Become a ridiculously good barista

If you're in the business of making great coffee, this is the book for you.

This manual is for baristas, trainers of baristas, cafe owners and mildly obsessed coffee drinkers who need a go-to guide on all elements of serving a good cup of coffee.

Best book about coffee for advanced baristas. It covers all the aspect of the skills that the advanced barista needs to know with the help of clear scientific information and graphs. Period!!
— Stefano Marrino, Barista @ The Barn, Berlin

A complete reference manual in a fun, casual style, Coffee For the Mildly Obsessed has detailed chapters on coffee brewing, water,  grinding, cupping, espresso, milk, as well as tea and chocolate. It doesn't have heaps of useless information irrelevant to the barista.

This book promises to get you enthusiastic about the sensations of coffee and for you to be able to convey that enthusiasm to its adoring fans: your customers.

Serve your customers coffee they'd love to drink - become a ridiculously good barista. 

Available in iBooks, ePub, MOBI and PDF format.

Jump to additional formats and educational options here.

I’ve learned more about coffee by reading this book than through five years of being a barista trainer.
— Arne Jorissen, Barista Trainer

Lots of pictures and graphics to illustrate points

In-depth videos to explain complex topics

Learn at your own pace and retain the information with study notes and quizzes


Available in EPUB, MOBI, PDF and iBooks and compatible with OSX, iOS, Android and Windows.


Print pages






Cups of coffee

the Chapters

A walk through the history and origins of coffee and overview of the core brewing methods used today.

A walk through the history and origins of coffee and overview of the core brewing methods used today.


Chapter 2

Calling our filter brew a cup of coffee is like calling South America the continent of Guyana. A standard cup is around 1.25% dissolved solids, and 98.75% water. What that water’s made out of makes all the difference in the world.



A very in-depth look at grinders, grinds and how to get the most out of your bean – consistently.


Chapter 4

The magical thing about coffee is how complex the flavors and tactile sensations are. Like the best witches, we need to become excellent at tasting to enhance our brews.


Chapter 5

Learn every nuance, become ridiculously good at preparing espresso. This is the sexy one. The one that makes all the money for the cafe. It’s the most common coffee type…and it’s often the worst prepared.



In terms of volume, many cafes sell more milk than coffee. That makes it important to our trade so we dive right in, outlining how to source and prepare the best milk, where to find optimal milk alternatives and… oh yeah… how did milk got into coffee in the first place. 


Tea, tisanes and chocolate have been around longer than coffee, but are less well understood by the barista. They’re a growing part of our industry, and we need to know our stuff.


Yeah, we know the most common questions. Here are the answers. 

Way Forward

Courses, exams and recommended further readings.



Sample coffee chapter

Sample Coffee Chapter iPad


This is the entire coffee chapter in PDF format. I'll also let you know when we've made any updates to the book or courses.

No spam, promise. I like you, but not like that.

How to get the most out of your coffee

Drip brewing is very difficult to get consistent and immersion brewing is wasteful, so what's an overly-caffeinated barista to do? Brew in two stages.

About the author

Photo by Astra Plepe

Photo by Astra Plepe


G'day. I'm Michael Wilson, barista, roaster and cafe owner. I've opened a number of cafes in the UK and Malaysia and I've been a customer at plenty. I wrote this book to help baristas pass the written and verbal sections of the barista exam. I've learned from some of the best teachers in the industry and will ensure that the best goes into future editions of this book.



The Barista Trainer's Package

Customise: make it your own.


If you're like I was four years ago, you're probably looking for some helpful presentations to help your baristas grasp the concepts needed to make great coffee. If you prefer to get the gang together and to guide each person through the concepts or my spelling of 'flavor' as 'flavour' makes your head boil like an Elektra Barlume in a Sainsburys store, then this package is for you. Included in this package are all the Keynote files we used to create the animated presentations for the book, all the videos from the book and extra resources that you may find useful in your training.


The animations in the book were mostly created using Apple's Keynote. In addition to all the Keynote files we used to make the book, there are several that didn't make the editor's cut, but help explain things in a different way. Hey, and if you've got a better way to explain it, then just change what you need instead of starting from scratch. Each of the files took us several days to create some took weeks, and here are 46. Most of the files have a voiceover track that you can choose to use or you can just play the presentation manually.

