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Working in cafes

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Working in cafes

1. Posted by marie_d (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

marie_d has indicated that this thread is about Australia

Hello,

I'll be heading to Melbourne at the end of August on a working holiday visa. I'd most like to work in a cafe, but most ads I see ask for experience with making coffee drinks. I have a tiny bit of experience with this from about 12 years ago, so I doubt I'd match the skills of a true barista. Does anyone know how much experience is really required, and if I do need to know how to make the perfect cappuccino, what is a good way of learning before heading to Australia?

Thanks!

2. Posted by Emmalineau (Full Member 94 posts) 9y

Hi marie_d -

Yep, coffee is big business in Australia, particularly in the bigger cities (Melbourne and Sydney folks can be hard-core coffee snobs). Knowing the difference between an espresso and a ristretto is as important as knowing the difference between a capirinha and a capiroska!!

I'm not sure what training is like overseas, but when you get to Aus, a lot of places offer 1 and 2 day courses in barista training that are not too expensive. Since you'll have to get an RSA (Responsible Serving of Alcohol certificate - another 2 day course and mandatory for bar staff here) if you want to work in a bar, you can probably find a place that does both. Just google RSA or barista training, Melbourne.

Good luck!

3. Posted by marie_d (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

Emmelina, thank you for the info. I didn't realize that there are barista courses, but knowing they're out there is a relief that I can get some formal training if needed. I'll look into them more when I arrive. And perhaps before I go I can enlist the help of some of my coffee connoisseur friends and maybe practice a bit on their espresso machines. =)

Thanks again!

4. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 9y

Quoting Emmelina

Hi marie_d -

Knowing the difference between an espresso and a ristretto is as important as knowing the difference between a capirinha and a capiroska!!

What the hell's a ristretto?

But yes, there are many places where you can do a Barista course and it'd be extremely worthwhile doing one.

5. Posted by Emmalineau (Full Member 94 posts) 9y

Quoting James :

What the hell's a ristretto?

James! Where are you drinking your coffee??!! Just kidding - I work in the arts so of course I've done my time as a bar wench/barista.

Espresso is a full shot of coffee, made from a single group (the handle with the cup that is sccrewed into the coffee machine). A ristretto is a short espresso - the machine is stopped before the full shot of coffee is released, resulting in a stronger, purer flavour!

6. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 9y

Quoting Emmelina

Quoting James :

What the hell's a ristretto?

James! Where are you drinking your coffee??!! Just kidding - I work in the arts so of course I've done my time as a bar wench/barista.

Espresso is a full shot of coffee, made from a single group (the handle with the cup that is sccrewed into the coffee machine). A ristretto is a short espresso - the machine is stopped before the full shot of coffee is released, resulting in a stronger, purer flavour!

Shame on me, but I buy a cappuccino every morning from Michel's Pattiserie above Town Hall Sation (Sydney).

The coffee is average, but the service is mad. They start making it as soon as they see me come up the escalator.

Thanks for the explanation. Still doesn't make much sense (made from a single group? WTF??) And what's a "full shot"?

7. Posted by Emmalineau (Full Member 94 posts) 9y

Quoting James :

Thanks for the explanation. Still doesn't make much sense (made from a single group? WTF??) And what's a "full shot"?

The group is the little metal basket (with a handle) into which the ground coffee is placed, then screwed into the coffee machine to have the boiling water filtered through it.

A full shot is the precise amount of coffee expelled in one filtering process - this is ideally about 40mL.

Glad to provide random coffee trivia!!

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