Going Pro in the Portland Coffee World
Portland is serious about coffee. In our city, coffee connoisseur-ship is almost a right of passage to becoming a true Portlander. It’s no stretch to assume that PDX is home to some of the best baristas in the world. Here, the bar is set high, and competition is fierce. If you’d like to land a job behind the counter at your favorite coffee house, then you’ll want to strongly consider getting some training under your belt.
American Barista and Coffee School
Portland, Oregon is home to one of the American Barista and Coffee School’s two campuses; the other is in New York City. ABC’s Business & Barista workshops include lectures on starting and operating a coffee business, coffee bar design, equipment selection, marketing, and so much more. Of course, hands-on training in the espresso lab is part of the program as well. Not planning on opening your own shop?
Not to worry: ABC also offers workshops specifically geared toward training baristas par excellence. And if you’re already among coffee’s upper echelon, you can hone your skills in the Barista Competition / Latte Art Workshop. American Barista and Coffee school truly offers one of the most comprehensive selections of coffee industry training programs anywhere. And while their courses aren’t cheap, graduates generally agree that they’re worth every penny.
Clive Coffee’s Home Barista Class
Clive Coffee’s Home Barista Class is geared more toward coffee connoisseurs interested in creating coffeehouse-quality drinks at home, but it would still be an excellent entry point for aspiring baristas with little experience. The two-hour course illustrates the basics of pulling great espresso shots, and steaming milk to perfection. The class also includes Clive Coffee’s book The Craft of Espresso, along with the chance to snag a 15% discount on professional coffee accessories from the Clive showroom.
Nossa Familia’s Barista Basics Class
Nossa Familia is another longstanding Portland coffee icon that offers training programs geared toward the aspiring coffee cognoscenti. Their Barista Basics class covers the journey of coffee from plantation to caffe, and introduces coffee lovers to the art of espresso extraction and milk steaming. Coursework is completed at Nossa Familia’s coffee lab, and attendees get hands-on experience with commercial espresso machines.
Alex and Associates Barista Training Academy
From selecting a location to creating a business plan, Alex & Associates’ Coffee Business and Barista training program covers everything the aspiring coffee entrepreneur needs to know about breaking into the world of specialty coffee sales. Of course, all that business training won’t make a coffee business successful if the drinks don’t pass the test, so barista training is a big part of the program.
The Fisenko family, 40-year veterans of the specialty coffee and espresso business, conduct their training sessions in Troutdale, a quaint Portland suburb only a short drive from downtown.
Stumptown’s Barista Training Program
Portland coffee institution Stumptown doesn’t currently offer training programs for the public at large. But if you’re fortunate enough to land a coveted barista job with one of Portland’s most famous coffee exporters, or you decide to serve Stumptown coffee at your place of business, extensive barista training at Stumptown HQ is part of the package.
Alliance for Coffee Excellence
Located at 2250 NW 22nd Avenue in Portland, Oregon, the Alliance for Coffee Excellence is a nonprofit global organization whose Cup of Excellence specialty coffee certification program aims to connect coffee connoisseurs with excellent, sustainable coffee producers all over the world. They organize juried coffee competitions, and create online auctions of winning beans.
Fortunately for aspiring baristas, the ACE also offers intensive cupper training at their state of the art coffee labs. While these “cupper camps” won’t give you all the skills you need to be a top-notch barista, they will give you a new appreciation for truly excellent coffee.
When It Comes to Coffee, Portland Is a Great Place to Learn
Portland has a reputation for excellent coffee, so it’s no wonder that so many coffee lovers end up here. As you might imagine, competition for barista jobs is pretty stiff in a city this enthusiastic about coffee. Taking a training class can help you gain an advantage when applying for barista positions or opening your own shop, and Portland offers plenty of educational opportunities for those thirsty for coffee knowledge. Good luck on that job hunt!
If you think you’ve got what it takes to become a top-notch barista at Bipartisan Café, click here to send us your resume today.