SCAA Skill Building Workshops at The Event


by Dorothea Hescock, total quality manager, Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA and chair, SCAA Skill Building Sub-Committee

The Specialty Coffee Association’s Professional Development Committee is the world leader in coffee education, for all facets of the coffee industry. No matter what aspect a person is interested in within the wonderful industry called coffee, SCAA has consistently brought the most up-to-date Skill Building Workshops to its annual Expo and regional events around the globe for all to benefit from. The best part is that all of SCAA’s classes are taught by expert volunteers! SCAA is a volunteer-based organization, and is fortunate to have such dedicated individuals willing to give their time and expertise to share their knowledge of a particular area in coffee with students who are eager to learn. Whether students are looking to educate themselves in different areas of coffee, or seeking a certificate in one of the specialized areas of coffee, SCAA is able to help.

The SCAA Professional Development Committee has evolved over the past several years. The SCAA Skill Building Subcommittee, under the Professional Development Committee, has grown and developed into a huge group of expert volunteers who are certified to teach on behalf of SCAA. Starting with the initial Instructor Development Program (IDP), a credential course created and taught by Ildi Revi, the group of IDP-credentialed instructors has grown to over 700 people worldwide. SCAA is dedicated to ensuring that students who take a SCAA Skill Building Workshop are getting the best knowledge and experience possible, by requiring all instructors be credentialed and experts in their field.


The 2014 Event is ramping up to be the best yet! With expanded offerings of brand-new Skill Building Workshops, there will be more than enough education to go around for both the beginner-level student as well as the expert-level student. The courses being offered will go toward one or more of the Certificate Programs: Roaster, Barista, Golden Cup Technician, and the newest program, the Coffee Taster Certificate. For those who are ready to expand their coffee knowledge to finished product quality, this certificate program is one that will take tasting to the next level.

One of the new classes being offered this year, which will go toward the Coffee Tasters Certificate program, is GE308 Consumer Product Testing. This Skill Building Workshop will focus on how to design and conduct tests, generate data, and analyze statistics to make profitable choices. The course will also explore utilizing sensory testing techniques to create a program that addresses product development.

Another new class, GE304 Taste Testing for Production, will give students a better understanding of how to evaluate production roasts and deal with issues that may arise in production roasting. This class will focus on the roasting operations’ quality assurance protocols.

The Coffee Business curriculum has been revamped with new classes such as CB304B Creating a Buying Plan and CB206B How to Use the Market as a Coffee Buyer.

This upcoming year is going to be the most dynamic yet with the exciting new curriculum being offered! Make sure to take the opportunity to to sign up for a Skill Building Workshop at the upcoming 26th Annual SCAA Exposition, The Event, in Seattle, Washington!

Additional Info: SCAA Skill Building Workshops at The Event and information on SCAA Certificate Programs are available at


doroDorothea Hescock is the total quality assurance manager at the Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA manufacturing facility in Suffolk, VA. Her coffee experience includes green coffee expertise, quality management, operations, and continuous improvement. Dorothea has volunteered for the SCAA since 2006 and is currently a Lead Cupping Instructor and an active member of the Professional Development Committee, chairing the Skill Building Sub-Committee.