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Everything you need to know about working as a barista and opening your own coffee shop in Canada

Making the perfect cup of coffee is a fine art form that requires practice and commitment. With that in mind, the Canadian Barista Institute has been perfecting a step by step method based on competition level techniques that are everyday practical. These techniques make specialty coffee straightforward for beginners to master and professional baristas to correct bad habits. The Academy is fully equipped with leading edge espresso machines, grinders and coffee brewing apparatus in all of their three national training centers.

Early Origins

It all started when the Academy was sanctioned by the World Barista Championship to be the organizers of the Canadian Barista Competitions. Every year regional champions would compete to crown one Canadian Barista Champion that would then go on to represent Canada on the World stage. It was and still is an exciting competition that fosters growth in the industry. In order to pay for the competition expenses professional baristas and Managers of Cafes would volunteer their time to give classes that were actually fundraisers. These classes paid for the Canadian competitions and eventually the Academy was formed from these humble beginnings. Spanning two decades, the barista academy’s dedication to these competitions, led to an unprecedented wave of Canadian interest in the world of coffee and baristas.  This period in Canadian history also saw exponential growth in coffee consumption and culture from coast to coast.

Rising popularity

In those first few years the competitions grew rapidly in popularity and scope both globally and in Canada. After a while, it grew into four separate regional competitions. The organization was constantly inundated with requests for more classes and educational seminars, leading to the creation and growth of three campuses across Canada (in Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary) with a handful of satellite campuses, sometimes in Montreal, Quebec City, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Edmonton and so on.

Their mission

As a group of dedicated and passionate coffee professionals, the express mission of the Institute is to help students succeed in making high-quality coffees with the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to run and operate their own coffee shops. With that in mind, their overarching goal is to grow and evolve the artisan coffee movement in Canada.

Online classes and courses

The Coffee Academy provides a wide range of live online video classes and face-to-face courses to its students. These courses often range from complete barista training classes to opening a coffee shop, coffee tasting, latte art and espresso trainings. Whether you’re an experienced veteran of the coffee world or a novice making their way in the industry, there are many courses you can get involved in to help develop your skills and expertise in the field.

If you want a bit of everything, then you can quickly sign up for a coffee business and barista training bundle. However, you should be aware that this course is a substantial commitment and will require many days to complete and receive your certification. However, there are options to take any of the bundled courses in smaller bite sized time slots that suit each person’s individual needs, just reach out to them for help with that.

International students welcome

While the COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on international travel for the time being, the barista school has always accepted international students. International students are required to have intermediate written, listening and comprehension English skills. There are also small ESL classes (6-8 students) for those with English difficulties upon request.

No experience needed

You don’t need to have any experience in coffee or barista learning to qualify for any of the courses. However, you do need to be at least 14 years of age to be eligible, and it is recommended that you complete the courses in order, since each course progresses on the teaching of its predecessor unit.

Accommodation isn’t a problem

The Canadian Barista Institute has partnered with a few local hotels to reduce accommodation costs for students. Special rates are available, should you choose to stay at one of the many Air BnB’s or Hotels on their recommended lists. Please contact the accommodation directly or visit their traveler information blog for more details.

Since the early 2000’s, the Academy has been providing courses to aspiring baristas of all ages with the necessary skills and tips to improve their coffee-making abilities. If you live in Vancouver, Toronto or Calgary, and you want to improve your barista capabilities, or open your own coffee shop, then visit here to register now.

Canadian Barista Institute
Canadian Barista Institute