Barista Basics: Coffee Workshops to Get You Started

Thanks to third-wave coffee culture, coffee is no longer a mere morning wake-up beverage – it’s an experience. From the flavour profile and origin of the coffee beans to the brewing method used, making a really good cup of coffee is both a skill and an art. And one that is increasingly easier to learn.

If you’ve ever wondered about what happens behind-the-scenes at your favourite local coffeehouse, there’s no time like the present to tap into your passion for coffee and sharpen your coffee-making skills. We’ve listed six coffee classes and workshops available in Singapore and Malaysia where you’ll pick up handy tips and techniques from coffee masters.

CMCR Academy

Renowned Singapore-based coffee roaster Common Man Coffee Roasters runs its CMCR Academy in both Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, including public classes held at their on-site coffee labs. Their comprehensive Fundamental Barista Skills class is suitable for all experience levels, covering basic coffee knowledge and tricky techniques to master such as espresso preparation and milk steaming and pouring.

Duration: 3-4 hours

Price: SGD190 / MYR350 per person

Barista Guild Asia

At the heart of many of our favourite coffee drinks is the espresso. But how many of us know what makes a good shot of espresso? Get back to basics with the Espresso Sensory class by Barista Guild Asia, based at Union Roastery in Ara Damansara. You’ll learn how to tell if an espresso is under-extracted or over-extracted, how to get it juuuust right, as well as the use of dairy and non-dairy milks for drinks such as latte, cappuccino and flat white.

Duration: 4 hours

Price: MYR200 per person

Learn how to differentiate the flavour profiles of various coffee beans. Photo from Nathan Dumlao

Papa Palheta

Papa Palheta is another famous coffee roaster hailing from Singapore that’s made the jump to Kuala Lumpur. Offering classes at both locations, those interested in exploring non-pressurised brewing methods at home can check out their Alternative Coffee Brewing class. During the session, participants will learn the factors that affect manual brewing (such as grind size, time and temperature) and try their hand at manual brewing using three different methods.

Duration: 1.5 hours

Price: SGD150 / MYR280 per person

Hobby N Coffee

Located in the trendy neighbourhood of TTDI, Kuala Lumpur, Hobby N Coffee is not your run-of-the-mill café – as a venue for hosting fun, interactive workshops, it’s only open to participants. With no more than five students per session, you’re sure to get the full attention of the trainer during the class.

For their Latte Art Training classes, after learning the basics to latte art, you can opt to practice making traditional designs such as heart and fern or cute designs based on anime or cartoons. There’s even a galactic design they can teach you that’s outta this world.

Duration: 2-3 hours

Price: MYR300 per person

Make coffee as good as what you get from a café right in the comfort of your own home. Photo from Tyler Nix

Highlander Coffee Academy

Are you a serious coffee enthusiast who already owns an espresso machine at home or are planning on purchasing one soon? If you want to take your coffee skills up a notch, you can check out Highlander Coffee Academy’s Fast-track Barista Training Workshop.

In this course, participants will learn the best practices and effective techniques required to consistently produce great-tasting espresso-based beverages, as well as useful tips and tricks for pouring the perfect latte art.

Duration: 2.5-3 hours

Price: SGD198 per person

Prima Donna Bespoke Sessions

Looking for something beyond your typical coffee tasting session? Become a coffee aficionado by securing a seat at a Prima Donna Bespoke Session, where you’ll not only get to enjoy premium coffee by De’Longhi, but you’ll learn from the best through hands-on learning in a friendly environment.

Paired with a unique experience, each session is exclusive and different from the last – in a previous session, guests learned the art of watch design and how to pair the right timepiece to match their style. It’s by-invite-only, which makes every experience as exclusive as they come.

Duration: 2.5-3 hours

Price: Complimentary (by invite only)