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City & Guilds International Barista Skills (7102) is for a person who works as or wants to work as barista. You don't have any experience on this field before taking this course.

If you want to see my notes on coffee, please visit my blog as well.

The exams

You will become a qualified barista if you pass the both exams: 1. Written exam: 20 questions, 20 short answers in 20 minutes. 2. Practical exam: 7 drinks within 16 minutes.

You only have to re-take the failed part and you can re-take at most twice.

The course

My expreience is having a 3-day course, having the written part at the end of 2nd day and the partical exam at the end of the 3rd day. It's really demanding but luckily I had a 3-day annual leave so that's why I took it in this way.

If your work is already exhausted you, you may consider to have a weekend/nighttime course and this will take you around 1 month. Plus, you can have some extra time for studying.

Content of the course

More then 50% of the course is related to coffee (machines) while the other half is related to the other drinks and the skills required for a barista.

The main focus of the coffee part is the Espresso:


  • Ingredient of a good coffee
  • From bean to cup
  • How to delivery a good espresso
  • How to brew good espresso-base coffee
  • Storage
  • Troubleshoot / maintenance of an espresso machine

The other drinks covers tea, hot chocolate and smoothies:

Other drinks

  1. Tea:

    • Types of tea
    • How to brew good tea
    • Storage
  2. Chocolate:

    • From cocoa to hot chocolate
    • Troubleshoot on chocolate machine
    • Storage
  3. Smoothies:

    • Ingredients
    • How to use/troubleshoot a blender


Last part is the soft skills including:

  • Communication skills
  • What to do when your shop does not have filter coffee