Keynote is the presentation software made by Apple. If you've got a Mac, you've probably got Keynote. For Windows users there are PowerPoint exports included.

The Book

358 pages of clear reference written in a conversational manner. You'll get the book in EPUB, MOBI and PDF formats.


Most of the videos are the recorded Keynote files that have been edited to make them slicker and to improve the sound. I'm recording new videos and these new videos will be included in a free update to this package.


The print-ready A2 Coffee brewing methods summary poster in PDF format.

Tasting the variables in espresso instructions and worksheets.

Cupping form.

3D examples of H2O and the difference in surface area and grind size in both Collada and Sketchup formats.

Coffee bench design document and four bench design examples in Sketchup.

Two cafe designs in Sketchup format. Both have been built and still run today.

The EPUB/MOBI Version

Reflowable text, read it on anything.

EPUBArtboard 5.png

If you need a handy reference that you can read as easily on your phone as you can on your desktop computer, this is the version for you.

The EPUB version is optimised for Google Play Books, which works on Android or iOS mobile devices with Google Play Books app and computers that can access this page. The MOBI version works with the Kindle app on Android, iOS and computers. With these two versions, you can change the text size to your preference and can highlight sentences, add bookmarks and make study notes. You can also read the book on your phone while commuting home and carry on reading from the same point on your computer at home. The videos and large pictures are stored externally and will only work when connected to the internet on a device that can play videos.

The files are 27 Mb and 17 Mb and there are around 1 Gb of video stored online. This purchase includes any updates to the book and videos.

THE iBooks Version

Interactive quizzes and video on your device. Works on Apple devices.

If you've got iBooks on your iPhone, iPad or Mac, this is the version to get. The iBooks version is full of interactive widgets including quizzes that make learning easier. All the video is stored on your device, which means two things:

  1. there's no lag and you don't need to be online when watching the videos; and

  2. it takes up 593 Mb on your device.

Once you've downloaded the iBook, you can read it on your iPhone, iPad or Mac. You can even read it on your Mac then pick up where you left off on your iPhone while taking an Über to work. For reading on your iPhone or iPad, you can choose to use a feature called 'scrolling view' that switches the layout from a fixed layout – like a PDF – to reflowable text – like an EPUB. 

THE PDF Version

Fixed layout, works for larger screens.


If you're just reading on a tablet or computer, or if you don't want to use an EPUB or MOBI viewer, then the PDF version is for you.

The PDF will work simply on most devices. Depending on your application, you may be able to annotate the book and jump back from a hyperlink (in the free Adobe Reader it's 'Alt' + 'left arrow' on Windows and '⌘' + 'left arrow' on a Mac). It's like studying using a traditional paper textbook, but with access to videos.

The PDF is 11 Mb and has access to around 1 Gb of video stored online. This purchase includes any updates to the PDF and videos.



What's the difference between the PDF and the EPUB/MOBI versions?

The PDF version is fixed-format. It will work on a phone, but will be quite difficult to read.


How do I read using my Kindle app?

Email the MOBI file to your Kindle using your Kindle's email address. To find your email address go to: Your Account/Digital Content/Manage Your Content and Devices/Settings. The manual will be delivered to your device and you can find it under 'Docs'.


Which app is better, Google Play or Kindle?

Of the two, the Kindle app is currently better because you can track back after following an internal hyperlink. However, you can use any EPUB or MOBI reader you prefer to read this book.

Will there be a print book?

There are currently no plans to print a book. If you have a cafe and want to sell the book, you can do so on your website (see next question).


Can I sell the book?

If you have a website or a decent Facebook, Instagram or Twitter following, you can direct customers to this page using a unique link and if they buy the book within the next 30 days, you'll get 30% of the sales price. For more see the affiliate page.


Do the Keynote files work with Microsoft Powerpoint?

These files contain many complicated builds and transitions that don't convert well into Microsoft PowerPoint. I have included the PowerPoint conversions. They won't work well, but they have the graphics and notes intact.