Unit of competency details

SITHFAB025 - Prepare and serve espresso coffee (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to SITHFAB005 - Prepare and serve espresso coffeeMinor changes to KE and AC. 09/Jun/2022

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 10/Jun/2022

Qualifications that include this unit

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SIT40422 - Certificate IV in HospitalityCertificate IV in HospitalityCurrent
SIT40821 - Certificate IV in Asian CookeryCertificate IV in Asian CookeryCurrent
SIT50422 - Diploma of Hospitality ManagementDiploma of Hospitality ManagementCurrent1-2 
SIT30722 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Restaurant Front of House)Certificate III in Hospitality (Restaurant Front of House)Current
SIT30622 - Certificate III in HospitalityCertificate III in HospitalityCurrent1-2 
SIT30122 - Certificate III in TourismCertificate III in TourismCurrent
SIT60322 - Advanced Diploma of Hospitality ManagementAdvanced Diploma of Hospitality ManagementCurrent
SIT40521 - Certificate IV in Kitchen ManagementCertificate IV in Kitchen ManagementCurrent
SIT30921 - Certificate III in CateringCertificate III in CateringCurrent
SIT40721 - Certificate IV in PatisserieCertificate IV in PatisserieCurrent1-2 
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110103 Food And Beverage Service 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110103 Food And Beverage Service 10/Jun/2022 
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Unit of competency

Modification History

Not applicable.


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to extract and serve espresso coffee beverages using commercial espresso machines and grinders. It requires the ability to advise customers on coffee beverages, select and grind coffee beans, prepare and assess espresso coffee beverages and to use, maintain and clean espresso machines and grinders. Complex repairs of equipment would be referred to specialist service technicians.

Preparation of coffee beverages using other methods is covered in SITHFAB024 Prepare and serve non-alcoholic beverages.

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

It applies to espresso machine operators who operate with some level of independence and under limited supervision.

The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

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

Pre-requisite Unit

SITXFSA005 Use hygienic practices for food safety

Competency Field

Food and Beverage

Unit Sector


Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes

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

1. Organise coffee workstation.

1.1. Complete mise en place for coffee service to enable efficient workflow and easy access to ingredients, equipment and service-ware.

1.2. Place ingredients in correct containers and conditions to maintain freshness.

1.3. Prepare espresso machine and grinder for service according to manufacturer instructions.

2. Select and grind coffee beans.

2.1. Select coffee beans and grind to appropriate particle size according to relevant factors.

2.2. Complete test extractions before service to ensure correct particle size of grind and assess and adjust according to relevant factors.

2.3. Adjust grind regularly throughout the service period according to relevant factors.

2.4. Monitor efficiency of grinder for correct dose and grind during use and resolve or report issues.

2.5. Clean grinder as required during or after the service period.

3. Advise customers and take espresso coffee orders.

3.1. Provide information and recommendations about types of coffee beverages and accompaniments.

3.2. Identify customer preferences and take orders.

4. Extract and monitor quality of espresso.

4.1. Select and prepare appropriate service-ware.

4.2. Select correct filter basket and clean, dry and dose it with required amount of ground coffee.

4.3. Tamp ground coffee to make even and level cake.

4.4. Flush group head before attaching group handle to extract espresso.

4.5. Monitor quality of extraction during service period and make adjustments.

4.6. Monitor efficiency of espresso machine during service, and resolve or report issues.

5. Undertake milk texturing process.

5.1. Select cold milk and appropriate milk foaming jug to fulfil customer orders.

5.2. Purge the steam wand prior to texturing.

5.3. Texture milk according to type of milk and coffee beverage.

5.4. Visually and aurally monitor and adjust the texture and temperature.

5.5. Clean the steam wand on the outside and purge after texturing.

5.6. Combine foam and milk through swirling, ensuring even consistency.

5.7. Pour milk immediately after swirling according to the coffee beverage.

6. Serve espresso coffee beverages.

6.1. Present coffee beverages attractively and without drips and spills.

6.2. Serve coffee beverages promptly at the required temperature and with appropriate accompaniments.

6.3. Minimise waste to maximise profitability of beverages produced.

7. Clean espresso equipment.

7.1. Clean espresso machine and equipment thoroughly and safely according to organisational procedures and manufacturer instructions.

7.2. Maintain water filtration system according to organisational procedures.

7.3. Refer faults and maintenance issues requiring technical specialists to supervisor.

7.4. Use energy and water resources efficiently when preparing coffee beverages and cleaning to reduce negative environmental impacts.

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:

  • interpret organisational documents or diagrams that relate to:
  • safety data sheets (SDS) and product instructions for cleaning chemicals
  • organisational procedures for operating, cleaning and maintaining equipment
  • read beverage menus and standard recipes for espresso coffee beverages.

Writing skills to:

  • use legible handwriting and accurate spelling to write orders and basic notes on customer preferences.

Oral communication skills to:

  • use active listening and open and closed probe questioning to determine customer preferences and offer suitable products.

