By Vivienne Pearson
Barista for a day
Admit it – you’ve always wanted to have a go at being a barista. You have, haven’t you? How cool it would be to stand behind an espresso machine, watch the liquid gold pour, chat amicably while holding a milk jug just so, then effortlessly create a pattern atop a perfect latte?
You might not want this enough to change career or sign up for a serious barista course, but now you have the opportunity to be a barista for a day. Each weekend, Bean to Barista Coffee School offers a fun morning where you can try out your skills on a coffee machine.
The morning is aimed squarely at enjoyment. ‘You will be greeted with your favourite cup of coffee and a delicious morning tea,’ says Richard Bradbury, trainer at Bean to Barista. ‘And we always have a light-hearted latte art competition at the end.’
You’ll gain a heap of knowledge about coffee itself, seeing it in all stages from the tree to the cup. Your barista play will be on commercial-grade equipment – La Marzocco machines and Mazzer grinders.
Group sizes are deliberately kept small. ‘Small is beautiful when it comes to coffee,’ says Richard. ‘With four as the maximum number, you have plenty of space to ask questions and maximum time on the machines.’
This hands-on approach was loved by Michelle Martin, who became a Barista for a Day on her first trip to Brunswick Heads. ‘This is something I’ve always wanted to do, but thought it might be too technical,’ she says. ‘Pressing the buttons for the first time on a good coffee machine was a bit scary but Richard has a neat sense of humour and it was so much fun.’
Michelle has transferred her newfound knowledge to her home coffee machine. ‘I’ve got family visiting. I just made them coffee and got all thumbs up!’
Barista for a job
With over a decade working as a barista, trainer, coffee roaster in cafes, TAFE and on farm, Richard is perfectly placed to give you the coffee skills needed to get a job in hospitality.
‘A barista is made, not born,’ says Richard, who offers three levels of barista training, each in a three-hour block.
The training is also relevant for those wishing to upskill their existing barista experience. ‘Level 2 focuses on workflow and order production, which is ideal for someone who currently occasionally makes coffee at work but is keen to move into a more dedicated barista role,’ says Richard.
Latte art and current trends in coffee, such as different milks, are included. Individual coaching is available and supervised practice time is available for anyone who has completed a course.
Maud Brunelliere, who found event work with The Bean Van after doing the course, wrote this review: ‘His knowledge is incredible. Richard is also a very patient and gentle person. I really enjoyed the course and would recommend it to anyone.’
Bean to Barista is located in a gorgeous building in central Brunswick Heads. Whether you choose a course for a job or for play, the frangipani-treed verandah is the perfect spot for sipping a coffee, especially one that you made yourself.
Bean to Barista Coffee School, 21 Fingal Street (rear), Brunswick Heads – between Wheel of Life Pottery and the Anglican Church. Ph: 0458 829 107, www.beantobarista.com.au. Bookings essential.