A Holiday Letter Every Specialty Coffee Professional Needs

coffeeAs a service to our members, SCAA is providing the following letter for specialty coffee professionals to share with relatives or friends who might invite you over for dinner. Hopefully, it will help you avoid some of the sticky ‘coffee pro’ situations that arise every holiday season. Good luck and happy holidays!


Dear (Circle one: Mr., Ms., Aunt, Uncle, Grandma, Grandpa, Cousin) ___________________ (Fill in relative’s name here)

The purpose of this letter is to affirm that __________________(member’s name here) is a Specialty Coffee Professional affiliated with our organization, the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Specialty Coffee Professionals face a unique set of challenges in the holiday season, and we’d like to help you avoid some common pitfalls that come up often during this festive time.

  1. You might be tempted to ask the Specialty Coffee Professional named above to make coffee for everyone after dinner. It is true that this person has demonstrated a special skill in coffee-making, as it is an important part of their job. Please remember, however, that everyone deserves a day off, and coffee pros often like to have someone else make the coffee for a change.
  2. Be assured, the coffee professional named above will not criticize your coffee. You may experience some anxiety serving coffee to someone who tastes coffee for a living. Don’t worry: a part of our professional code is to refrain from nitpicking family members’ coffee selections, preferences, or brewing skills. Furthermore, there is no need to apologize for putting milk, sugar, or sweetener in your coffee. We get it, the heart wants what it wants. It’s ok.
  3. If the coffee professional named above brings you a gift of coffee, it is likely to be very good. You might be tempted to put it in the freezer and ‘save it for a special occasion’. This should be avoided under all circumstances. The ‘special occasion’ is now, and the coffee should be consumed completely within the next couple of weeks. If you want more, don’t worry, the Specialty Coffee Professional named above would be happy to help you find some.
  4. If the Specialty Coffee Professional is spending the night at your house, they might bring their own equipment to brew coffee with in the morning. This is not meant as an insult, it’s just that we get kind of particular about these kinds of things. Alternatively, the coffee pro might choose to ‘go out’ for coffee in the morning rather than drinking what you always have in the house. Again, it’s nothing personal, it’s just that morning coffee is especially important to this person. If you’d like some coffee coaching, the Specialty Coffee Professional can give you some good references.

Thank you for inviting the Specialty Coffee Professional named above to your holiday gathering. Observing these simple tips will ensure a delightful, enjoyable holiday season.


The Specialty Coffee Association of America