Edit ModuleShow Tags

Coffee College

A Vista school trains aspiring baristas and future café owners in the fine art of serving caffeine


Published:

(page 1 of 2)

Ivy League Barista Academy

It’s not Harvard or Princeton—and in fact, it’s in Vista—but the Ivy League Barista Academy is graduating more than your average Starbucks worker. It’s one of a growing group of training programs in places like Portland and Seattle, where students are schooled in everything from business management to the intricacies of a vanilla latte.

On a day in late January, a group of 10 students gathers in the academy’s nondescript warehouse for the weeklong course. They are tucked in a back room—past a 45-kilo coffee roaster and a giant garage where coffee carts are made—that looks a bit like a Food Network kitchen, with a big counter up front covered with bowls of coffee beans. Around the edges of the kitchen are barista stations, complete with espresso grinders, milk frothers, and flavor pump bottles. A fake coffee drink menu hangs on the wall.

The first two days of school focus on business development and management, but by days three and four, the future baristas of America move on to macchiatos, cappuccinos, and more.

Espresso

Nick Parreco, a dirt excavator from Maryland who is considering a career change, prepares to make a caramel latte for his classmate, Rosemarie Amzallag of Brooklyn, New York. Instructor Stephanie Garden stands at a front counter and gives instructions.

“Your noise sounds really good right there, nice and soft,” she says as Parreco foams the milk for his latte. “You don’t want a lot of bubbles.”

With blonde curly hair and tight jeans tucked into brown boots, Garden looks more like a San Diego coffee server than the tatted and black-clad baristas you’d find in Seattle or Portland. She and her husband, Tim Langdon, started Ivy League Barista Academy in 2008. They also make and sell coffee carts, design coffee shops, and roast their own coffee beans to sell, all under the umbrella company Coffee Shop Experts.

Experts indeed. The company was a natural next step for their business, which began with a local coffee shop chain Better Buzz, says marketing director Danielle Lipski. The couple couldn’t find quality coffee carts, so they built their own. They also couldn’t find quality coffee, so they made their own, roasting in small batches according to geographic region and flavor.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Hello, Dolly: The Queen of Country Music Comes to San Diego

Here she comes again! 5 reasons to get your tickets now for the Dolly Parton concert on September 27

(Park)ing Day Transformed Downtown Parking Spots into Public Parks

We explored 8 of them

How Agent Orange Is Still Devastating San Diegans

San Diego vets are still suffering from the toxic herbicide, and struggling to get benefits from the VA
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 27 Secret San Diego Spots
    From hidden caves to dead bodies beneath a public park, here's our third annual guide to all things hidden and hush-hush
  2. FIRST LOOK: False Idol
    San Diego is now home to a world-class tiki bar—False Idol
  3. Best of San Diego 2016
    Our annual and completely subjective guide to SD’s best
  4. The Chilling Facts About Craft Beer
    Why colder is not always better
  5. FIRST LOOK: Decoy Dockside
    San Marcos gets an ambitious, two-story gastro-lodge on the lake with Decoy Dockside.
  6. Top 10 Off-Site Events during Comic-Con 2016
    No badge, no problem—these happenings are free and open to the public
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.

“Will You Marry Me”?

Sharon Jenks, CEO of 6 Degrees, on building business relationships
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags