SCA - Specialty Coffee Association - Should they create a certification program ?

CoffeeMusic

New member
Jun 12, 2018
135
0
Saint Petersburg Florida
SCA Certification

I’m taking an online course to get my level 1 certification in wine through a well respected organization,
the WSEST which stands for Wine Spirit Education Trust in the wine industry. I’m learning about how grapes are made, the basic anatomy of a grape, how white, red, rosé is made, doing an acidity and sweetness exercise, tannin exercise, had my first wine taste webinar last night, and will be doing wine and good paring exercises as well. At the end of the course, I have to take an exam to receive a certificate for passing the exam. While thinking about all that, which is important for you to know, here is my two part question: Should the SCA create a certification program for the coffee industry just as the WSET or the Court of Master Sommeliers or CMS has done for the wine industry? I think the SCA should create a certification program as it will provide with benefits while keeping mind that there will be huge challenges as well. Now, here is my list of benefits for a certification and challenges for a certification:

Benefits (assuming these courses would be online due to covid)
1. Beginners would have a grasp on what coffee is
2. The anatomy of a coffee bean
3. How coffee is grown
4. How coffee is roasted and different roasting levels
5.Possible exercises to learn about the basic mouth feel of coffee. In my wine course I had
to do a sweetness and acidity tea where I had five glasses of water; one glass had a little sugar in the water, one had a ton of sugar in it, one had a little bit of lemon juice, one had a lot of lemon juice in it, and water for drinking.
5.Basic coffee tasting- everyone registered would be shipped some sample bag s of single origin whole bean coffee from different roasters.
6. Basic methods of making coffee
7.Food and coffee pairing.

These benefits would be for the beginner course. As you advance to the next levels, things start to get complex. You learn about the different roasting methods such as the honey method, Swiss water and sugar can method for making decade coffee, different coffee regions and the varieties of coffee beans, how soil effects the beans, flaws in coffee, water to coffee ratios, how
to make espresso drinks, latte art, and pour over. At the end of each level, you would have to take an exam to get the certificate to be able to advance if you choose to do.

Here are the challenges:
1. Unlike wine, I don’t know what exercises you would do get it an understanding of typical components of
coffee.
2. If the courses where only online for now due to Covid, the tasting portion of the class would be difficult to perform,
even with the instructions as everyone would have a different auto brewer, different grinders with different mechanics and setup for the grind size. What a medium grind on one grinder is not the same for another. Unlike wine, you would throw away the identification of the coffee based on color because most brewed coffee is black colored and wouldn’t help you tell you anything about where the coffee comes from. Correct me if I’m wrong.
3. When you get to the higher levels where you start making espresso drinks, not everyone has the same espresso machine, a scale, or milk

Tell me what you think about the SCA coming up with a coffee certification. Do you agree with my list of benefits and challenges?
 
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Musicphan

Active member
May 11, 2014
1,508
2
Kansas City
The SCA does offer a pretty comprehensive set of classes on coffee & prep. A friend happens to be the person that reviews/certify the training facilities for the SCA. In addition, if anyone has any interest in becoming a repair technician the SCA launched about 6-8 months ago the Coffee Technicians program. One of the big contributors/guy that oversees that program is a local repair technician. We are very lucky here in KC to have SCA training labs ... its amazing how many veterans in the business are based here.

https://scae.com/training-and-education/course-finder
 
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