MORNING CUPPA: Zoe Bennett serves coffee with a smile. D8923-14

WHAKATANE High School staff and students don’t have to wander too far for their morning caffeine fix.

Year 12 and 13 hospitality students have started their own coffee shop at the school – and their brews are flying out the door.

About 40 students trained as baristas in term one this year – and now they are putting their skills to good use. In their training they learned about the origins of coffee, the roasting and grinding processes, milk steaming, and how to get the shop ready each day to sell coffee.

Hospitality teacher Michelle Knott says they opened the shop in June this year. And coffee isn’t the only hot drink on offer, hot chocolate can be bought too.

The shop is open for about 20 minutes in the morning, and some days they sell up to 40 hot drinks. Students pay cash, while teachers have a stamp card.

Ms Knott says she hopes the students’ experience will lead to more opportunities, and that gaining a barista certificate from the class will help increase their chances of gaining jobs in the hospitality field.

“It’s about building confidence, and the students learn about responsibility, food safety, and hygiene,” she says.

The students are responsible for working out a roster, with three on for each coffee shift.

One student takes orders, another makes the espresso shots, and the third student steams the milk.

Year 13 student Zoe Bennett assisted hospitality teacher Michelle Knott to train the other students this year. Zoe had an interest in coffee in 2018 so she learned to make it, and, with the help of a few friends, they ran the cafe by themselves until it got going.

Soon, other students became interested and now it is part of the hospitality class’ practical work. All the money made at the cafe goes into a fund, and at the end of the year all the hospitality students get to go out for dinner.

The ingredients for the coffee making programme are funded by the Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource, or Star as it is known, which assists vocational learning at schools.