During the African Specialty Coffee Expo launched today 30th October 2019, the Barista Boot Camp was one of major providers of the way forward for coffee domestic consumption culture in Africa – this will be a story for another day.
Rwandan three professional barista shared with us tips gained from a two-day boot camp attended to get prepared for the Barista competition to be held in February 2020 in Mombasa, Kenya:
“We learnt that getting ahead in the world of coffee requires hard work, dedication, a willingness to learn and no small measure of skills when it comes to serving that [coffee] elusive perfect cup.” Says Uwase Liliane, coffee barista from Baso Patissier, a coffee shop in Kigali.
There are no short cuts, but there are some fast tracks. For café owners and hospitality business managers are viewed as a highly attractive proposition if you possess the skills and knowledge demanded of a modern-day Barista.
“The Barista Boot Camp course was designed to be fast track; therefore it was intensive, hands-on and demanded a high level of focus from each student. Top line Baristas are highly skilled and highly sought after. This is why we fully engage ourselves in this art.” Ms. Uwase added.
Mr. Kertus Tony, a Chief Barista from Crema Coffee Shop in Musanze District said that there’s a huge amount to learn and it’s no exaggeration to say that in the coffee business you never stop learning. “The Barista Boot Camp course was structured in a logical, progressive and supportive manner that’s designed to bring out the best in any us and inspire confidence in our own abilities.”
“We employ a “try, test and apply” approach to developing your skills in a course that’s based on decades of professional experience in the coffee industry.” Mrs. Nandi Jordan, Chief Operations Officer at AFCA clarified.
“I learnt how to achieve the correct grind to make the perfect espresso coffee and explain how and why particle size is such a critical factor in this process.” Says Mushumba Benson, a barista from Bourbon Coffee shop.
They also learnt how to prepare a cup of filter coffee to the Speciality Coffee Association’s gold cup standard. Next, we learn how to prepare and deliver single coffee orders using a variety of brew methods.
They leant that being a Barista requires more than technical abilities. The importance of these “softer” skills should not be underestimated as employers will be looking for a certain mindset and a strong work ethic as well as an ability to interact positively with colleagues and customers alike.
Such practical skills and many more are said to add value to any Barista as a potential employee in the eyes of any coffee catering employer. They have a variety of equipment which will typically encounter in a coffee environment, helping ensure they are fully prepared to enter the workplace.
Alongside these three Rwandan Baristas, six more participants from the region ensured that they got the maximum package they wanted in their daily business but most importantly to contest for the competition that will precede the AFCA Conference and Exhibition slated from 12th to 14th February 2020 in Mombasa, Kenya.