The Specialty Coffee Association or (SCA) is an association of coffee professionals whose mission is to engage and inspire the specialty coffee trade around the globe. They’re a non-profit organization that provides education and research for those in the industry.
As people who absolutely love everything about coffee, we wanted to focus on some of the relevant and important organizations in and around the coffee business.
The Specialty Coffee Association of America and Europe were established in 1982 and 1998 respectively. They become one entity in 2017. They’re in the process of combining websites and resources at the moment. They’ve done a great job with the melding of their entities and the websites, too.
Anyone who wants to be involved in the SCA can become a member. Companies can join to provide their employees with all the resources that the organization has to offer. There are also individual memberships for roasters and baristas who want to perfect their craft.
There are also technician and professional memberships. Membership in the association automatically gives members a place in the Roasters Guild, Barista Guild, or the Coffee Technicians Guild.
Here are a few reasons you’d want to become a member of the Specialty Coffee Association – aside from the guild memberships you automatically get.
They have a unified education program with specialties like Intro to Coffee, Barista Skills, Green Coffee, and Roasting. Authorized SCA trainers are available around the world to teach classes for members.
This is especially helpful for companies that want trained employees following certain programs and learning in an approved way.
For example, baristas in a cafe can all be trained to perform tasks in a unified manner through the education at an SCA training center.
There are campuses across the world from Europe to the US. There are locations in Virginia, South Carolina, Washington, and California as well as locations in middle America. Each campus has a variety of courses for brewing to roasting. There are special prices for members with opportunities for scholarships as well.
There are events around the world each month included the World Barista Championships. In 2017, the competition was held in Seoul. In 2018, it’s to be held in Amsterdam.
Here’s a bit from the 2017 winner Dale Harris from the UK.
It’s part of the World of Coffee event, which includes exhibitors, cupping rooms, lectures, and a barista party. That’s all in June at one event in 2018. There are retreats like the Coffee Roasters Guild Retreat in August 2018 in Washington state. There are barista camps, World Latte Art Championships, and the World Coffee Roasting Championship.
The SCA and the Association for Science and Information on Coffee (ASIC) have a conference each year where they combine forces to bring knowledge to the coffee world. Scientists discuss topics like chemistry, pest management, and sustainability as it applies to coffee growing and beans.
The SCA has reports available for its members. They perform market analysis and research to give their members data to perfect their marketing strategies. Successful coffee businesses and entrepreneurs make for a successful overall coffee community.
They have a certified home brewer program that might of interest to those who love to perfect their own coffee at home. Those who have a love and passion for coffee at home can become an SCA Certified Brewer. They’ll learn proper water temp, brewing time, and SCA Golden Cup recommendations for making the best cup of coffee.
As a member of SCA, those professionals in the coffee business learn standards and protocols in the industry. When people talk about specialty coffee through SCA, they’re talking about standards from the bean to the cup.
You don’t have to be a member to get up-to-date information from the world of coffee. There’s a new source on the website that will keep you updated with plenty of coffee info. Members can provide relevant articles as well as news from around the world. There’s also a magazine and a podcast for those who want to immerse themselves in a world where coffee is the only beverage that matters.
Most of the information is free to coffee lovers in the latest news section, the magazine (available in PDF form), and the podcast. There’s also a store where non-members can purchase studies and handbooks for their education or the education of their staff.
The Specialty Coffee Association is one of those organizations that is vital for anyone who has a passion for coffee even if their business doesn’t revolve around it. It’s terrific for home brewers as well as business owners, entrepreneurs, and employees in coffee shops around the world.