This past weekend saw many people around the world hosting events to celebrate International Coffee Day (1st October). It is apt then that our first Barista School graduates from Grove Academy had their first experience of professional work on Friday.
The Barista School is part of the employability skills training that is being delivered every Friday afternoon for 5th and 6th year pupils. There are 4 schools throughout the next academic session each lasting 7 weeks in duration. To ensure that this course is as comprehensive as possible DYW have been working with Dundee and Angus College who are delivering the training – everything from practical coffee skills, to health and safety to customer service – and securing coffee establishments within the town so that the pupils can experience being a barista first hand.
The first 5 weeks are spent in school with Dundee and Angus College staff delivering training on the DYW barista machine. Week 6 will be a visit to James Aimer, a Coffee Roaster and week 7 will be a placement into a café/bar to see coffee service in the real sense.
Ellie Hughes,S6, pictured above enjoying her placement at The Quay Café Bar says that she enjoyed the practical skills she has learned and that she has gained in confidence. Ellie hopes that completing this course will enable her to get a part time job.
Here’s what Joe Grundy, one of the pupils thought:
Over the last seven weeks I and eleven other pupils have been taking part in a new course my school (Grove Academy) is offering on Barista training and we have learnt a lot. The first and second week was spent getting to know the history of coffee and learning how to work the coffee machine and also make different coffee’s like an espresso, a mocha, a cappuccino, an Americano and a latte. Then for the next three weeks we got into groups and went to teachers and staff around the school and offered them coffee so that we could test our interpersonal skills. We then made the coffee and delivered them to the teachers and staff who were very grateful. Then for the sixth week of the course we went to a coffee wholesaler in Dundee, James Aimer Ltd. The manager there showed us around the factory telling us exactly how the coffee went from the plant to the packaging. Finally for the last week of the course we were all sent to different coffee shops all over town to try out our skills in an actual coffee shop and in a busy working environment.
Overall this experience has taught me a range of skills such as team-working, collaboration, communication skills and of course, making coffee. After this course I have a better understanding of coffee and the coffee industry and the different job opportunities there are out there.
Throughout this course there have been many things that I have enjoyed, mainly being the actual making of the different coffees (and seeing how happy the teachers were when we showed up on a Friday afternoon to bring them their coffee).
This course has been a highly enjoyable experience and I persuade anyone who can do this course to give it a go.