21 Best Online Coffee Courses

The art of making coffee is undeniably a hands-on one, but improving your skills doesn’t have to mean an in-person coffee-making class. There’s a wealth of knowledge available online, whether you just want theory or you need more practical experience.

From beginner basics to online barista certification, here are some of the best online coffee courses the internet has to offer.

You can’t go wrong with this short course for an overview of the perfect pour-over. Host Michael Phillips of Blue Bottle Coffee will take you through all the elements that make up great coffee, from brewing tools and ingredients to selecting the right recipe and, of course, nailing the brew. It’s an ideal introduction to coffee theory and the world of manual brewing. 

You’ll cover a lot of ground in this introductory course on coffee, and it’s a great way to discover if the life of a barista is right for you. After some theory on coffee history, you’ll delve into the different ways to brew coffee, including the V60, AeroPress, cold brew, and espresso. You’ll learn latte art basics like the rosetta and see demonstrations of more advanced drawings, including peacocks and sunset trees, for the finishing touch.

Who better to take you through the ins and out of good coffee than former judges of the UK Barista Championship (1)? Richard Hardwick and Henry Ayers guide you through the basics of beans, why grind size is so important, plus a few of the most popular manual brewing methods. In the espresso coffee module, they’ll take you through the correct methods for making cafe drinks, including the Americano, flat white, latte, and cappuccino.

Once you’ve mastered the barista skills, you might be thinking about branching out on your own. In that case, you’re going to need this course to help you the everything from pitching to investors, right down to the coffee shop equipment list

There’s even a module on idea generation to help you build a cafe that stands out from the crowd (or you might want to check out our guide to choosing cool coffee shop names).

You might know this drink as Turkish coffee, and as part of this course, you’ll learn about the history of this brew and why the name matters. Of course, you’ll also learn all of the practical aspects of preparing Greek coffee to impress your friends or to enjoy it for yourself.

Drilling down into the financial details is probably the least exciting part of running a coffee shop, but it’s an essential part of the business that can’t be overlooked. These clear video explanations and downloadable resources will help demystify what you need to create a working business plan. You’ll get a realistic view of how much it costs to open a coffee shop as well as tips for marketing and financial success.

Let’s face it, as much as we know that good coffee is all about the taste; we can’t help but be a little bit impressed by good latte art. If you have access to an espresso machine, there’s no reason why you can’t learn this for yourself. Aimed at beginners, this course takes you from the correct method of holding the pitcher right through to creating your first heart and attempting a swan.

If your aim is employment rather than simply improving your home brewing skills, consider this online course from Barista Hustle. It’s suitable for beginners, but the intensive syllabus will give you the skills you need to work in a cafe. You’ll learn everything from tamping and troubleshooting your espresso to maintaining an efficient coffee station in a busy environment. 

Bellissimo Coffee Advisors have been offering workshops for coffee owners for more than 25 years, and now they’re taking their expert knowledge to a broader audience. Their online training center features a range of courses for the aspiring barista, including roasting fundamentals, coffee equipment maintenance, and preparing the perfect espresso. They run the Virtual Coffee online school aimed more at homebrewers (2).

There’s so much more to learn about coffee than just the preparation. Plus, in case you didn’t know, the flavor in your cup starts the moment coffee is planted. Karen Attman, the founder of the Latin American Coffee Academy, explains how all stages of cultivation, processing, and roasting have their role in the taste of the final product.

For more on coffee theory, check out these great coffee podcasts.

Udemy is an excellent place for introductory courses, but you can learn more professional skills too. Although it’s only a short course, this certified program takes you through all aspects of coffee preparation from a professional viewpoint. You’ll learn about all the components of an espresso machine, how to dial in the perfect shot and the ins and outs of stretching and steaming milk.

Knowing how to pull a shot is one thing. Yet, to make the best coffee, you really need to know how to taste it. This course by Karen Attman uncovers the mysteries of coffee cupping and teaches you the language you need to describe the characteristics of coffee. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to evaluate coffee like a professional.

If the idea of using a commercial espresso machine is a little daunting, this online course will help you develop the confidence you need to become a great barista. As well as the basics of making coffee, you’ll learn important skills to maintain your espresso machine and troubleshoot any issues you have.

You don’t need to be a professional to benefit from this course. Roasting your beans at home can take your coffee making to the next level. You’ll learn all about selecting and storing green beans, first and the second crack, roasting profiles, and creating your blend. You’ll finish with tips on cupping techniques and how to use the coffee flavor wheel.

Barista Sam Tan has more than ten years of experience in the industry, with career titles including the Fushan Cup International Barista Championship and FHA Challenges of Barista Asia. He’s also an Authorised SCA Trainer. Sam shares his knowledge in this short course, which includes step-by-step guides to espresso extraction and tips for developing the flavor profile of your shot.

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) is considered the authority on coffee standards, so you can be sure they know a thing or two about coffee skills. This intensive course takes you through barista skills, brewing, green coffee, roasting, and sensory skills. You’ll receive certification at the end, which you can also put towards earning an SCA Diploma. 

Starting your coffee shop requires more than just expert coffee knowledge. Coffee business consultant Ed Arvidson gives you valuable information on things like location scouting, interior fit-outs, and how to train and manage employees. Signing up for the program gives you two years of access to the course, so you have plenty of time to make your dream a reality.

Once you’ve completed the Barista One course, or if you already have some experience under your belt, you can expand your knowledge with Advanced Coffee Making. Designed for training head baristas (but suitable for experienced coffee nerds, too), this coffee masterclass will introduce you to more advanced coffeemaking concepts like extracted mass and total dissolved solids.

Single-origin coffee tends to get more attention, but a good blend can allow you to bring out the best characteristics of a coffee and create a signature flavor profile. Over 12 lessons, you’ll earn all about blending theory, roast profiles, and how to create a consistent blend time after time.

Coffee cupping is the standard way for professionals to determine the quality of any given coffee. This detailed course explores the concept of cupping and extensive training on the practical aspects, including how to set up a coffee cupping room. You’ll also learn to evaluate coffee using non-cupping methods, including French press and espresso.

Most people are familiar with the standard shapes such as heart and rosetta, but this online course will show you just how intricate latte art can be. If you’ve already got the basics down pat, you’ll learn how to create an elephant, a sunset, a dragon, and more. Before you know it you’ll be rivaling the best coffee channels on YouTube.

Wrapping Up

We hope this list of the best online coffee courses has shown you just how much you can learn about coffee without leaving the comfort of your own home!

Have you had a great experience with a course that we don’t have on our list? Just drop us a line in the comments below. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it with any aspiring baristas you might know.

  1. UK Barista Championship 2022. (n.d.) SCA UK. Retrieved from https://scauk.coffee/pages/ukbc
  2. Virtual Coffee. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://virtualcoffee.com/

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