By MARK HUNDLEY
Through education and certifications, the Barista Guild of America (BGA) has been committed to helping baristas find their places within the coffee industry. We’ve focused on Barista Camps and have strived to continually keep offering the SCA certification program at its highest level while finding new elements to add to each camp event to create unique experiences. We have seen countless baristas receive certifications through this program and grow beyond their roles because of experiences they have gotten at camp.
The BGA was inspired by this and wanted to think of new and exciting ways to serve their members, both new and long standing, who have been through the certifications and are still hungry to learn more. This is where Access was born. A new event that welcomes all levels of experience within the industry. With accessibility in mind, we have been working hard to create something that is packed with product presentations, lectures, hands on workshops, and opportunities to be together in a room and get a bit more experimental than the structured educational courses allow us to. This event is meant to have subject matters that can be universally applied to all the attendees no matter how little experience or knowledge they may have on the subjects being discussed.
We are happy to announce that we will be unveiling our first iteration of this event on September 19th and 20th at Brazos Hall in the heart of downtown Austin, Texas. We will be offering multiple sessions of classes that will cover topics that span throughout the entire spectrum of the industry.
Some of the subjects that we will be covering will be related to water quality, sample roasting, equipment technician knowledge, signature drink building, improving your businesses social media presence, opening your own café, green coffee purchasing, tea exploration, wholesale, varietals, and much more while also leaving plenty of opportunities that will be designated to attendees being able to get hands on time with all different machines and barista tools that are currently being used in cafes across the country.
The beauty of a new event like this is that there are endless possibilities of where we can take this. As your Events Committee Chair, I am interested in hearing what our members would love to see at an event like this. I invite anyone to hunt me down this weekend at Expo and tell me about some ideas or topics of interest that we should spend more time highlighting. The BGA Executive Council will be hanging out at the BGA booth all weekend so please come say hello!