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Below you will find a comprehensive list of courses that are offered through the SCAA Professional Development program. Please use the tabs on the right of this page to display only the courses pertaining to your experience level, the subject area you are interested in, or the certificate program that you'd like to pursue.


CP000  |  Barista Code of Conduct

Upon completion of the Barista Level 1 Certificate course, participants must sign this Code of Conduct and Ethics before entitlements will be issued. Baristas must re-sign upon completion of the Barista Level 2 course.

CP101  |  Espresso and Milk Steaming Fundamentals Parts 1 & 2

CP101: Exceptional espresso preparation is a requirement for anyone in specialty coffee retail. Participants work closely with station instructors in small groups, pulling shots, steaming milk and preparing espresso beverages in this laboratory-style class. CP101-CP102 is designed to enable students to:
  • Discuss SCAA espresso standards and current industry trends for established retailers and baristas
  • Demystify espresso machines, grinders, and espresso preparation techniques for beginners
  • Provide hands-on experience under guidance from SCAA Instructors to prepare espresso, milk, and cafe drinks
  • Administer preventive maintenance to espresso equipment, including essential basic cleaning steps
  • Explain the importance of workstation cleanliness Introduction to Espresso.

In Part 1 (CP101) During the overview lecture, participants learn the essential elements of a quality espresso; then, in small groups participants craft espresso using SCAA protocols. This class is part of the Barista Level 1 Certificate, and Foundations of Coffee (CB100, CP151-CP152, CP103 and GE103) MUST be taken for the full Barista Level 1 Certificate. Please note: This is the first half of a 6-hour class and both parts must be taken the same day (there is a 90 minute break).

Recommended Prerequisites: CB100, CP103, CP151, CP152, GE103

CP102  |  Espresso and Milk Steaming Fundamentals Parts 1 & 2

CP102: After CP101 participants continue to work closely with station instructors in small groups, pulling shots, steaming milk and preparing espresso beverages in this laboratory-style class. In Part 2 (CP102) after learning basic theory on milk, industry-accepted recipes and steps of preparation, attendees are coached by station instructors on the espresso grinder and espresso machine, preparing espresso, steaming milk and preparing an industry-accepted beverages. This class is part of the Barista Level 1 Certificate, and Foundations of Coffee (CB100, CP151-CP152, CP103 and GE103) MUST be taken for the full Barista Level 1 certificate. Please note: This is the second half of a 6-hour class and both parts must be taken the same day (there is a 90 minute break).

Recommended Prerequisites: CB100, CP103, CP151, CP152, GE103

CP103  |  Customer Service Essentials (eLearning Class)

Outstanding customer service is a critical component of creating the specialty coffee experience. Participants will identify common keys to great customer service and also steps of service recovery for when things go wrong. During group discussions, learners strategize how to improve customer service interactions and exchange experiences and approaches that have been successful. The class was originally designed for the specialty coffee barista, but has been redesigned to be relevant for all members of the specialty coffee community. This is a required class for ALL the SCAA Certificate programs.steps of service recovery for when things go wrong. During group discussions, learners strategize how to improve customer service interactions and exchange experiences and approaches that have been successful. The class focuses on the specialty coffee barista, but is relevant for all members of the specialty coffee community. This is a required class for Barista Guild of America Certificate - Level One.

Recommended Prerequisites: CB100, CP101-CP102,

CP151  |  Brewing and Extraction Principles

This class is the foundation for all coffee brewing and is essential for any newcomer to the coffee industry. Coffee professionals need to have a strong knowledge of the principals governing optimum brewing methods and must be able to brew coffee to SCAA's vetted standards. CP151 provides this critical instruction and practice. After a 90 minute break, students return for CP152.

Recommended Prerequisites: CB100, GE103

CP152  |  Brewing and Extraction Principles Applied

This class continues to explore the six essential elements of coffee brewing, both through mechanical and manual brewing methods. Learners get hands-on time with the equipment. This is a required class in the new Foundations of Coffee and a prerequisite for all certificate programs, including the Golden Cup Technician Certificate.

