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jeers to zoka coffee


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I bought their espresso training video. I think by now you guys/gals know I barely have a clue when it comes to all things espresso. After watching the video, which is all of a bit over 1 hour, I'm not exactly the junior barista I thought I'd be. Actually, I didn't pick up a single bit of useful info. They covered a zillion areas including commercial and home brewing and roasting in like a heartbeat. It's really absurd. I wouldn't mind so much if it didn't cost $59.95 + tax (jeez, they have no stores in NJ) + shipping which translated to $70+. And to think - Owen would've travelled 4 hours each way, given me a day's training and bought me a shot for a lot less loot. :-)

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Ouch. I still believe that Zoka is a good outfit but the video certainly sounds disappointing. I think there's a lot more to be gained by reading some books, visitign a bunch of cafe's and also reading some forums.

The SCAA Forum is worth checking out.

Coffeeforums.com has an "industry" section with some useful discussion among peopel looking to get into the business as well as those already in it. As you're likely already discovering, people in the business generally love talking about it and although many will be looking to sell you something (services, equipment or beans), they'll still freely share lots of info that will help you establish your plans more concretely.

There's lots and lots of reading, absorbing, sorting out, questioning and then returning to reading. I have a copy of "Espresso Coffee: Professional Techniques" on order from Amazon and it's said to be an excellent reference but it's backordered and they're not shipping until Nov 2nd.

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Thanks for those links. I'm gonna pop over to coffeforums and make a fool of myself and ask some silly questions. I'm getting used to that.

I still have respect for Zoka. I think they had good intentions with the video -- they have award winning baristi doing the show and tell -- they just really blew it and should stop selling it, or sell it for $20.

[Owen, did you get my PM from yesterday?]

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The Zoka video is pretty much aimed (IHMO) at folks who are already professional baristi and want to improve their skills. It is a bit "thin" in that it rushes through a lot of subjects, but I think it's actually a valuable tool - if you already have a firm grasp of the basics.

I'd suggest picking up the Schomer book Espresso Coffee: Professional Techniques from Vivace. This is a really good resource. You can then, after working through it, gain a lot more out of things like the Zoka video and the Vivace videos.

For what it's worth - it's a good idea (if you're going to pursue this as a career) to join the Barista Guild. This gives you access to a lot of people and a lot of tools that can help you out.

Finally, the SCAA BGA forum is probably the best source for help with questions of a professional nature.


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