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SCA BARISTA CURRICULUM

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SCA BARISTA SKILLS - FOUNDATION

1. General Information

Course Length: Minimum 7 hours
Prerequisites: None; Introduction to Coffee recommended

Written Exam Information:

  • Total Number of Questions on Online Written Exam: 20 questions

  • Total Time Allowed for Online Written Exam: 22 minutes

  • Passing Score (Online Written Exam): 60%

Practical Exam Information:

  • This Foundation course does not include a practical exam

2. Course Description

The Barista Skills Foundation course focuses on the key skills required to set a grinder, make espresso and foam, and texture milk for cappuccinos.

This course allows one to gain an introductory understanding of the coffee itself and set a foundation from which to build practical skills for milk technique and latte art, while implementing health and safety practices and customer service.

3. Written Exam Questions Distribution by Topic

1.01 COFFEE BEANS

  1. Arabica and Robusta Differences

  2. Freshness (Its Importance and Maintenance)

  3. Influence of Roast Degree

1.02 WORKSPACE MANAGEMENT AND WORKFLOW

  1. Grinder Components

  2. Espresso Machine Components

  3. Safe Use of Grinder and Machine

  4. Clean and Organized Workspace

1.03 ESPRESSO PROCESS: GRIND, DOSE, TAMP

  1.  Espresso Recipes

  2. Grinder Calibration and Dosing

  3. Distribution and Tamping Technique

1.04 EXTRACTION AND BREWING

  1. What is Espresso

  2. Barista Routine

1.05 Sensory

  1. Extraction and Descriptors

1.06 MILK

  1.  Freshness

  2. Milk Foaming Techniques

  3. Temperature of Steamed Milk

1.07 ESPRESSO BASED MENU

  1. Drink Components and Construction

1.08 CLEANING, HEALTH AND SAFETY

  1. Safe and Hygienic Work Practices

  2. Regular Cleaning of Equipment

1.09 WATER QUALITY

  1. Impact on Brew Quality and Machine Function

1.10 CUSTOMER SERVICE AND CAFÉ MANAGEMENT

  1. The Customer Experience

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SCA BARISTA SKILLS - INTERMEDIATE

1. General Information

Course Length: Minimum 14 hours including practical exam
Pre-requisites: Introduction to Coffee and Barista Foundation are recommended (but not mandatory) pre-requisite modules. All knowledge and
skill from these modules will be assumed as being held and may be tested through the practical and/or written assessments.

Written Exam Information:

  • Total Number of Questions on Online Written Exam: 35 questions

  • Total Time Allowed for Online Written Exam: 37

  • Passing Score (Online Written Exam): 70%

Practical Exam Information:

  • Total Time Allowed for Practical Exam: 40 minutes

  • Total Number of Sections on Practical Exam: 3 sections

  • Passing Score (Practical Exam):
    Section 1 – 50% = 3 points correct
    Section 2 – 82.7% = 48 points correct
    Section 3 – 64% = 9 points correct
    Learners must pass all 3 sections in order to pass exam.

2. Course Description

The Barista Skills Intermediate course builds on the concepts and skills introduced in the Foundation course. It is ideal for someone who has
barista skills experience and wants to explore how to improve coffee quality and prepare for more complex job functions found in the barista
profession. Through this interactive course, learners will gain a deeper understanding of the coffee itself, specifically the impact of a coffee’s
variety, origins and processing methods on flavor; the parameters of coffee quantity, grind texture, water quality and shot time and their interaction when dialling in a brew recipe; drink construction and taste differences; workflow management and efficiency, sensory aspects of the
espresso extraction; milk handling and techniques as well as latte art. In addition to coffee preparation, this course also covers key concepts
regarding health and safety, customer service and basic business practices.

