Update on the Coffee Technician Program

Update on the Coffee Technician Program

DDevelopment of the Specialty Coffee Association Coffee Technician Program (CTechP) has continued with some important milestones in 2019 and exciting opportunities in 2020.

Originally posted on the Coffee Technicians Guild Blog.


The forthcoming year will see further curriculum development by volunteers in the coffee technician and manufacturing communities, the selection of the first rounds of Authorized SCA Trainers (ASTs) in the program and the first offering of CTechP courses at an SCA Specialty Coffee Expo.

“The creation of the CTechP program has been an initiative championed by the Coffee Technicians Guild since its formation,” said Ben Helt, SCA Education Content Manager. “This unique offering will join the Coffee Skills Program and the Coffee Sustainability program as one of the three, global certificate education programs in the organization. Coffee technicians keep the entire value chain working, and we are excited to see this come to life.”

There are six modules in the program with a foundation, intermediate, and professional course in each. Learners choose which courses are most appropriate for their educational needs. These modules are: Coffee Machines, Hydraulics, Electrical, Cleaning & Water Treatment, Operations Management, and Coffee Preparation.

Each course promotes a culture of safety, and learners are assessed through both a written and practical exam. Upon passing these exams, a student will receive a certificate in acknowledgement of this accomplishment.

“Learners can expect foundation-level courses to be one-day sessions,” said Helt. “These will be dense introductory courses, which should give anyone new to coffee technology a sure footing. Intermediate-and-professional-level courses will be anywhere from 2-4 days each.”

Much like the Coffee Skills Program, the CTechP will be delivered by authorized trainers around the globe who design their courses according to a set curriculum of specific knowledge and skill objectives. Trainers maintain their own course calendars and set their own prices. The SCA receives an administration fee when issuing a certificate, which helps fund the development of the program and other initiatives within the SCA.

Throughout 2020, there will be several application rounds to identify the inaugural groups of ASTs in the CTechP program. These trainers – who will meet a series of requirements related to time in service, field experience, teaching experience and more – will complete onboarding with the organization and be authorized to design and deliver their courses.

In advance of launching CTechP training through ASTs, SCA is offering two courses at the 2020 SCA Specialty Coffee Expo in Portland, Oregon. These include Electrical Foundation, which is a one-day course, and Hydraulics Intermediate, which is a two-day course. Spots in these two courses are limited, and registration information can be found here.

“The best way to stay up to date on the development and launch of the program is to follow the social media of the Coffee Technicians Guild (@coffeetechguild) and the Specialty Coffee Association (@specialtycoffeeassociation),” said Helt. “I also keep a running list of those who have inquired about the program. There is certainly a lot of interest!”

For more information about volunteering in curriculum development or becoming an Authorized SCA Trainer, contact Ben Helt at benh@sca.coffee.