SCA Coffee English presents Barista Skills Foundation

We're proud to announce that the first full curriculum video recordings for our most popular course: SCA Barista Skills Foundation Module is now available to watch online through our website, YouTube and YouKu video services.

On the website click "SCA Videos" and go to "Barista Foundation" 

On YouTube you can search: "SCA Coffee English" 

On YouKu you can visit:
or search for "SCA_Coffee_English_Training" 

Become a SCA Member Today

Many people ask, "Why should I consider joining the Specialty Coffee Association as a member?"
or perhaps, "What value does the SCA offer if I become a member?"

I'll answer the Why's and What's here so that it's a bit more clear for YOU if you are part of the WHO... should join SCA as a Member.



First, the WHY:

  1. Typically I help enlist new members to the SCA in order to help them receive DISCOUNTS on their Certified Training programs. For example in China the cost of membership (about 600 CNY) is perfectly offset by the savings in your first Intermediate course (600 CNY). 
    1. So - after 1 Intermediate course your membership fee is covered.
  2. ALL subsequent Intermediate and Professional level courses are discounted that same amount (in China's case 600 CNY)... so you end up SAVING LOTS OF CASH!
  3. There are a number of GREAT RESOURCES which unlock through:
    1. Specialty Coffee emails
    2. SCA Store Discounts 20%+ on SCA/SCAA/SCAE approved merchandise and training equipment
    3. Access to conferences and Specialty Coffee events
    4. And much more. See website for more details.

There's lots to say about different member types, but the most common for individuals is as a Barista. Read more about it on the SCA Membership webpage above.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is a level of ACCOUNTABILITY and MOTIVATION which comes from joining the SCA as a certified member. Discounts and resources are great and practically needed by all of us, but the INTRINSIC value of belonging to a Global Community of Specialty Coffee Professionals is the immeasurable value I'd like to promote most of all.

If you are ready to start training, or get that Intermediate and Professional Certification be sure to contact SCA.Training and let us know how we can help you personally and professionally. Thanks!

How to Certify your SCA Training Center

With the many wonderful changes that have come from the SCAE (Specialty Coffee Association of Europe) and the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) merging, there have also been questions and concerns in plenty. One specifically in focus today is:

The Training and Testing Facility for holding SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) courses.


Advice specifically from the SCA follows:

"Becoming an SCA Premier Training Campus

"Achieving SCA Campus accreditation is a prestigious designation that requires demonstrating compliance with standards of educational excellence. If your company or organization is interested in pursuing SCA Campus accreditation, you must complete the following steps:

"The first step in the process is to review the documents below andemail an SCA representative with questions or to begin the process of becoming a Campus. A SCA staff member will connect with you to discuss next steps in the certification process."

The documents for review are (click) below:

Introducing 6 Newly Updated SCA Foundation Courses!

After years of excellent training and material development by both the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe and of America, a new batch of SCA Training materials is rolling out. Starting with Introduction to Specialty Coffee and then to: Green Coffee Foundations, Roasting Foundations, Sensory Foundations, Brewing Foundations and Barista Skill Foundations both SCA Trainers and Students look forward to seeing upcoming announcements for new materials in Intermediate and Professional level.

new SCA foundation courses

Stay tuned for more specific content on each of these exciting and valuable SCA Foundation training modules. On SCA.Training we will identify what skills, pre-requisites, learning outcomes, costs and opportunities lie in store with each of these great courses!

Commercial Break: A Dream Alive [CC#11]

A Dream Alive

ROCC started in 2012... well perhaps it goes back further than that.

Adam was no ordinary Michigan farmer. At a young age he began traveling the world until one day he landed in Central China. It was the other side of the world that he bumped into Paul... another "Michigander".

One day the two grabbed a cup of coffee together. Paul began to reminisce about his artisan friends & family back home. He casually mentioned, "I used to roast my own coffee." Suddenly the cosmos opened for Adam who bemoaned, "I wish I could find a decent cup of coffee around here." Epiphany! Paul, "Let's roast our own!"

Today the coffee you're holding was hand-selected and handcrafted by the ROCC Coffee Crew. The point of all this coffee hype is to focus on roasting and serving amazing coffees that build community and provide a playground for coffee enthusiasts.

Whether you call yourself and artisan or a novice, rest assured that at ROCC nothing is compromised. We do all the hard work (meticulously selecting, roasting, testing & brewing) so that you can just sit back & enjoy incredible coffees with a big smile.

Diedrich ROCC Bags

(Excerpt as read on the back of our beautiful ROCC Coffee bags : )

Renting the China Roastery [CC#10]

Roasters & Registrations... done! Check! What about China? My eyes turned to the East.

Paul and Louis had been keeping busy in Wuhan. Louis searched for decent rental locations. He considered a dozen before finally deciding.

Rent in Wuhan is steep! (commonly 200-300 RMB per square meter per month) This makes a 100 sq.m. shop (thats 1,000 sq.ft.) cost 20,000-30,000 RMB ($3,500-4,500 USD) per month. Typically only restaurants or big brand shops can earn a profit. As a result at half to two-thirds of small businesses lose money and close within the first year.

More affordable rentals in small or old business plazas are held by old landlords (with whom you need "guanxi" relationship). Many are so bad that you don't dare do coffee business from them. Old restaurants covered in "you" oil and "yan" smoke are the norm. Often when you do find a decent place it is hard to locate (off the beaten path or has poor public transportation). You should ensure the neighbors aren't sketchy and you want to foresee any building issues that may exist (e.g. bad electric wiring, bad plumbing, a low point for flooding, etc.). Transportation, delivery and parking are issues to consideration as well when purchasing 60-70kg jute bags of green coffee or shipping boxes of fresh roasted espresso to customers.

 A view of our neighbors: Smokes-Liquour Shop, Japanese Diner, Lounge, Curtain Shop, ROCC, Teahouse & Tea Distributor... (from left to right)

A view of our neighbors: Smokes-Liquour Shop, Japanese Diner, Lounge, Curtain Shop, ROCC, Teahouse & Tea Distributor... (from left to right)

Juggling all of these considerations, Louis narrowed down his search to a few locations. The one finally chosen won us over for a few reasons:

  1. Louis felt great about the landlady, Ms. Liu. She was kind and professional to work with endearing a sense of confidence and trust.
  2. The place was "hen fangbian" very convenient, for Paul's commute (about 2km walking distance).
  3. To the South (right if door) was a family owned teashop where the elderly grandfather sat daily offering advice and assurance that it was a decent location.
  4. To the North (left of door) was a family owned curtain shop. The husband wife duo were hard working and seemed good parents to their young daughter who often did homework or played among the piles of curtain rods and bolts of fabric.
  5. Though formerly a restaurant, the 100 sq.meter shop was very clean. Little oil remained from past "chaofan" food frying.
  6. The unit was 5 shops in from the entrance, close enough to have some visibility from the outside while being far enough in to be sheltered from torrential Wuhan rains by an overhang covering above.
  7. While feeling expensive, the shop was affordable at 3,200 RMB/month (about $500 USD).

While I was still in the US - after several late night phone calls (in the garage near the wifi router) Paul, Louis and I confirmed to Ms. Liu "women yao zu" we'd like to rent. With Louis' investment capital he signed off on the shop and with Paul began planning what renovations were needed to turn Unit 7 in Building 18, XiangLong Times Plaza on NingKangYuan Road into the ROCC Coffee Roastery.