Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
opinions and articles
Coffee in Australia by Alan Frew
The Australian Coffee Academy
Author: Alan Frew
Posted: July 21, 2003
Article rating: 7.7
feedback: (4) comments | read | write

Recently I’ve noticed a bit of discussion about “qualifications” in coffee related subjects such as barista training or coffee roasting. As things stand there are no internationally recognised formal courses in things coffee-ish, but this may be changing. In Australia there are a number of privately run Coffee Training schools and courses, of which the Lavazza one has probably been around the longest. The Coffee Academy at the William Angliss Institute of Technical and Further Education in Melbourne is more than somewhat different, though.

Supported by both private sponsorship (Douwe Egberts, a Sara Lee company) and the State Government, it provides a formal curriculum in coffee training with recognised credits towards University degrees and diplomas in tourism, hospitality management and food technology. The credits are also available to other Australian universities. I thought it was about time I found out exactly what went on at a coffee academy, so I contacted the manager, Jill Adams, and had an interesting chat with her.

Jill Adams
Vivacious Jill Adams, manager of the Coffee Academy

According to Jill, what the Academy aims to accomplish is to raise the level of knowledge and competence of Australian Baristas, and improve the overall coffee standards generally. Formal training and assessment is offered to students in hospitality courses at William Angliss, current and future employees in the industry, and interested members of the general public.

What this means in practice is that anyone (and I mean anyone, there are no course pre-requisites) can sign up for a 30 hour course and come out of it at the end with a formal, recognised qualification and basic coffee knowledge and barista skills. The cost of this course is A$200.00, and if you’re employing or employed in the industry it’s tax deductible. The syllabus leans heavily towards the espresso end of the business, but also covers topics such as growing, processing, roasting (in an Alp and a popper, no less!), tasting, bean species and varietals.

The course consists of 10 hours of “face to face” instruction and 20 hours of work experience, research and assessment, making it a bit of a bargain at the price. There are 6 x 2-group auto machines with matching grinders for the students to work at, and class sizes are small to ensure maximum “hands-on” experience. The actual instruction is divided into 6 “Elements” which cover everything from correct bean storage to how to make and serve a varied drinks order the right way.

Inside Academy more machines and more
First view inside the Academy
The machines are all San Marinos supplied by the sponsor
and the grinders are standard CME models.

My take on the course layout is that it covers all the basics, and (apart from the Khaldi legend) doesn’t convey any MIS-information to the students, which can be just as important. Students who complete the course successfully aren’t going to be “instant baristas”, but will certainly have the necessary skills and knowledge to develop into competent ones. One of the things that Jill stresses is that students learn not just what to do but why they’re doing it, so they are not just pulling shots by rote. I have to say that having this sort of course on your resume would have to make you a whole lot more employable in the Café industry as well. I just wish something like this had been around when I was getting started in the business.

As well as the major course, the Academy also conducts “short courses” on a variety of coffee subjects; these are aimed more at the “general public” side of things and don’t carry the official recognition. They also carry out “in house” employee training sessions at employer’s shops when required. In the near future there will be a longer (60 hour) course with more in depth coverage and “on-the-job” training, at a higher cost (A$450.00).

Jill is currently hard at work on a complete training DVD which will cover the whole industry from grower to cup; she’s soon heading off to film the coffee harvest in Northern Queensland as part of this. This DVD is intended to be available for sale to both the trade and the public as part of the overall effort to improve coffee standards in Australia.

As I understand things, the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Barista Certification program is competition based, and is not formally recognised.  The Coffee Academy is NOT aiming to turn out Barista Champions, rather competent bar staff who can make decent espresso beverages correctly and efficiently. The employer benefits by having well trained staff, and the employee benefits by having a professional qualification, officially recognised (by the Australian National Training Authority) throughout Australia.

My opinion is that this sort of training is ideally suited to a country where even the “Mum & Pop” corner milk bars and hot bread shops have espresso machines, and it can be of immense benefit to both new and established members of the industry. It’s focused, practical, and emphasises the basic knowledge and skills needed to produce consistently excellent coffee.

CONTACT NUMBERS:

Jill Adams                                  Phone +61 3 9606 2401
Manager - Coffee Academy           Fax    +61 3 9606 2141
William Angliss Institute of TAFE          http://www.angliss.vic.edu.au
555 LaTrobe St.
Melbourne
Victoria   3000
Australia