Recommended Prerequisites: CB100, GE103

Required Prerequisites: CP151

CP158  |  Golden Cup Brewing

This class builds on CP151 Parts 1 and 2, providing brewing standards and tools to measure brewed coffee for analysis. This class is designed to enable you to use the basic accepted industry method for analyzing brewed coffee utilizing a digital refractometer and the SCAA Brewing Control Chart. Competence in this area is essential for industry professionals. CP158 is the third of four classes that make up the Golden Cup Technician Certificate.

Recommended Prerequisites: CB100, CP103, GE103

Required Prerequisites: CP151-CP152

EXM-BP1, EXM-BW1 (formerly CP190)  |  Barista Level 1 Practical Exam; and Barista Level 1 Written Exam (formerly: CP190 BGA Level 1 Certificate Test)

The Barista Level 1 Practical Exam evaluates practical knowledge and skills of a barista at the level of essential competencies. Based on the Barista Certificate Level 1 curriculum, completion of ALL classes is recommended prior to testing. Beginning 1 January 2015 in order to receive the full certificate, candidates must attend the required classes: Seed to Cup CB100, Customer Service Essentials CP103, Brewing & Extraction Principles CP151, Brewing & Extraction Principles Applied CP152, and Orientation to SCAA Cupping GE103. The only class for which candidates may \"test out\" is Espresso & Milk Steaming Fundamentals CP101-CP102. Candidates who began the program under the former requirements may have one year to complete the program under the pre-2015 curriculum. Test out candidates are highly encouraged to attend the online intensive test preparation class, which covers the knowledge and performance content tested in the written and practical exams. Please see the SCAA Upcoming Events page for dates and times of the written exam.

Recommended Prerequisites: CP101-CP102 and/or CP200

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP103, CP151-CP152, GE103

CP200  |  Intensive Exam Preparation for Barista Level 1

The Barista Level 1 Certificate has quickly become the standard that acknowledges that certificate holders have essential proficiencies in coffee preparation, customer service, and general coffee knowledge. The Certificate requires students pass two exams, a practical skills exam and a written exam. This class is highly recommended for people who will be attempting the exam for the first time, as well as those who will be testing out of CP101-CP102. This is primarily an online class designed to review the materials an examinee will be tested on for the Barista Level 1 practical and written exams. During the first hour, instructors review the written exam and the practical exam material from CP101-CP102 , and during the second hour instructors review the written exam elements of CP151 and GE103. Participants are expected to have attended CB100 and CP103 online prior to attempting the Barista Level 1 Written Exam-- EXM-BW1.

CP201  |  Grind, Dose, Tamp, Extract

Intermediate-level baristas study in-depth techniques for use of two different types of espresso grinder, with additional practice in dosing, tamping and evaluating extraction. SCAA Instructors guide and coach baristas through class activities, testing and tasting the impact and effect on espresso shots of dosing weight, distribution, and settling. This is a required class for the Barista Level 2 Certificate. Only those with the full Barista Level 1 Certificate are permitted to register for this class.

Required Prerequisites: Barista Level 1 Certificate

CP202  |  Espresso Bar Efficiency & Workflow

Efficiency is a critical component of balancing customer service with excellence in quality. This class is designed to leverage barista skills to improve efficiency while maintaining quality of beverages and service. Participants learn techniques under the guidance and coaching of SCAA instructors, to increase drink production speed, ensure quality control through increased attention to detail , and manage a busy/clean station. This is a required class for the Barista Level 2 Certificate. Only those with the full Barista Level 1 Certificate are permitted to register for this class.

Required Prerequisites: Barista Level 1 Certificate

CP203  |  Milk Essentials & Latte Art Practices

Latte art is an extremely effective technique for drawing customers' attention and simultaneously preparing a beverage of high quality. After a short lecture on milk elements and milk substitutes, SCAA Instructors provide hands-on training and coaching on basic latte art designs, and give practice strategies for perfecting latte art techniques. This is a required class for the Barista Level 2 Certificate. Only those with the full Barista Level 1 Certificate are permitted to register for this class.

