Coffee Curation and Barista Pathway propels students to learn about coffee

In fall 2020, a new career pathway will be available to all students. The Coffee Curation and Barista Pathway will introduce new courses never before seen in the district. It offers Barista 1/2, Barista 3/4, Coffee Making 1, AP Coffee Making and AP Coffee History. 

Coffee Making 1, a semester course, and AP Coffee Making, full year, will teach the same material, which includes methods of brewing, roasting, growing and an extensive unit on coffee origin. The Barista courses, both a full year, are all about espresso. It covers how to brew a proper shot, how to steam milk for different drinks and how to make latte art. AP Coffee History teaches about the influence of coffee throughout history. 

“I’m sooooo excited for this class, oh my gosh,” freshman Carm L. LaTey said. “I love coffee and have always wanted to make it at school.”

In order to allow for this pathway to happen, the school has purchased a plethora of coffee machines and appliances. The school has ordered four La Marzocco Linea commercial machines, six Mazzer Kony grinders and multiple pour over and French press coffee makers. The school’s total spending cost over $80,000, with more spending on the way as coffee beans and paper filters will have to be regularly shipped to the school. 

“I was surprised how easily the idea was picked up by the board of education,” coffee scientist and teacher Maddie M. Roaste said. “It’s crazy what a stimulant like caffeine could make you achieve. We need to educate people that it’s safer than other recreational drugs. Probably.” 

Students from the Barista 3/4 class will also have the opportunity to enter in Barista competitions, which could lead to their inclusion in the World Barista Championships. The inclusion of competitive coffee making to the pathway has prompted the IHSA to add Barista Competitions as an official sport, which the MSL and BG will participate in. 

Overall, the CTE is very excited to add this pathway to their department. Many teachers see a need to add new outlets of expression, and The Coffee Curation and Barista pathway may be another brilliant way for students to express themselves and a new interest they may not have known even existed. 

“It will be an amazing addition to our catalog of classes,” Roaste said. “I’m very excited to be drinking coffee, I mean, teaching about coffee, next year. Also, do you want a refill?”