IASC's Coffee Fest 2007 trade show

SFG75

New member
Dec 29, 2004
26
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Midwest
Anyone attend one of these events or others like it? I definitely plan on attending the Chicago event. :)
 

cafemakers

New member
Nov 3, 2004
576
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It's my understanding that the "IASC" is a logo fabricated by by the coffeefest people solely for it's training programs -- so far, I have not seen that this "group" has members, meetings or any other function than to appear as a logo on coffeefest diplomas. (an organization with no members, now that's credible)

I find it hard to believe that attendess to this course can retain any significant information or improve their performance in a 4-hour summary. By comparison, the "intro to espresso" seminar offered by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (a legitimate organization with over 2,000 members) is held in the same time and just scratches on the most basic concepts of proper espresso extraction. The intermediate lab then picks up where the intro course leaves off for another 4 hours of hands-on experience.

Even in the week or two weeks that my business privately instructs companies worldwide, I would find it premature to call any new learners "certified" to perform as an expert barista - this takes months or years of practice and skills improvement to obtain. Any credible certification should require a demonstration of mastery in a wide range of areas related to the job skill. You can't simply feed someone answers to a multiple choice test over 4 hours and then expect that your certification has any meaning whatsoever.

...you would be just as well off taking a 4-hour "intro to piano" course and then receive a diploma from a fake organization claiming that you are a "certified master musician."

You would be better off skipping coffeefest in favor of some one-on-one time with somebody that knows what they're doing, in Chicago, go over to Intelligentsia or others for training.

If you really need the diploma, you can print one yourself -- it has the same value in the industry.

Andrew
 

Comfy Place

New member
Jul 15, 2006
73
0
Bloomer, Wisconsin
Coffee Fest - Chicago 2007

Yes, we are planning to attend Coffee Fest in Chicago next year. There will be a number of interesting seminars to attend, as well as the Great Lakes Regional Barista Championship, which I am very interested in watching.

This will be our first time attending this event, but we have some idea of what to expect since we've been to a smaller event in Minneapolis this past summer. Being able to network with a lot of various industry suppliers, getting more information on how to do various things, and the general appeal of talking with other coffee shop owners is great. Hopefully we can meet up with some other owners that we've chatted with on this and other forums for a dinner to swap experiences.

As for what Andrew said, I would have to agree with him. I tried to do a little checking on the IASC, and it appears to be just something that the organizers have put together to make it sound important. To be fair, for the certification that I was reviewing, the do have both a written portion and a hands-on portion. But, in the end, how much does this mean, coming from an unrecognized organization? Do something with the SCAA, as this is a legitimate coffee industry organization (and they put on/sponsor the Barista Championship). There is a TON of information that just can't be taught in a couple of hours, no matter what aspect you look at (roasting, brewing, merchandising, etc.). I'll save my money on the certification and instead keep working on my technique, invest in the trade magazines, and go to events like Coffee Fest to attend the seminars. Cheers!
 

Kiwi Coffee

New member
Aug 29, 2006
17
0
New Zealand
I don't know of anyone that goes to a coffee house because the barista there holds a certificate/diploma from anywhere. How do you advertise that as a business owner? What brings people back is how good your coffee is. Sure learn how to make good coffee and let the proof be in the drinking...
 

jpscoffee

New member
Nov 3, 2004
92
0
Michigan
My goodness, a little cynical aren't we? A certificate is given as proof of taking the class. I don't know about ya'll, but I have a number of certificates. They only show that I took a class, not that I am an expert.

Also, I think, or at least hope, that most people realize that a 4 hour class is a beginner-get started kind of class. If they didn't know it before, they sure will after they had it. And an investment of about $75/hour to learn is not bad and cheaper than what they would pay me or another consultant. And unless I am mistaken (which I have been a time or two) they don't call graduates of this class "Master Baristas".

