SCAE's Three-Level Certified Barista Programme
There are numerous barista education programmes that provide you with a diploma for participation. There also some programmes where you actually have to pass a test. The SCAE programme is only based on testing skills and knowledge; we do not ask where you got them. (We can also recommend courses, and we organise a few as well.)
Since the role of the modern international barista has developed far beyond just making coffee at an espresso machine and a grinder, the tests will also include general coffee knowledge, other brewing methods and also service knowledge.
After you have paid the examination fee and passed the exams, you will get an international diploma signed by the SCAE president and your SCAE examiner. Your name will then also be entered into the SCAE database for certified baristas.
Go to the list of certifiers here to see which one is nearest you. They can provide education and training if needed, and do the examination. They will all have passed the tests themselves.
The cost of the examinations to members and employees of SCAE member companies: €80 (Level 1), €150 (Level 2) and €200 (Master Barista).
Price to non-members: €100 (Level 1), €180 (Level 2) and €250 (Level 3). All fees must be paid in advance, to the examiner or directly to the SCAE.
The three tests are as follows:
Level 1: SCAE Certified Basic Barista
This requires that you have six months of relevant practice working at a coffee bar, roaster, supplier or similar organisation. The written test will take 60 minutes and the practical test, 30 minutes. The written test is available in several languages and the practical test will be given in your own language or with an interpreter.
The written test will include basic general coffee knowledge. You need to be prepared with some basic knowledge of coffee botany, about coffee growing countries and on how coffees are harvested and prepared as green coffees. You will also need some basic knowledge of roasting and grinding.
You should have some basic knowledge on all brewing methods, and you should be able both demonstrate and explain how you make good filter coffee with various methods.
It goes without saying that you need to demonstrate and explain what it takes to make both espresso and various other espresso-based beverages.
Level 2: SCAE Certified Barista
After you have passed the Level 1 test, and if you have 12 months of relevant practice, you may do the Level 2 certification and become an SCAE Certified Barista, provided you pass the written and practical tests. In the written and practical test we go deeply into the area of espresso coffee, espresso grinding and espresso making. We will expect you to meet World Barista Championship standards. We will want you to demonstrate your skills, not only in making espresso shots, but also in making different kinds of cappuccinos and various espresso-based beverages. You will also have to pass a simple test as a coffee taster.
The SCAE has a number of Authorised Certifiers around the world. They are listed under SCAE Authorised Barista Certifiers. You can contact them directly for certification at level 1 and 2.
Level 3: SCAE Certified Master Barista
The SCAE Master Barista programme was launched at the Coffee Fiesta in Antwerp in May, 2007.
In short, you will earn the SCAE Master Barista title through your achievements as a Barista. The SCAE will provide a list of achievements that you will have to have on your CV. We will also ask you to submit two papers, covering one given coffee subject and one barista-related subject of your own choice. You will have a minimum of nine months to prepare and then present your achievements and results to a jury of three.
For full details of how to become a Master Barista visit How to become an SCAE Certified Master Barista.