Let’s just say it: Australia sure knows how to make good coffee. Over the years, it’s become one of the top coffee destinations in the world. Melbourne, being Hipster City, is brimming with cafes – all boasting one or two specialty brews that you won’t taste anywhere else. Take the Flat White, for example.
Brisbane’s homegrown Coffee Anthology has been voted Beanhunter’s top café in the country. And Sydney and Gold Coast have their own exciting brews, as well. But, Australia would not be the hippest coffee city without its baristas – the artists that make your daily caffeine fix as heavenly as that layer of foam floating atop a perfect espresso shot.
Thanks to these passionate artisans, coffee-making and consumption have been lifted to a completely different level, so much so that coffee is now part of the cultural fabric of the nation. So where do these baristas come from and how did they learn to make such great coffee?
Made with Love
To become a barista, you must, of course, be passionate about coffee and its multi-sensorial dimensions. The pursuit of making great coffee, from the farm-level all the way to the coffee shop, combines both science and art.
While you can train anyone to make a cup of coffee, it takes a good barista to make a perfect cup of coffee. Any master roaster or coffee artisan will agree that great coffee should be made with love. Thus, baristas should be well-rounded and excited about coffee.
Cafes as Training Ground
As the saying goes, experience is the best teacher. Cafes in Australia have played an active role in strengthening the country’s collective love of coffee. They have also become the breeding ground for baristas.
On top of providing jobs and fair wages, the way these cafes handle training is truly remarkable. They have created a community for young people to explore coffee in new and different ways. But, of course, before they get to work in an actual café, barista hopefuls must first take certificate training.
Baristas throughout Australia have also received training prior to work. They would either take a one-year certificate barista course and an optional supplementary food safety supervisor course, to be able to start a career in coffee-making. This goes to show how dedicated they are about the craft.
Once you learn the basics about coffee and the tools and techniques used to make a perfect cup, you can move to the next level and start exploring other flavor profiles and craft your own brews. While precision is a necessity in coffee-making, a dollop of improvisation can go a long way.