And Andrew, I'm not sure you really meant what you said, but to say that
"You would be better off skipping Coffeefest in favor of some one-on-one time with somebody that knows what they're doing"
is pretty bold. Have you taken the class? Do you know the caliber of teacher or their material? (I don't, I am asking). I just don't want an unnecessary slam against what may be good beginner material to dissuade someone from learning.
 

cafemakers

New member
Nov 3, 2004
576
0
jpscoffee said:
And Andrew, I'm not sure you really meant what you said, but to say that
"You would be better off skipping Coffeefest in favor of some one-on-one time with somebody that knows what they're doing"
is pretty bold. Have you taken the class? Do you know the caliber of teacher or their material? (I don't, I am asking). I just don't want an unnecessary slam against what may be good beginner material to dissuade someone from learning.

Perhaps harsh, but it was (and still is) my opinion. I have not taken the class personally, but had to re-train clients that did. It takes longer to re-train clients shown techniques improperly than those will no prior experience.

The basis of my concern is that the organization in question totes their made-up certificate as some accredited standard in the industry; furthermore, that a 4 hours is all that you need to be a 'master barista' of sorts (see the class description below).

To be certified as a world class barista by the I.A.S.C., baristi must pass both a written test and a simulated cafe barista techniques test. Please Note: The standards are extremely high. Passing the test to become certified requires a great amount of hands-on experience to demonstrate your proficiency, skills, and techniques.

I'm sure that you would not allow your bar staff to start serving drinks after only attending this kind of seminar, but that is precisely how the program is billed. It is my option that advertising that anyone can learn to be an expert in 4 hours is damaging to our industry and undervalues the profession of barista.

Did the original poster attend? We'd like to hear an overview!
 

haytoniaho

New member
Jun 21, 2006
48
0
NJ
Hey Andrew, I was looking at your website--barista training for commercial clients, do you know of any other places (like in NJ or PA by any chance) that offer training for individuals, not necessarily business owners. What I'm trying to ask is are these seminars you all are discussing only for businesses who wish to train their staffs? or can individuals interested in coffee and coffee preparation (for fun?) attend? :shock:
 

jpscoffee

New member
Nov 3, 2004
92
0
Michigan
Wow, I didn't know they made that kind of statement. I agree that statement is misleading and damaging to what is really needed to learn to be successful in the industry. My mistake.
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
0
Hartford and New Haven, CT
haytoniaho said:
Hey Andrew, I was looking at your website--barista training for commercial clients, do you know of any other places (like in NJ or PA by any chance) that offer training for individuals, not necessarily business owners. What I'm trying to ask is are these seminars you all are discussing only for businesses who wish to train their staffs? or can individuals interested in coffee and coffee preparation (for fun?) attend? :shock:

Don't know how far is DC from your locale. Murky Coffee in DC has home barista training. Click training link for detail.

http://murkycoffee.com/
 

CafeBlue

New member
Dec 8, 2006
121
0
Toronto
Haytoniaho;
Also coming soon to DC is the SCAA training program. More detailed info at scaa.org. The lead instructors will be Peter Giuliano and Ellie Matszak - both excellent presenters.

3-DAY SCAA SKILL-BUILDING WORKSHOP EVENT
Presented by the Specialty Coffee Association of America
July 6 – 8, 2008
Washington, D.C. – Counter Culture Coffee
1836 Columbia Road NW, Suite 202, Washington, DC 20009
 

cafemakers

New member
Nov 3, 2004
576
0
CafeBlue said:
Haytoniaho;
Also coming soon to DC is the SCAA training program. More detailed info at scaa.org. The lead instructors will be Peter Giuliano and Ellie Matszak - both excellent presenters.

3-DAY SCAA SKILL-BUILDING WORKSHOP EVENT
Presented by the Specialty Coffee Association of America
July 6 – 8, 2008
Washington, D.C. – Counter Culture Coffee
1836 Columbia Road NW, Suite 202, Washington, DC 20009

Perfect recommendation.

Also check out Brew-haha with 13 locations in DE and PA - they run consumer training and tasting programs: http://www.brew-haha.com/
 
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