4 July 2013
4 July 2013,

In the frequent dead space between getting the café ready and the flux of first customers, I usually espressed a coffee and read the front page of the paper. I was ready for action; poised. The paper had yesterday’s online news.

It would have been great to have my barista’s course on hand, to be able to look over something I could practice that day, perhaps pick up a tit-bit of knowledge to impress a regular.espress

“The grind and pack affect the diffusion of the water through the coffee in the head. I am looking for 15 seconds of evenly flowing rats-tail,” I would say, explaining as the chocolate coloured espress flowed into the warm cup. The customer would look on in anticipation, sensing my skill.

* * *

This year I put a tablet on the coffee station. I put it in a waterproof skin and attached a ring so it could be hooked up. It contained a coffee-making learning package. There were short videos, showing where our beans came from and how they got roasted. But the most watched were the ‘perfect espress’, and ‘pure silk’, videos. We had captions rather than voice, and said to the staff they were welcome to look through the resource when all else was done or if they were on break.

We asked the Manager that it be used for training and she aim to have every coffee served to the standard in the videos. The product was primitive but the effect on the coffee service, over time, was significant.

The manager had a role in keeping quality and improvement as a workplace focus. Now with something tangible to aim for the quality of our espresso improved and the time spent on training sessions reduced.

Our next steps are to refine the videos, provide our induction from tablet resources and offer a learning package that delivers the learning outcomes of the New Zealand Qualification 17288; Prepare and present espresso beverages for service.

I am convinced that high quality induction and training experiences, improved quality and consistency of our product, and reduced training costs will be the result of providing, with purpose, well-designed mobile learning resources to our staff.


Lombardi Café

Palmerston North

New Zealand