes in an
effective, efficient way to
customers.
3.01.5
How the amount of Co2 that
is retained within roasted
coffee on any given roast
date affects brew recipes.
Can distinguish coffee that is
too fresh or stale by visual clues
during its extraction, and flavor.
Identify how storage
temperature affects speed of
beans degassing. Can
recognize extraction/flow
affected by Co2 and adjusts
brew recipes accordingly.
Uses techniques to maintain
freshness in slow-selling
beans/blends (guest blends,
single origins, decaffeinated).
Applies first-in, first-out policies
to ensure rotation of fresh coffee
on retail shelves.
3.01.6 How different packaging
methods affect freshness.
Selects packaging that
maximizes shelf life.
Can offer insight to selecting
packaging and storage that
maximizes shelf life.
3.01.7 How climatic condition and
environmental condition
affect freshness.
Stores away from extremes of
heat and cold.
SCA Barista Professional Curriculum; July 2017 (V 1.0)
3.02
WORKSPACE
MANAGEMENT
3.03
GRINDING,
DOSING AND
TAMPING
3.02.1 Analyze a café layout to
ensure speed and efficiency,
good workflow and smooth
customer traffic.
Identifies problems with café
layout.
3.03.1 Advantages and
Disadvantages of various
grinder features – including
motor speed, size and types
of burrs (flat or conical), grind
distribution, degree of static
and waste, construction,
ease of use (for grinders with
a dosing chamber and ondemand grinders).
Selects grinder based on
advantages and disadvantages
related to the needs of the
situation it will be used for.
3.03.2 Advantages and
Disadvantages of features of
flat and conical burrs from a
scientific perspective (motor
speed, particle size, heat
dispersion, burr
replacement). Can
Selects type of burrs based on
advantages and disadvantages
related to the needs of the
situation they will be used for.
Can offer insight on selecting a
grinder burrs.
Adjusts or recommends
adjustments to café layout to
correct problems related to
speed, efficiency, workflow and
customer traffic.
Explain the advantages and
disadvantages of different
grinder models as they relate to
the needs of the situation. Can
offer insight on selecting a
grinder model.
Explain the differences related
to burr types and their effect on
grind particle size.
3.03.3 Features of different styles of
hand tampers and
distribution tools and when to
use each
The efficiency of certain
distribution tools and
techniques and how they
affect consistency.
Consistency can increase but
efficiency potentially can
decrease.
Selects hand tamper and
distribution tools based on ease
of use and diameter of filter
basket it will be used with.
Explain how different tampers
and distribution tools can
influence consistency and
efficiency when used.
SCA Barista Professional Curriculum; July 2017 (V 1.0)
3.03.4
Degree of roast will affect the
physical volume/mass of a
dose and affect the amount
of potential solubles and flow
rate.
3.03.5 Analysis of inconsistency in
dosing and tamping in others
and its effect on extraction.
Recognizes the grinder
adjustments needed for different
degrees of roast, and resultant
different bean density.
Recognizes that changing the
dose causes changes to
espresso flavor and body,
through altering the mass to
energy (temperature) ratio,
available solids, and change in
flow rate.
Identifies when
uneven/unbalanced extractions
occur due to inconsistent dosing
and tamping from another
barista.
Can offer advice and
suggestions to bring extractions
back into balance and even
extraction.
3.04
3.04.1 Purpose of latest features on
EXTRACTION &
espresso machines
BREWING
(temperature stability,
pressure profiling, multiple
boilers, PID systems, preinfusion).
Adjustments in pressure
may cause the flow rate and
dissolving of compounds to
increase or decrease.
Recognizes that changes in
temperature and pressure
during extraction can alter
espresso flavor and flow rate.
Determine what adjustments
can be made on an espresso
machine to achieve a desired
flavor and body in the espresso.
Adjustments in temperature
may cause the flow rate and
dissolving of compounds to
increase or decrease.
3.04.2 How extraction measurement
tools and techniques relate to
the assessment of espresso
(espresso brewing charts and
formulas, measurement
devices and software).
Process of measurement
using such tools.
Can demonstrate the use of
extraction measurement tools
(digital/optical refractometer or
TDS meter) and techniques to
assist in monitoring the
extraction process.