3. Written Exam Questions Distribution by Topic

2.01 COFFEE BEANS

  1. Arabica Varieties

  2. Origin's Impact on Flavor

  3. Processing Methods and Their Impact on Flavor & Body

  4. Roast Degree’s Impact in Coffee Solubility & Density:

    • Solubility

    • Density

  5. Degassing of Roasted Coffee

    • Degassing and Its Effect on Solubility

    • Packaging and Temperatures Effect on Degassing

2.02 WORKSPACE MANAGEMENT AND WORKFLOW

  1. Efficient Coffee Equipment and Accessories Layout

  2. Working in Pairs

2.03 ESPRESSO PROCESS: GRIND, DOSE, TAMP

  1. Impact of Grinder Models & Burrs Types on Retention & Flow Rate

  2. Consistent Dosing, Distribution and Tamping Techniques

2.04 EXTRACTION AND BREWING

  1. Calculation and Expression of Brew Ratio & Espresso Brew Formula (EBF)

  2. Strength and Extraction in Espresso Brewing

    • Espresso Strength

    • Espresso Extraction

  3. Use of A Refractometer

  4. Brew Recipes Impact on Flavor and Body of The Same Coffee

2.05 Sensory

  1. Different Compounds and Flavors Extracts at Different Rates

  2. Topic: Relationship Between Taste & Flavor Development

  3. CA Flavor Wheel Terminology for Description of Aroma & Flavor Attributes of Espresso

  4. Body & Texture of An Espresso

2.06 MILK

  1. Basics of Milk

    • Milk Composition

    • Foam Quality and Stability

  2. Milk Substitutes

  3. Causes of Milk Deterioration

  4. Topic: Milk Foaming Technique

    • SCA Foam Standard

    • Desirable Milk Heating Temperature

    • Maximum Milk Heating Temperature

  5. Pitcher/Jug Sharing

  6. SCA Latte Art Standards – Free Pour

2.07 ESPRESSO BASED MENU

  1. Espresso-Based Drinks Range Construction and Taste Differences

  2. Preparing Multiple Beverages to SCA Drinks Standards

2.08 CLEANING, HEALTH AND SAFETY

  1. Stock Management

    • Stock Rotation

    • Stock Temperatures

  2. Personal Hygiene

  3. Preventing Cross Contamination

  4. Preventing Accidents and Strain Injuries

  5. Grinder Cleaning & Maintenance

  6. Espresso Machine Cleaning & Maintenance

2.09 WATER QUALITY

  1. SCA Water Test & Guidelines

2.10 CUSTOMER SERVICE AND CAFÉ MANAGEMENT

  1. Coffee Menu Description

  2. Customer Interactions

  3. Cost and Goods

  4. Service Recovery and Complaint Handling

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SCA BARISTA SKILLS - PROFESSIONAL

1. General Information

Course Length: Minimum 21 hours

Prerequisites: Barista Skills Intermediate course, Introduction to Coffee, Barista Skills Foundation are recommended. All knowledge and skills from these modules will be assumed as being held and may be tested through the practical and/or written assessments. Brewing Intermediate is also recommended. The ideal candidate has worked as a barista for a minimum of 12 months, in a role with some managerial responsibilities.

Written Exam Information:

  • Total Number of Questions on Online Written Exam: 30 questions

  • Total Time Allowed for Online Written Exam: 32 minutes

  • Passing Score (Online Written Exam): 80%

Practical Exam Information:

  • Total Time Allowed for Practical Exam: 95 minutes

  • Total Number of Sections on Practical Exam: 4 sections

  • Passing Score: The Professional Barista Skills practical exam tests the key skills demanded of a high-level coffee professional. Each section is carefully calibrated to evaluate the learner’s skill competencies. All sections must be passed in order to pass the exam as a whole. 

2. Course Description

The Barista Skills Professional course is designed to test advanced skills and detailed knowledge of the science behind processes used by a professional barista (for example, a barista with 12 months or more of work experience). Successful candidates will have explored and demonstrated the advanced skills typically expected of a head barista. In particular, participants will learn a sophisticated tasting methodology and descriptive explanation of coffee flavors; gain a detailed understanding of drink ingredients and the techniques available to maximize the quality of the drinks made, understand how to manage the skills of others to produce quality drinks, demonstrate an understanding of how to develop brew recipes and a systematic method of structuring beverage menus, and finally be able to consistently apply the highest standard of latte art and milk steaming techniques. A written exam tests professional course knowledge while a practical exam tests the skills described above based on different working activities carried out during the course.

3. Written Exam Questions Distribution by Topic

3.01 COFFEE BEANS

  1. Effect of Altitude on Coffee Flavor / Density

  2. Variety and Cultivar

  3. Processing

  4. Decaffeination

  5. Packaging, Storage and Freshness

    • Effect on Degassing Rate

    • Storage Temperatures

3.02 WORKSPACE MANAGEMENT AND WORKFLOW

  1. Drinks Production

3.03 ESPRESSO PROCESS

  1. Consistencies Analysis

    • Dosing and Tamping

    • Waste

  2. Grind Particle Distribution

  3. Tamper and Distribution Tools

3.04 EXTRACTION AND BREWING

  1. Espresso Machine

    • Impact of Temperature and Pressure on Brewing

    • Types of Boiler Systems

    • Pressure Systems

  2. Designing Brew Recipes

    • Strength and Extraction

    • Choosing a Dose

    • Choosing a Yield

    • Shot Contact Time

  3. Espresso Blends

    • Blends Construction

    • Pre/Post Roast Blending

  4. Extraction Measurement Tools and Techniques

3.05 SENSORY

  1. Organic Acids

  2. Sensory Evaluation

  3. Optimum Balance of Multiple Coffees

  4. Milk Effect on Coffee Flavor

3.06 MILK

  1. Milk Composition and Processing

    • Milk Composition

    • Milk Processing

  2. Foam Creation, Quality and Stability

  3. Milk Quality and Its Ability to Foam

    • Factors Affecting Milk Quality

    • Proteolysis and Lipolysis

    • Coffee Acidity’s Effect on Milk

    • Heat’s Effect on Milk

  4. SCA Foam Standards

  5. SCA Latte Art Standards - Free Pour

3.07 WATER QUALITY

  1. Measurements

    • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

    • Alkalinity

    • Total Hardness (TH)

    • pH

  2. Water Filtration

    • Water Testing and Filtration systems

    • Function and Types of Water Filtration Systems

3.08 SIMPLE FINANCIAL CONCEPTS

  1. Cost and Goods