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SCA Barista Skills Professional

Mon, 24th Feb - Wed, 26th Feb 2020
10:00 - 17:00 each day

Venue: North Star Coffee Academy


Booking DetailsReviews


The Barista Skills Professional course should be taken by baristas with considerable experience, having also completed the Intermediate qualification. It takes both a scientific and managerial perspective to coffee and making espresso based drinks.


Coffee contains many possible flavours, aromas and textures due to the complex range of acids, sugars and bitter compounds. Every bean offers different possibilities to the barista based on its variety, origin, processing and roast. However, it is up to the barista to unlock this potential using the tools at their disposal, such as, dose, grind texture, water temperature and quantity and pressure. This course looks at the science of how espresso extracts and how to use this knowledge to get the most from beans of different styles. It looks at modern ways of evaluating extraction through measuring TDS, extraction percentages, and expressing this through espresso brew formulas. In addition, the course covers baristas’ awareness of the constituent compounds of coffee, recognising different organic acids, and understanding how roasting affects the potential flavours and dissolvable solids available for our final espresso.


A similar scientific approach is taken with the other of our main ingredients, milk – understanding its make up and processing methods, and ultimately what may lead to problems foaming it. Baristas will learn how to maximize their drink quality through mastering their milk techniques, and should be able to coach improvements in others. A mastery of latte art to complete two different patterns will be required for the final exam.


Water is also studied: How to test your supply, understand what filter equipment is required, and ultimately how water quality affects your drinks.


Baristas will learn of the new advancements in espresso equipment and be prepared to make informed choices when purchasing machines and grinders. They will also learn how to carry out basic maintenance procedures such as replacing grinder burrs, showers and seals. Managerial aspects of running a good café are also considered, such as planning your café layout, managing your customer service, dealing with customer complaints, and calculating your profitability. During the course, you will have a chance to work on both of our espresso machines (La Marzocco Linea PB and Linea Mini) in our purpose built coffee lab. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.


It is recommended that students have been working for a minimum of one year in a job with exposure to barista skills before taking this module.


The course provides you with the key information to enable you to sit your Barista Skills Professional certification that consists of 4 practical tests and a written exam (a pass rate of 80% required). Successful students will be awarded 25 points towards the SCA Coffee Skills Diploma. Should you want to access the 25 points/certification, you must select ‘Yes’ from the dropdown menu titled ‘Exam Fee/Certification’ and include your SCA number (if you have one) on the notes of your order. You will then be sent an invoice for either £155 (SCA member) or £232 (non-SCA member) which is the amount payable for the cost of the written exam and certification. 


If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to drop us a line to either or 🙂


Booking Details

All courses take place at the North Star Coffee Academy based at Leeds Dock. We are very easily accessible by either foot (15 minutes from Leeds train station), bus, car (multi-storey car park available on site) or water taxi which goes directly to and from the train station every 20 minutes. There is also a Holiday Inn on site for courses lasting more than a day.

Once you have booked your place, we will be in touch with further details about your course. In the meantime, if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


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