Article rating: 7.7
Author: Alan Frew
Posted: July 21, 2003
feedback: (4) comments | read | write
All Retired Columnists Articles
These articles are listed in alphabetical order, first by columnist, then by article title.
A day in the life
Alan Frew, 04.24.2002, Rated: 7.4
A Dinner Party Challenge
Alan Frew, 10.15.2002, Rated: 7.8
Celebrate The Bean
Alan Frew, 03.29.2003, Rated: 8.1
Domestic Espresso Repair
Alan Frew, 05.20.2002, Rated: 9.1
Domestic Grinder Analysis
Alan Frew, 08.30.2002, Rated: 8.5
Domestic Machine Reviews
Alan Frew, 08.22.2003, Rated: 8.2
Domestic Machine Roundup
Alan Frew, 07.01.2002, Rated: 8.8
Espresso Blend Building
Alan Frew, 03.25.2002, Rated: 7.7
Imex Roaster Revisited
Alan Frew, 12.15.2001, Rated: 7.5
Meditations on a Mantra
Alan Frew, 09.28.2002, Rated: 8.3
My View of SCAA 2002
Alan Frew, 06.10.2002, Rated: 8.2
Plenty Questions
Alan Frew, 01.22.2002, Rated: 8.4
Price Up, Taste Down
Alan Frew, 01.07.2002, Rated: 8.2
Show Me The Money!
Alan Frew, 12.28.2001, Rated: 8.4
Small Espresso Tweaks
Alan Frew, 02.14.2003, Rated: 8.5
Suck It And See
Alan Frew, 08.09.2002, Rated: 8.1
The Top 10 Coffee Myths
Alan Frew, 07.15.2002, Rated: 8.1
Turn on, Tune in, Espresso out
Alan Frew, 02.23.2002, Rated: 8.3
Up at the Sharp End
Alan Frew, 05.24.2003, Rated: 7.5
Andrea Illy Speaks in New York
Liz Clayton, 01.15.2008, Rated: 8.3
NYC Cafe Scene Report: March 2008
Liz Clayton, 03.28.2008, Rated: 8.7
Humble Beginnings
Aaron De Lazzer, 01.25.2002, Rated: 7.5
Latte "Tips", Part Two
Aaron De Lazzer, 12.28.2001, Rated: 8.0
Latte Art, some "Tips"
Aaron De Lazzer, 12.10.2001, Rated: 7.6
Love and Hate in Espresso
Aaron De Lazzer, 07.26.2003, Rated: 8.1
Mediocre Coffee
Aaron De Lazzer, 07.13.2003, Rated: 7.9
Ristretto Shots
Aaron De Lazzer, 02.24.2002, Rated: 7.9
Training Espresso
Aaron De Lazzer, 06.28.2003, Rated: 8.4
An Introduction
Jason Dominy, 04.28.2012, Rated: 8.6
Making Progress
Ed Gabrielle, 09.15.2002, Rated: 8.5
Meeting Silvia
Ed Gabrielle, 07.21.2002, Rated: 6.9
Ethiopian Sidamos
Karen Hamilton, 10.15.2008, Rated: 8.8
Ritual Coffee
Karen Hamilton, 11.15.2008, Rated: 8.6
Coffee Business Journey
Jack Hanna, 04.08.2012, Rated: 8.3
Coffee and a Donut
James Hoffmann, 06.02.2007, Rated: 7.0
Crema
James Hoffmann, 10.14.2006, Rated: 8.9
Bean There Part 4
Terry Montague, 05.26.2002, Rated: 8.6
Bean There, Roasted That Pt.3
Terry Montague, 01.28.2002, Rated: 8.5
Beans & Roasts, Pt.2
Terry Montague, 01.13.2002, Rated: 9.0
Beans and Roasts, Pt.1
Terry Montague, 12.31.2001, Rated: 8.3
Good taste - Good cause
Terry Montague, 04.29.2002, Rated: 8.8
Notes from the Road
Lou Pescarmona, 08.16.2002, Rated: 8.3
Reluctant Admission
Lou Pescarmona, 05.12.2002, Rated: 8.3
Supreme Bean
Lou Pescarmona, 06.16.2002, Rated: 8.2
Cold Espresso
Jim Piccinich, 10.23.2002, Rated: 8.3
Power Protection
Jim Piccinich, 03.01.2003, Rated: 6.3
So Many Choices
Jim Piccinich, 09.15.2002, Rated: 8.4
Temp Regulation 101
Jim Piccinich, 07.04.2003, Rated: 8.1
What is a Heat Exchanger?
Jim Piccinich, 07.14.2003, Rated: 7.7
Faema E61 Part 2
Paul Pratt, 12.18.2007, Rated: 8.8
Faema E61 Restoration
Paul Pratt, 06.05.2007, Rated: 8.8
Setting the Scene
Paul Pratt, 11.15.2003, Rated: 6.7
Barista Basics, or Not
George Sabados, 05.03.2004, Rated: 7.8
Cafe Culture Downunder
George Sabados, 06.12.2007, Rated: 7.8
Changing Cafe Owner Thinking
George Sabados, 02.06.2006, Rated: 7.6
The End of the Barista
George Sabados, 12.27.2006, Rated: 7.8
"Espresso", a review.
Ted Simpson, 01.20.2002, Rated: 8.2
A Quick Introduction
Ted Simpson, 12.14.2001, Rated: 8.5
The Hunt
Ted Simpson, 12.28.2001, Rated: 8.6
Grinder Adjustments
Chris Weaver, 03.01.2012, Rated: 8.1
     
Interactive
Search
Login Password
forgot pw | signup
quickNav
advertisement
sponsorad
Find the Right Machine...
Package deals on the best machines from Izzo, Quick Mill, Rocket, La Marzocco & more.
www.clivecoffee.com
sponsorad
Cafe Solutions
Commercial sales and service, nationwide installation, equipment leasing options.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
sponsorad
Stefano's Espresso Care
Repair - Parts - Sales
Factory Authorized &
Trained Technician
www.espressocare.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.362730026245)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+