Can define "extraction
percentage", "total dissolved
solids" and "espresso brew
SCA Barista Professional Curriculum; July 2017 (V 1.0)
formula" as it relates to
espresso.
3.04.3 The interrelationship of the
Describes how changes to the
various extraction parameters mass to energy ratio (the
and its effects.
relationship between the
quantity of ground coffee and
the temperature of the hot
water), will change extraction %.
Analyses the effect of long and
short extraction ratios on
espresso flavor/texture.
Applies the principle of a
"balanced" extraction to
espresso.
Measures extraction
percentages in espresso and
explains why an extraction of
18-22% is considered balanced.
3.04.4 Analysis of inconsistencies
other baristas have with their
extraction techniques.
Identifies when
uneven/unbalanced extractions
occur due to inconsistent
extractions from another barista.
Can offer advice and
suggestions to bring extractions
back into balance and even
extraction.
3.04.5 Establish a wide experience
of coffees of various
species/origins/process/roast
informs brewing decisions
and advise customers. Apply
terminology within the SCA
Flavor wheel to describe a
wide range of coffees of
various
species/origins/process/roast.
Accurately describe the flavor,
body, aroma, and aftertaste of
any coffee prepared as an
espresso.
Based on these attributes,
barista can recommend certain
coffees for certain blends,
drinks, and customer
preferences. Often, baristas will
be able to discern the origin,
processing style and roast level
based on these descriptors.
3.04.6 Can discern an origin,
Can recommend certain coffees
processing style and roast
for certain blends, drinks, and
level and give objective flavor customer preferences.
descriptors to a customer.
SCA Barista Professional Curriculum; July 2017 (V 1.0)
3.05
MILK
TECHNIQUES
3.05.1 Understand the components
of milk and how they are
impacted during the
pasteurization and
homogenization process.
Be aware of the “route to
market” of milk and its shelf
life.
Describe the process(es) of
pasteurization, ultra heat
treatment, and homogenization.
Follows use-by dates and shelf
life of milk as well as storage
requirements – from supplier to
barista to customer.
Describes the role of protein in
forming foam and fat for coating
the foam improving mouthfeel,
drainage and flavor.
Describe what implications this
may have for a range of milk
alternatives in their performance
for a barista.
Understands how proteins may
be affected by the acidity of
coffee. Applies this knowledge
during the milk steaming
process.
Can identify deterioration in
foam quality caused by aging
milk and damage in production.
Can identify milk that will not
foam as it is affected by lipolysis
and proteolysis.
Understand the problems
caused by free fatty acids in
preventing foaming.
Identify how and why excessive
heat denatures milk protein
deteriorating flavor.
Relate why some customers
may be intolerant to lactose. Not
producing the enzyme lactase,
required to break down lactose
into glucose and galactose.
3.05.2 Techniques to consistently
produce high quality
'microfoam'.
Can consistently deliver the
highest quality foam standards
as per the SCA Foam Quality
Guide.
SCA Barista Professional Curriculum; July 2017 (V 1.0)
3.05.3 Ability to 'freepour' two latte
art patterns to a consistently
good standard – on two
consecutive drinks.
Freepours' latte art patterns
consistently to a reasonable
standard or higher on SCA Latte
Art Standards.
3.05.4 Good techniques for
improving micro-foam and
maintaining consistency in
drinks.
Swirls milk in the pitcher before
pouring when required.
3.05.5 Analysis of problems other
baristas have with their milk
techniques.
Can identify problems other
baristas have with their milk
techniques.
Can execute methods of milk
sharing, to obtain even foam
levels on drinks, when required.
Offers correct advice and
solutions related to texturing
and heating milk.
3.06
3.06.1 Recognizes standards for
BARISTA MENU
drink range as well as
regional variations around
the world.
3.06.2 Applies techniques to
prepare complex orders of
drinks quickly and efficiently.
Can describe variations to
standard drinks range.
Organizes the workspace and
plans the work load logically,
efficiently and hygienically
3.06.3 Evaluates necessary
Can design and write a menu
information for espresso
menus with regard to content Selects drinks (and prices)
and design.
based on thorough research.
3.07
HYGIENE,
HEALTH &
SAFETY
3.08
CUSTOMER
SERVICE
3.07.1 Organizational and
operational policies and
procedures (for beverage
preparation and service,
cleaning and storage) – to
keep everything in the
espresso workspace safe
and hygienic.
