Technical Standard Committee Launches Fellowship Program


The Technical Standards Committee (TSC) of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) works on complex and complicated projects that have great impact on the specialty coffee industry. From establishing the green coffee defects standards for Arabica coffee to publishing measurable standards for sample roasting and cupping, our volunteers define the technical aspects of quality control and professional development.

The TSC is made up of volunteers from within the SCAA who are subject matter experts, have experience as SCAA instructors and presenters, have earned professional certifications, and have a demonstrated and respected expertise in coffee technical details. Our committee members have high level functional expertise in the coffee industry, including farming, trading, roasting, quality control, packaging, retail operations, barista, etc.., and have expert level technical knowledge to conduct research, develop standards and protocols to be published, and identify industry best practices.

The TSC Fellowship Program is launching in 2016 and will provide individuals with valuable experience in committee operations and participation in the research, debate, and creation of SCAA standards and identification of specialty coffee industry best practices. The Technical Standards Committee Fellowship is a discovery and participation program for exploring the technical aspects of specialty coffee and to receive mentoring and coaching from experienced specialty coffee professionals.

Typically, committee members make a multi-year commitment to participate, since many research projects require extended times for completion. For this reason the Fellowship Program is a 2-year commitment to become fully immersed in committee operations and experience the full cycle of technical projects, from development to research and debate, and finally to completion.

Key aspects to the TSC Fellowship Program:

  • Establishes an important professional relationship connecting inexperienced specialty coffee professional with highly experienced and skilled volunteers of the Technical Standards Committee.
  • Opportunity to gain volunteer experience, discover how SCAA committees operate, and learn about SCAA technical standards and industry best practices.
  • Provides hands-on training for technical research and collaborating.

The ideal candidate for the TSC Fellowship has adequate and appropriate professional/technical experience within the farm-to-cup process to allow for active participation in technical standards committee activities. Completion of SCAA/SCAE/CQI certifications is recommended but not required. Candidates must be able to communicate in English, both verbally and in writing. We are looking for passionate and enthusiastic specialty coffee professionals who have a genuine curiosity, and an open mind to learn about the technical aspects of specialty coffee.

TSC Fellowship candidates can be from any point of the farm-to-cup supply chain, and must be an employee of an SCAA member company or a member of a SCAA Guild.

The TSC Fellowship program will help establish important profession connections between the technical standards committee and the SCAA membership, between professionals of different generations, and bridge the gap between stakeholders in the specialty coffee supply chain.

TSC Fellows will attend the SCAA Strategic Leadership Summit (SLS) each year and participate with committee members on technical projects, including independent research and collaboration via telephone and online meetings. Often, informal meetings occur at Guild and other industry events based on the committee’s attendance and participation. The recipients of the fellowship will be responsible for covering their own event registration, transportation and lodging expenses.

This program represents a creative an innovative way to include new specialty coffee professionals into the Technical Standards Committee. The function of the TSC and the diversity of our members is particularly well-suited to operate a Fellowship program. Our work researching and establishing new SCAA Standards, reviewing and validating current standards, and identify specialty coffee best practices will provide educational and professional development opportunities not found anywhere else in the specialty coffee industry. This fellowship program will provide valuable information and shared knowledge for both the Fellow and for members of the technical standards committee. The success of this program is contingent on active participation.

To apply for the 2016 Fellowship for the Technical Standards Committee, please click here