A barista is an espresso machine ‘coffee artist’ who has extensive knowledge about coffee and prepares, decorates and serves espresso-based drinks to customers. Barista is the Italian word for barkeeper.



Taking raw green coffee beans and turning them into delectable roasted coffee is truly an art form. The difference between mediocre coffee and excellent coffee comes from the quality of the bean used and the roasting technique. Our baristas get first-hand experience of the difference between light, medium and dark roasts.


No matter your technique, recipe, or equipment, the key to pulling the perfect shot is consistency. The ideal espresso extraction time is between 20 and 30 seconds depending on tamping, the quantity of coffee and grind size. Our baristas spend over 250 hours mastering the art of the ultimate brew.


The freshness, size and quality of the grind have a significant effect on how a coffee will taste. As soon as a coffee bean is ground, the flavour will start to dull down as the coffee particles come into contact with air. Therefore, it is crucial to learn how to get the grind right the first time.


Our six months of vocational skills courses are vital to entry-level access to the job market for our students. The majority of our students have been out of schooling or education for many years. We provide them with employable skills through our in-depth training with expert trainers, as well as peer-to-peer learning.


Our baristas learn the theory of espresso-based drinks. They are equipped to make a range of espresso-based beverages such as the classic Italian espresso, the famous Americano, the small yet potent cortado, the long and creamy latte, the traditional frothy cappuccino, and the wake-you-up flat white to name just a few.


The pouring, texturing and frothing of milk is an integral part of making the perfect coffee. Milk must be steamed at the ideal temperature to produce the sweet, silky texture needed for the barista to create intricate latte art.


Graduated Baristas to date.

“When my blood runs black as the moonless night, and my heartbeat sounds as the warriors’ march, only then may you say, I’ve had enough coffee.”


At the Sozo Barista School, we believe that great coffee is an art form, and our dedicated team of experienced instructors is here to guide you every step of the way. Our curriculum is thoughtfully designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of coffee, from bean to cup. We combine theoretical knowledge with hands-on training, ensuring that you develop the skills necessary to create exceptional coffee experiences.

Why choose Sozo Barista School? Here’s what sets us apart:

Expert Instructors: Our instructors are seasoned coffee professionals with years of industry experience. They bring their expertise, passion, and insights to the classroom, delivering engaging and informative lessons.

Comprehensive Curriculum: Our curriculum covers a wide range of topics, including coffee origins, bean selection, roasting techniques, espresso extraction, latte art, and more. You’ll gain a deep understanding of coffee science and develop the technical skills needed to excel in the coffee industry.

Hands-On Approach: Learning by doing is at the heart of our teaching philosophy. Our state-of-the-art training facilities provide a practical learning environment where you’ll work with top-of-the-line espresso machines, grinders, and other equipment. You’ll have ample opportunities to practice and refine your techniques under the guidance of our instructors.

Industry Connections: As a student of Sozo Barista School, you’ll have access to our extensive network of coffee industry professionals. We regularly collaborate with local cafes, roasteries, and coffee events, giving you valuable opportunities for networking and real-world experience.

Supportive Community: Join a vibrant community of coffee enthusiasts and professionals who share your passion for all things coffee. Our school fosters a collaborative and inclusive environment where you can connect with like-minded individuals and grow your network.

Career Development: Whether you aspire to work in speciality coffee shops, open your own cafe, or become a coffee consultant, we provide guidance and support to help you achieve your goals. From resume building to interview preparation, we equip you with the tools necessary to launch a successful career in the coffee industry.

Embark on your coffee journey today and unlock the secrets of the perfect cup. Let us empower you with the knowledge and skills to become a true coffee connoisseur. Discover the world of coffee like never before and let your passion brew excellence.


The SOZO Foundation-Tyron Kivido

“I dropped out of school in Grade 10 and didn’t have many options for what I was going to do afterwards. My parents made it clear that I wasn’t allowed to stay home and do nothing, and that I needed to find a job. While walking around my community, I saw The Sozo Foundation building and went inside to find out what they offer.

I got accepted to complete the Barista Course. I won’t forget the feeling of having my facilitator show me how to create a heart shape with latte art and being able to do it perfectly the first time. That made me realise that being a Barista is something I am good at and will help me get a job more easily. Before joining The Sozo Foundation I couldn’t speak English well, but Sozo helped boost my confidence in customer service, knowing how to speak to a customer and understand them. After completing my training and seeking employment, I got my first job as a Barista in Cape Town. I felt confident stepping into the workplace, and five years later, I’m still working as a Barista. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, I was retrenched from a really well-paying job as a Barista.

This took a huge strain on my family and made me find alternative ways to earn an income, such as cutting hair, making Birthday cards, freehand art, and other side jobs to make money for my family. However in My future goal is to start a family business where we will have this huge kitchen and bar serving coffee and wine, breakfast, light meals, and dinners. I believe with hard work this is possible.I would encourage the youth to stay focused and always try to do their best. Don’t wait for Sozo to bring opportunities, put yourself out there. It is challenging finding employment but stay strong, positive, and hard-working.” Tyron KividoBarista Skills School