Documents and implements
policies and procedures related
to hygiene and safety – taking
local laws and manufacturer's
instructions into consideration.
3.08.1 Recognize how customer
service ensures quality
drinks, speed of service, and
exceeding customer
expectations.
Documents and implements
policies and procedures related
to customer service.
Trains staff in policies and
procedure related to safety and
hygiene.
SCA Barista Professional Curriculum; July 2017 (V 1.0)
3.08.2 Demonstration of consistently Can develop methods of
exceptional customer service assessing customer satisfaction.
when communicating with
customers.
Can evaluate work procedures
and systems as to their
suitability for good customer
service.
Can utilize onselling and
upselling techniques.
3.08.3 Create policy for complaint
handling and advise on
techniques for dealing with
complaints.
Develops methods for collecting
and evaluating feedback from
customers – and implements
necessary changes.
Communicates accurately on a
range of coffee-related topics –
while preparing and serving
orders.
3.09
3.09.1 Cleaning and maintenance
CLEANING,
procedures.
MAINTENANCE,
TROUBLETools critical for espresso
SHOOTING, &
machine and grinder
WATER
maintenance
Proper use of common
preventative maintenance
tools
Demonstrates the ability to
change water filters,
grouphead gaskets/seals and
grinder burrs, clean and
change drainage tubes, and
properly adjust pump
pressure
Identifies leaky steam valves
and grouphead gaskets
Difference between
necessary preventative
maintenance and
mechanical/electrical issues
deserving of a service call
Documents and implements
policies and procedures related
to cleaning and maintenance –
taking local laws and
manufacturer's instructions into
consideration.
Identify tools to keep near the
espresso machine
Describe the process and
importance of changing water
filters, cleaning and changing
grinder burrs, cleaning and
changing drainage tubes, pump
pressure adjustment, rebuilding
steamwand valves, and
changing grouphead gaskets
and screens
Recognize when service calls
are warranted
Recognize and identify common
issues such as leaky steam
valves and group head gaskets.
SCA Barista Professional Curriculum; July 2017 (V 1.0)
3.09.2 Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
and its effect on espresso
Ability to measure the TDS of
water and understand how the
results will influence brewing
3.09.3 Alkalinity and its effect on
espresso
Ability to measure alkalinity
using ‘drops kit’ and understand
how the results will influence
your brewing
3.09.4 Total Hardness (TH) and its
effect on espresso
Ability to measure TH using
‘drops kit’ and understand how
the results will influence your
brewing
3.09.5 pH and effect on espresso
Learn & practice to measure pH
using digital meter and/or strips
and understand how the results
will influence your brewing
3.09.6 Recognizes the need for
water filtration based on
testing.
3.1
CAFE
MANAGEMENT
Explain the differences in water
filtration systems and how they
apply to the water within the
situation.
Can offer insight on choosing a
water filtration system.
3.10.1 Establishing cost as related
to the price of a drink –
including cost of ingredients,
staff costs, general
overheads and taxes.
Analyses prices of drinks to
ensure appropriate profit is
made.
3.10.2 How factors like spoilage,
waste and theft (other than
costs) can impact on profit.
Implements policies and
procedures to minimize
spoilage, waste and theft.
3.10.3 Supply sources
Understanding of appropriate
suppliers (quality, price,
reliability).
3.10.4 Good techniques in staff
management.
Being aware of applicable
systems for
rostering/scheduling.
Develops standardized
recipes/specifications to
evaluate profits, control costs,
and maintain consistency.
SCA Barista Professional Curriculum; July 2017 (V 1.0)
References:
Title
Author
Type of Reference
Espresso Coffee: The Science
Andrea Illy & Rinantonio Viani
of Quality
Book
The Coffee Brewing
Handbook
Ted Lingle
Book
The Coffee Cupper’s
Handbook
Ted Lingle
Book
McGee on Food & Cooking
Harold McGee
Book
Some Aspects of Espresso
Extraction
Jim Schulman
Article/on-line
The SCAE Water Charts
Marco Wellinger, Samo Smrke &
Chahan Yeretzian
Book
SCA Barista Professional Curriculum; July 2017 (V 1.0)