During my journey to northeast Wisconsin, I spent time under the job title: Barista.
Anyone who knows me understands that I have a caffeine addiction. So it would make sense that I would get a job slinging espressos, lattes and other assorted coffee drinks. Free coffee!
When you get hired for any job, there is some sort of training which takes place. But in the coffee world, there's a whole new kind of job training.
This article from the New York Times goes into detail for one person's visit to two "boot camps" for the bean counters.
I began my work as a barista at a small cafe in El Paso, but then moved to Milwaukee and signed up to work at a cafe inside the Corporate Center at Children's Hospital in Wauwatosa.
They served Alterra Coffee, so I got to attend a half-day of this type of training at their Prospect Avenue hub.
It began with a pair of DVD's regarding the history and types of coffee. Then it was past the roasters and up a flight of stairs to the training center. It was wall-to-wall espresso machines. That's where I was trained on the specific type of espresso machine I would be using at Children's, and went over how to make the proper milk foaming.
Definitely not quite the intense training that takes place in northern California for that writer, but it was something completely different.
But the training did serve me well, not just in that job, but at my next coffee job at the Coffee Bean in Scottsdale. I didn't need that much training, was used to demo for regional managers and even was the personal barista for the owner of the building we were in.
There's more to coffee and espresso drinks than the normal person or customer may know...and it's definitely worth learning about. But at home, it's much easier to keep it simple...find a good drip coffee and you can't go wrong.