Numeracy skills to:

  • visually estimate amounts of milk and make adjustments to doses of ground coffee.

Problem-solving skills to:

  • identify deficiencies in espresso extraction and make adjustments to ensure a quality product
  • monitor operational efficiency of espresso machine and adjust use during coffee beverage preparation.

Planning and organising skills to:

  • sequence the preparation of beverages and their components to efficiently serve customers.

Technology skills to:

  • use coffee grinders and espresso machines, and identify faults and maintenance issues as they arise.

Unit Mapping Information

Supersedes and is equivalent to SITHFAB005 Prepare and serve espresso coffee.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=68c40a93-e51d-4e0f-bc06-899dff092694


Assessment requirements

Modification History

Not applicable.

Performance Evidence

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

  • prepare and present each of the following espresso-based coffee beverages on three different occasions within commercial timeframes:
  • caffe latte
  • cappuccino
  • espresso (short black)
  • flat white
  • long black
  • piccolo latte
  • mocha
  • ristretto
  • short and long macchiato
  • monitor quality indicators for extraction as listed in the knowledge evidence during preparation of the above espresso coffee beverages and make adjustments to restore extraction to required standard
  • present the above espresso coffee beverages and accompaniments with consistency and quality of:
  • appearance
  • aroma
  • body
  • crema on top of the espresso
  • flavour
  • taste
  • strength
  • volume
  • use the correct equipment, ingredients and measures to prepare the above espresso coffee beverages.

Knowledge Evidence

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

  • types and characteristics of espresso coffee beverages specified in the performance evidence
  • different types of milk, their characteristics and uses for different types of coffee beverages
  • characteristics of different types of beans, blends and roasts
  • mise en place requirements for preparing coffee beverages
  • methods and techniques for preparing and serving espresso coffee beverages:
  • grinding coffee beans
  • measuring dose by sight, electronically, manually and mechanically
  • tamping
  • extracting espresso
  • texturing milk
  • sequencing orders for the preparation of coffee beverages
  • quality indicators for espresso coffee extraction:
  • changes in colour of crema
  • changes in flow texture
  • cake of used ground coffee
  • water pressure during extraction
  • options to meet specific customer preferences relating to:
  • accompaniments
  • blends
  • service-ware
  • strength
  • sweeteners
  • type of:
  • beans
  • milk
  • factors relevant to quality of espresso coffee:
  • ambient humidity
  • consistency of used coffee grounds
  • crema on top of the espresso
  • quality and rate of espresso flow
  • steam pressure during foaming and steaming of milk
  • taste
  • extraction rates for the different espresso coffee beverages specified in the performance evidence
  • how and when adjustments are required to the following to ensure quality of espresso coffee:
  • dose
  • grind
  • tamping technique
  • water flow
  • water pressure
  • organisational procedures and industry standards for:
  • service-ware used for espresso coffee beverage presentation
  • accompaniments used to enhance beverages
  • presentation of beverages
  • appropriate environmental conditions for storing coffee beans, ground coffee, milk and other ingredients to:
  • ensure food safety
  • optimise shelf life
  • essential features and functions of different espresso machines and grinders used to prepare espresso coffee beverages:
  • sizes and types of filter baskets and tampers
  • purging the steam wand
  • flushing the group head
  • cleaning and maintenance methods and procedures
  • symptoms of faults in espresso machines and grinders
  • safe operational practices and dangers of working with steam
  • basic maintenance and cleaning methods for espresso grinders, machines and equipment:
  • back flushing the machine
  • brushing out doser chamber
  • pouring hot water to clean drainage pipes
  • using correct and environmentally sound disposal methods for coffee making waste
  • washing drip trays
  • washing and drying:
  • bean hopper
  • group handle and filter basket
  • wiping down entire machine
  • wiping outside of steam wand and nozzle and purging inside with steam
  • content of safety data sheets (SDS) for cleaning agents and chemicals, or workplace documents or diagrams that interpret the content of SDS.

Assessment Conditions

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

  • an industry workplace; or
  • a simulated industry environment set up for the purposes of assessment.

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • fixtures and large and small equipment:
  • workstation with industry current commercial grade espresso machine and coffee grinders
  • bins or knock boxes for used coffee grounds
  • storage bins
  • blind or blank filter basket
  • cleaning brushes
  • cleaning cloths
  • flat edge implement for levelling off dosed filter basket
  • measuring equipment
  • milk foaming jugs
  • napkins
  • powder shakers
  • service trays
  • spoons and stirrers
  • straws
  • service-ware for different types of coffee beverages:
  • espresso and standard cups
  • saucers
  • mugs
  • glasses
  • take-away coffee cups and lids
  • take-away cardboard trays
  • tamp mats
  • tampers
  • stock:
  • commercial range of coffee beans, ground coffee and other ingredients and accompaniments
  • 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 beverages currently used by the hospitality industry
  • 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.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=68c40a93-e51d-4e0f-bc06-899dff092694