Barista Essentials

Barista essentials online

This course will give you the technical skills required to operate a commercial espresso machine and produce espresso and espresso-based beverages.

You’ll learn from passionate, experienced tutors in a real-life learning environment where you’ll gain coffee knowledge and became familiar with the espresso extraction process, steaming milk and milk pouring.

The course is delivered through a combination of hands-on practical and online learning. We recommend undertaking the online (theory) components first, so you’re well prepared for the practical sessions but you can do the online learning at any time during the course. For the online component, you’ll need access to a computer and the internet.

The practical component is made up of six, three-hour sessions on campus. To pass the course, you need to achieve 80% in each of the seven online assessments, and gain competency in each of the two practical assessments.

Please note:

You can start the online component up to three weeks before the start of the course and you’ll also have access 85 days after the course finish date.

Participants on this course will gain Ara tertiary credits. If you are a secondary school student looking for NCEA credits, please email to find out about your options.

Course code






Estimated hours



$431.00 (Domestic)
$700.00 (International)

Please note: You may be charged a portion of the Compulsory Student Services Fee that supports our services available to students. For full information on the Compulsory Student Services Fee, visit fees and finance.

How to apply

To apply for one of our short courses, fill in a paper copy of our application form, available here, then either drop it in to your nearest campus or mail it to us at Enrolment Centre, Ara Institute of Canterbury, PO Box 540, Christchurch Mail Centre.

Learning outcomes

  • Name key coffee producing countries.
  • Describe ways in which coffee beans are grown, processed and stored.
  • Use and maintain a coffee grinder.
  • Use and maintain an espresso machine.
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Upcoming Dates

Monday 14 October -
Monday 04 November

Monday and Tuesday -  5.30pm-8.30pm

Christchurch City Campus
Monday 11 November -
Tuesday 26 November

Monday and Tuesday - 5.30pm-8.30pm

Timaru Campus
Tuesday 03 December -
Thursday 05 December

Intensive – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – 9am-4pm

Christchurch City Campus