So you wanna be a barista?

Tuesday, 28 August, 2012
There are many amazing coffee training facilities in South Africa like Origin (CT), Tribeca (PTA), Colombo (DBN) , Bean There (JHB) and many many more... we decided to check out one, at the invitation of Ciro's Pauline Leschinsky.
Pauline knows about training baristas. She's not only competed at the highest level in SA as a competitive barista, but is employed full-time by Ciro in KZN at the Ciro Coffee Academy to train baristas for restaurants, hotels and specifically for speciality barista competitions, like the World Barista Championships (WBC) affiliated events in SA.

Pauline in action at the recent KZN barista champs

Pauline met me at the Ciro Coffee Academy and gave me a quick tour of the facilities and let me join in while she trained some baristas from 2 very prominent restaurant and hotel groups. I missed the theory session (whew!) and got there in time to just check out the practical stuff.

The Theory room where you can learn about the History of Coffee, Arabica vs Robusta, coffee palette development, coffee cupping, Le Nez du Cafe (the nose of coffee) and equipment identification

Not only does the Ciro Coffee Academy cater for the Food and Beverage industry, training baristas from restaurants and luxury hotel groups, but also for the everyday coffee fanatic.

Baristas in training at Ciro Coffee Academy
You can register for the monthly Introductory Barista Training (IBC) course for only R4000. It's a 2 day, 18 hours course that covers the History of Coffee, Arabica vs Robusta, coffee palette development, coffee cupping, Le Nez du Cafe (the nose of coffee) and equipment identification. The course then moves into the practical side of pouring a perfect espresso, milk texturization, cleaning and maintenance, other hot beverage training and they even throw in a free lunch!

If you complete the course (Pauline assures me that under her watch, you will!) you also receive a Ciro Coffee Academy certificate and a certificate from the City & Guilds, which is a recognized NQF qualification.

Craig Sampson, who just last weekend was crowned the KZN Barista Champion, is a product of the Ciro training facility. These photos are of the prac room, where Craig, and Khanyisa from the Elangeni group prepared ahead of the KZN champs.

Ok, so you might not have the 10 000 hours that you need to be a world class barista, but you'll be a heck of a long way ahead of your colleagues at the office, and you'll be able to impress the heck out of your epicurean dinner guests!

If you're keen to check it out, contact Pauline at Ciro Coffee Academy on or
031 7008255. The Ciro Coffee Academy also has training facilities in Joburg, CT and PE too. Check out for more info.

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