Now is the time to get to grips with coffee

Now could be the perfect time to perfect the art of espresso making.

Now could be the perfect time to perfect the art of espresso making.

The popularity of coffee in Australia shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, industry revenue is poised to grow 2.4 per cent in 2014-15 alone, resulting in a coffee industry revenue of $4.3 billion. This is according to November 2014 research released by IBISWorld, which also revealed strong growth in the coffee and cafe industry in Australia over the last five years.

With the future for the humble brown bean looking brighter than ever on Australian soil, it might be time to consider a career in the industry. Some food industry courses may cover the basics of coffee making, while William Angliss Institute also offers barista courses to help you get up to speed in all things coffee. There are a huge variety of courses on offer for everyone from the beginner home coffee maker through to the skilled barista looking to extend his or her skills. This means you can tailor your espresso education to your own desires and requirements.

For true coffee aficionados, it's always a good idea to learn about roasting. This heat process turns green coffee beans into the rich-smelling, dark brown beans that make your morning brew taste so good. After roasting, beans need to be used as quickly as possible, as their fragrance and flavour decrease rapidly. While good roasting can take years of practice and plenty of knowledge, the technical skill is one that can be leant and approached like an art form. 

Explore this important part of the industry through the Specialty Coffee Roasting @ Axil Coffee Roasters course, which spans two days (December 6 and 7) and is best for those with an existing knowledge of coffee and experience in the industry. Participants learn how to operate and maintain specialty roasting equipment, and how to control a roast in order to produce the best specialty-grade, single-origin cups of coffee. You'll also explore thermodynamics and different roast profiles, plus get a hands-on cupping lesson to help you taste coffee. Further to this, you'll learn how to differentiate between different roast profiles, such as filter and espresso.

If you're looking for something slightly more basic, try the ABC of Espresso Making, which is a 3.5-hour crash course in preparing and recognising espresso extraction alongside learning how to texture milk. This practical course will give you the skills to learn how to make latte, flat white and cappuccino, plus how to use, clean and maintain an espresso machine and grinder.