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About Barista Basics

We are Australia’s leading Coffee Training Academy serving Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.


The principals of the BARISTA BASICS Coffee Academy are David Gee and Matthew Gee
The principals of the BARISTA BASICS Coffee Academy are David Gee and Matthew Gee.
Go with the best barista school in Australia!
Go with the best barista school in Australia!

David has a Bachelor of Commerce, from the University of New South Wales, Australia and an MBA from the William E.Simon BusinessSchool at the University of Rochester, New York, USA.

Matthew has a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) degree and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree, both from the University of Sydney.

In 1999, after spending four years in Singapore setting up their own pan-Asian licensing business (representing licensors such as Twentieth Century Fox, Lucasfilm, DreamWorks, MGM, Paramount, Eon Productions, BBC Worldwide and ABC Australia), David and Matthew started Wave Entertainment Pty Limited in Australia, which specialises in producing high quality children's television programs. Their first creation of 26 x half hour pre school shows entitled Zirkos Kids, has aired in over 18 countries.

In 2000, David and Matthew became partners in a Sydney coffee wholesaler/specialty roaster based in Sydney ‘s Artarmon. After learning how to blend and roast coffee, the next logical step for the brothers was to enter the retail coffee industry, so they decided to purchase four up-market cafes in Brisbane. These were called GOSH Coffee. It was here that they learned not only their barista craft, but also how to apply it in pressure situations whilst not compromising on presentation and customer service.

Blue Wave Coffee

David and Matthew have since sold their share of the specialty coffee roaster and since 2006 no longer own any cafes in Brisbane.

In 2003, David and Matthew started the Barista Basics Coffee Academy. They now have major coffee class training centres in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane using state-of-the-art Italian espresso machines.

David and Matthew have written a book on coffee and barista training. This was published in January 2004 and is entitled bean there, drunk that... (the definitive guide to coffee and the world of the barista). It covers everything from the history of coffee, growing/harvesting and roasting coffee, coffee freshness, the grinder, the espresso machine, frothing milk, pouring the different coffees, home espresso machines as well as getting and keeping a job as a barista. The book is used in selected high schools and TAFE colleges around Australia as part of their hospitality training courses. It is now in its second edition and sells worldwide.

They have also completed three training dvds (The Coffee Menu, Master Barista and Coffee Art and Presentation Techniques) which, along with their book are now on sale (either by purchasing on the internet by clicking on the icon on the home page, by phoning 1300 366 218 or through the barista courses).

Matthew and David have been feature writers for industry magazine Bean Scene and regular contributors to Australian Hospitality Magazine, Eatdrink Magazine, Australian Table Magazine and Loreal's Matrix magazine. David and Matthew have appeared on Bert Newton's Good Morning Australia, Channel 9's Fresh with Jeff Jantsz, numerous times on Mornings with Kerri-Anne and Sunday, Channel 10's The Project, Channel 7's Sunrise and NBN's Today Extra with Nat Jeffery.

They have also worked as official espresso tasters for Choice Magazine's 2004-2016 review of home espresso machines. They are also regulars on radio, having appeared on ABC Radio 702 in 2006 on Tony Delroy's Nightlife program and James Valentine's Afternoons program in 2010. They have also been on 2UE several times, including an interview with Clive Robertson in 2010 and 2013.

David and Matthew have also recently completed a print and cinema ad campaign featuring their latte art for a major international brand.

In August 2007 their coffee art formed the basis of a 2-page feature spread in the London Daily Mail.

For the past 11 years, BARISTA BASICS coffee class has been accredited by the TAFE system.

Whilst running Barista Basics, David and Matthew consulted for a major coffee company from 2004-2007 but since September 2007 have chosen to focus exclusively on their training business.

In May 2008, after years of planning, audits and site visits, the Barista Basics Coffee Academy was granted Registered Training Organisation status by the various applicable government regulatory bodies. This means that Barista Basics is fully compliant with the strict controls that are placed on its training and assessment and is now able to grant Statement of Attainments relating to SITHFAB204 Prepare and serve espresso coffee and SITXFSA101 Use hygienic practices for food safety. Our RTO number is 91399.

With RTO status and previous partnerships with Tafe Hunter Institute and Tafe Western, Barista Basics has once more lifted the bar for coffee training in Australia. Registration enables us to:

  • Deliver and/or assess nationally recognised training throughout Australia
  • Issue AQF qualifications which are recognised by industry and all other RTOs in Australia
  • Confidently accept the qualifications and Statements of Attainment issued by other providers because they have been subjected to the same quality processes
  • Use training products developed by industry to meet industry needs
  • Have our registration and contact details listed on www.training.gov.au
  • Use the Nationally Recognised Training logo
  • Develop partnerships with other organisations or enterprises to provide nationally recognised training and/or assessment services.
Our students benefit from:
  • National recognition of qualifications gained
  • Knowing that their training is being delivered by an organisation which meets national standards
  • Enhanced career prospects because the qualifications are based on identified industry needs

In August 2008, Barista Basics Coffee Academy won the prestigious City of Sydney Business Award in the category of Education and Training. We were also finalists in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

In 2014 David and Matthew opened up a boutique espresso bar on Level 10 of the Dymocks Building in George St, Sydney, called Tenth Floor Espresso.

Barista Basics is one of the only truly independent coffee schools in Australia, run by people with no connections to coffee companies. What it offers is independent, up-to-date coffee training executed with the utmost professionalism and a focus on inspiring others to have a passion for coffee and the techniques to enable them to be great baristas.

What You Can Expect From Us

We are regarded as Australia ‘s premier coffee school for many reasons. We offer:

  • Professionalism (we are an RTO, all our instructors are university educated and fully trained in teaching and presenting to students)
  • Classes incorporating hands-on experience on Italian espresso machines set in a relaxed multimedia environment
  • Sound advice from people who have actually run cafes and who have written books and produced training dvds and from whom Choice magazine, Insight Publishing's Bean Scene Magazine, radio 2UE and Channel 9 like to call their “coffee experts.”

We have no limits on the amount of milk or coffee used during the lesson and do not use recycled milk or ground coffee as other schools do. All our students get ample opportunity to practise the skills that are taught during the classes so that they actually go away with a skill, rather than a series of notes taken from a “lecturer” demonstrating in front of a class.

The fact that students have flown in from places such as Perth, the Northern Territory, Japan, New Zealand , Dubai, Korea, Tonga, Indonesia, Singapore, Hone Kong and the USA just to do our courses speaks for itself!