Dear Coffee Community,
The profession of Coffee Technician is an established and growing one. However, up until now, there hasn’t been an industry wide way to organize, transfer knowledge or establish a peer network. The coffee industry, as well as the professional coffee technician, are facing challenges in the market today. The great news is the market is growing rapidly, and the reach of specialty coffee is wider than ever. This growth, however, is at the core of our shared challenge. Currently the development of technicians is a slow process relying primarily on mentorship and on the job training. The lack of tool ready technical resources can result in retailers and wholesalers expanding into technical dead zones, and existing service companies feeling pressure to travel farther afield to service their growing customers.
Another real issue developing out of a rapidly expanding market is a struggle on the part of service consumers to be able to differentiate between competent service providers, and less qualified providers moving in to fill a demand. The coffee Technicians Guild looks to provide the resources to both service consumers as well as the professional technical community to solve these pressing issues.
As a guild, we seek to offer a curriculum that develops the fundamental core competencies of the specialty coffee equipment technician. This will allow service providers a mechanism to speed up development of tool ready technicians as well as enhance the hiring process. Member technicians and companies will be obliged to operate under a code of ethics and professionalism laid out by the SCAA. This will give the service consumer an excellent barometer by which to gauge the commitment to technical proficiency and professionalism of the service providers they are looking to engage.
The trade of specialty coffee equipment technician is not a new one, and many dense markets is quite mature. It is time to draw on that experience and help to spread the skill and the trade to the rapidly growing geographic scope of the specialty coffee industry globally, and to unify the standards, practices and care we provide our customers.
We are working to create a comprehensive Coffee Technician educational program that will be recognized and sought after no matter where you are in the world. That work will begin at the inaugural CTG Summit, which will be held in Kansas City, MO from November 3-5, 2016. This event is dedicated to crafting the future of the guild and establishing a certified examination for members of the trade. It will include group discussions about guild fundamentals and the use of our collective experience and passion to create a valuable Coffee Technicians Guild supporting technicians around the world.
However, this event won’t be all about work; it will be the first time, as far as I know, that this many coffee techs have assembled in the same place! This will be a great opportunity to begin to establish a true peer network and to seek solutions to issues we all uniquely understand.
We look forward to welcoming you into the Coffee Technicians Guild!
Chair, Coffee Technicians Guild Working Group