By Hylan Joseph
What does the future hold for service techs? In the last five years, close to a billion dollars has been spent by businesses purchasing smaller specialty brands in the United States and the United Kingdom. Over the next two years, several companies will be replacing all their espresso machines with new equipment. Over the next three years, thousands of espresso machines, brewers and a few roasters will need to be installed and calibrated. I’m haunted by this and haunted by a question that wakes me at night, dripping cold, coffee-scented sweat. Who will service this equipment?
My sweat does not actually smell like coffee, but the question does bother me. Over the last three years, I’ve seen the pool of qualified techs dry up in the states where I work. I’ve resorted to outsourcing calls to techs not trained on the equipment we service, and who don’t understand what a good cup or shot tastes like.
In the next three-to-five years, we’re going to need hundreds of techs to service the massive expansion we’re seeing in the coffee industry. Even if we see a contraction in our business, we’re still looking at a lot of equipment and machines that will need to be serviced.
What’s the solution? The Coffee Technicians Guild aims to try to meet this potential demand with its education mandate. For those of you at the recent CTG Summit in LA, you saw some of classes we will be offering. The guild is based on the principles of community and crowd-sourcing. As current members, you are early adopters of the guild and we want to hear from you, your thoughts on education and how we should be prepared to train future techs.
We are looking for volunteers. We have added a subcommittee to education that will be led by Marco Serri with the purpose of peer reviewing technical articles. If you are interested, please reach out to me via Slack or LinkedIn and I will get you set up with Marco.
For October, we had a Gearhead Event on the 18th at Nuova Ricambi in Rocklin, CA and in November we have another one at Bay Area CoRoasters in Berkeley, CA on roaster repair and electrical component testing.
Thank you for your commitment and participation in the Guild. As always, I’m available via e-mail, Slack, and Linkedin in if you need anything.
Have a great month.