Ann Arbor Skill Building Workshop Wrap Up

By: Ellie Hudson-Matuszak
For the very first time, SCAA in conjunction with our host, Coffee Express, delivered a two-day Regional Skill Building Workshop (RSBW) in Ann Arbor, MI. Three very generous sponsors underwrote the event registration fees to encourage as many people as possible to attend- and it was one of our largest RSBWs ever as a result! Thank you to Bunn, DaVinci Gourmet, and Zingerman’s Coffee Company for making that possible!

Many attendees initiated or continued progress in achieving Barista Guild of America (BGA) Level 1 Certification, and about 10 baristas even took the Level 1 Test. How exciting it is to ponder the possibility of certified baristas proliferating the greater Detroit/Southeast Michigan area!

All three of our Lead Instructors (and some of our station instructors) were credential-holders of the SCAA Lead Instructor Credential and, judging by the way that students were hanging on every word from Allen, Trevor, and Jack, their expertise in teaching skills was noticed and appreciated! Many students from this course expressed interest in participating in an upcoming session of the SCAA Instructor Development Program, either this summer in the North East region or at the Roasters Guild Retreat, or this fall in Houston, TX, October 1-2, allowing this region to grow even more.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the event was the Motown Throwdown, held at Plymouth Coffee Bean in nearby Plymouth, MI. The 20-minute drive along Highway 14 led us through breathtaking views of Michigan’s trees in bloom and beautiful brick mansions, and of course stunning views of latte art from 20+ pro baristas. Coffee Express brought the whole community together to ensure that every barista who participated received a prize of some kind! The night’s winner was the rock-solid Terika from JP’s Coffee/Midwest Barista School in Holland.

SCAA is proud to be a part of bringing specialty coffee education to Southeast Michigan! Check our events page for upcoming RSBWs in your area.