Plan and monitor espresso coffee service


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to coordinate operational aspects of espresso coffee service for an outlet. It requires the ability to develop menus, provide specialist advice to customers and staff, monitor the overall quality of espresso beverages, and maintain equipment.

The unit applies to any hospitality organisation that serves espresso coffee beverages, including cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs, function and event venues.

It applies to senior personnel who operate independently or with limited guidance from others and who have substantial specialist knowledge of coffee, its history and presentation.

No occupational licensing, certification or specific legislative requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Plan coffee beverage service.

1.1.Develop coffee beverage menus taking into consideration profit requirements, market focus, demographics and customer preferences.

1.2.Select suppliers and roasters, and make purchases according to budget and quality.

1.3.Liaise with suppliers and roasters to ensure coffee service meets organisational quality standards.

2. Provide specialist advice on espresso coffee beverages.

2.1.Develop and update knowledge of types of coffee beverages.

2.2.Respond to customer questions about espresso coffee beverages.

2.3.Provide accurate information to staff on coffee beans, ground coffee and espresso coffee beverages.

2.4.Promote coffee beverage appreciation at appropriate opportunities.

2.5.Develop and display accurate customer information on espresso coffee beverages.

3. Monitor quality of coffee beverages.

3.1.Identify desirable characteristics of superior espresso coffee beverages.

3.2.Evaluate coffee beans to ensure freshness.

3.3.Monitor grind and dose to ensure quality and consistency of espresso extraction.

3.4.Monitor environmental variations affecting dose, and adjust the grind and dose accordingly.

3.5.Evaluate espresso coffee beverage quality and diagnose faults and problems in quality of coffee beans, ground coffee and coffee beverages.

3.6.Monitor coffee extractions and service, ensuring quality and consistency.

3.7.Assess texture and temperature of milk served.

3.8.Seek and follow-up feedback on coffee beverage quality from customers and staff.

3.9.Ensure ingredients and accompaniments are stored appropriately in suitable containers and conditions.

3.10.Ensure coffee beverages are presented correctly and attractively with suitable accompaniments.

4. Monitor and maintain equipment.

4.1.Monitor espresso coffee machine and other equipment for efficiency and reliability of operation.

4.2.Monitor temperature and water pressure.

4.3.Develop environmentally sound cleaning, maintenance, waste disposal and recycling practices.

4.4.Identify need for new equipment and service-ware taking into account relevant considerations and evaluate options.

4.5.Identify situations requiring use of specialist service technicians.

4.6.Schedule service calls and replacement of worn parts at appropriate times.

Evidence of Performance

Evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit in the context of the job role, and:

coordinate the operational aspects of espresso coffee preparation for an outlet over at least six service periods

monitor the consistency and quality of the following characteristics of espresso coffee beverages during above service:

appearance, including opacity or transparency








maintain commercial grade espresso coffee machines and grinders throughout each of the above service periods.

Evidence of Knowledge

Demonstrated knowledge required to complete the tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit:

knowledge of current and emerging espresso coffee service trends through various sources:

associations and industry bodies

coffee beverage tastings

coffee reference books

general and trade media, and supplier information

product suppliers, roasters and other baristas

the internet

trade shows

major types of espresso coffee beverages and their characteristics

different types of milk, their characteristics and uses for different types of coffee beverages

for coffee beans and blends:

special qualities and flavour characteristics arising from country and area of origin

physical and chemical properties

roasting techniques

effects of roasting and grinding

types of grind and freshness

flavour enhancers and essences

impacts on flavour of coffee beverages of:

cleanliness of machines

water temperature and pressure

organisational and industry standards for:

service-ware used for espresso coffee beverage presentation

accompaniments used to enhance beverages

presentation of beverages and latte art

appropriate environmental conditions for storing coffee beans, ground coffee, milk and other ingredients to:

ensure food safety

optimise shelf life

methods to ensure efficient use of ingredients and to minimise wastage

equipment used to prepare espresso coffee beverages:

technical features and functions of different espresso machines and grinders

cleaning and maintenance procedures for espresso coffee machines and grinders

routine problems and faults in espresso machines and grinders

identifying and diagnosing faults

fine tuning or arranging fine tuning of machines and grinders according to manufacturer instructions and warranty requirements

removing shower screens or diffusers if appropriate; cleaning using wet method and reassembling

work practices for managing large coffee beverage orders

methods for evaluating espresso coffee beverage quality:

customer feedback

information or data on:

repeat business

sales of particular types of coffee beverages

organisational and industry standards

staff feedback

sensory analysis

cost and profit issues associated with providing espresso coffee service:




pricing menu items

factors to consider when purchasing new equipment or service-ware:



reputation of supplier

service availability

size and capacity to meet outlet service needs

technical characteristics

training in operation

information to educate customers about espresso coffee:

details about coffee beans and grinds

details of coffee beverage education programs

types of coffee beverages and accompaniments.

Assessment Conditions

Skills must be demonstrated in an operational restaurant or food and beverage outlet. This can be:

an industry workplace

a simulated industry environment.

Assessment must ensure access to:

fixtures and large equipment:

a workstation with industry current commercial grade espresso machine and coffee grinders

bins for used ground coffee

storage bins or containers

specific equipment for preparing espresso coffee:

blind or blank filter basket

cleaning brushes

colour-coded cleaning cloths

flat edge implement for levelling off dosed filter basket

measuring equipment:

stopwatch or timer


milk foaming jugs


powder shakers

service trays

spoons and stirrers


takeaway cardboard trays

tamp mats


service-ware for different types of coffee beverages:

cups: espresso and standard




takeaway coffee cups and lids


commercial range of coffee beans and ground coffee

milk and alternative products

other ingredients and accompaniments required for espresso coffee service

organisational specifications:

equipment manufacturer instructions

cleaning and maintenance procedures for espresso coffee machines and grinders

commercial beverage menus

organisational procedures and industry standards for presenting espresso coffee beverages

price lists

standard recipes for coffee-based beverages currently used by the hospitality industry

safety data sheets (SDS) for cleaning chemicals or plain English workplace documents or diagrams that interpret the content of SDS

industry-realistic ratio of staff to customers; these can be:

customers in an industry workplace during the assessment process; or

individuals who participate in role plays or simulated activities, set up for the purpose of assessment, in a simulated industry environment operated within a training organisation.

Assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisations’ requirements for assessors; and:

have worked in industry for at least three years where they have applied the skills and knowledge of this unit of competency.

Foundation Skills

Foundation skills essential to performance in this unit, but not explicit in the performance criteria are listed here, along with a brief context statement.



Reading skills to:


detailed supplier product information

promotional material

reviews about coffee beans, ground coffee and coffee beverages

cleaning and maintenance procedures for espresso coffee machines and grinders

research information on current and emerging coffee service trends and customer preferences.

Writing skills to:

write comprehensive and creatively expressed menus to promote sales.

Oral communication skills to:

explain coffee beverage items and their characteristics to customers.

Numeracy skills to:

calculate and monitor temperature and water pressure for espresso machines

calculate quantities and costs for stock orders.

Learning skills to:

continuously source information on current and emerging coffee service trends and synthesise this information for menu updates.

Problem-solving skills to:

diagnose problems and faults in coffee beans, ground coffee and coffee beverages and make adjustments to ensure quality coffee beverages.

Planning and organising skills to:

schedule the regular servicing of espresso machines.

Self-management skills to:

take responsibility for espresso service management and quality outputs.

Technology skills to:

use espresso machines and monitor their efficiency and reliability.



Competency Field

Food and Beverage