Required Prerequisites: Barista Level 1 Certificate

CP204  |  Espresso Machine Preventative Maintenance

This class covers basic handling of equipment maintenance, troubleshooting, and recognizing when service calls are warranted. Participants recognize essential tools and normal replacement items on common espresso machines. This is a required class for the Barista Level 2 Certificate. Only those with the full Barista Level 1 Certificate are permitted to register for this class.

Required Prerequisites: Barista Level 1 Certificate

CP255  |  Brewing Approaches and Variations

This class provides industry professionals with experience that can add value back at work by clarifying equipment choices or results of brewing from different equipment. It is designed to enable participants to analyze and adjust brews to meet the Golden Cup standard on several different methods, both mechanical and manual. Instruction focuses on how to produce optimum results with the different equipment. Participants systematically brew coffee with various spray head configurations, by-pass settings, pre-infusion settings, pulse brewing and/or manual brewing. The process includes recording details on the official brew analysis worksheet, tasting the coffee and discussing the brewing method's impact on extraction and what conclusions might be drawn from the experiments.

Recommended Prerequisites: SCAA Water Standard eLearning presentation

Required Prerequisites: CP151 - CP152 Introduction to Coffee Brewing & Extraction CP158 - Golden Cup Fundamentals

EXM-BP2, EXM-BW2 (formerlyCP290)  |  Barista Level 2 Practical Exam; and Barista Level 2 Written Exam (Formerly: CP290 BGA Level 2 Certificate Test)

The Barista Level 2 Practical Exam validates practical knowledge and skills of professional baristas who have been on the job for several months or years. The exam evaluates the level to which the objectives of the Barista Certificate Level 2 curriculum have been met by the candidate. For this reason, there is a 3-month required practice period after all classes are completed before candidates may register for this test. (this rule may be appealed in very special cases under special circumstances no less than 6 weeks prior to the event without exception, and approval is NOT guaranteed).

Required Prerequisites: Barista Level 1 Certificate; CP201, CP202, CP203, CP204

EXM-GP1, EXM-GW1 (Formerly CP291)  |  Golden Cup Technician Practical Exam; and Golden Cup Technician Written Exam (Formerly: Golden Cup Technician Certificate Test)

This exam credentials SCAA Golden Cup Technicians. This is a two-part exam consisting of a written test and a practical evaluation. The 40 minute practical evaluation measures the skills of an SCAA Golden Cup Technician in the following areas:

1. Performing a Golden Cup evaluation
2. Making adjustments
3. Reporting Upon passing the practical and written exam, the final step to achieve the full Golden Cup Technician Certificate involves performing an on-site brewing assignment to submit to the Brewing Certificate Committee and SCAA Education Manager. After 1 January 2015 the Foundations Course (CB100, CP103, CP151, CP152, GE103) should be completed prior to beginning the Golden Cup Technician Certificate (GCTC) program, and all candidates must have those class credits to achieve the complete GCTC. Candidates who have taken CP158 and CP255 prior to 31 December 2014 may complete the program under former requirements.

Required Prerequisites: CB100, CP103, GE103, CP151, CP152, CP158, CP255

CP302  |  Espresso Exploration

This taste testing and experimentation class gives advanced baristas the opportunity to explore espresso preparation techniques and their effects on the sensory aspects of the beverage. Participants will appraise and compare various espresso recipes (prepared by Barista Level 2 instructors), relating the affects of recipe changes, and develop a method creating a "best practice extraction recipe". Specific class objectives include:
  • Appraising and recording sensory qualities of given espresso recipes using WBC sensory evaluation form.
  • Comparing sensory attributes of espresso prepared with different recipes.
  • Relating how changes in recipe affected final sensory experience.
  • Creating and/or revising recipes to achieve "best" espresso extraction recipe.


Recommended Prerequisites: Coffee Taster Level 1 Certificate; Roaster Level 1 Certificate; RP225

Required Prerequisites: BGA Level 1 Certificate; CB100, CP151, CP152, GE103, GE201