New for 2019, this class combines our previous Beginner and Intermediate Classes into one focused, two-day session that includes classroom education and hands-on experience. As our most popular class attended by hundreds from all over the world, this class is perfect for people who consider themselves beginner or intermediate level roasters, especially those who intend to start their own coffee roasting business. The in-depth curriculum will also qualify SCA members for two certifications noted below.
Two Full Days of Focused Education
Travel to Minneapolis and spend a Friday and Saturday at Mill City Roasters with an optional Thursday afternoon opportunity at nearby Cafe Imports at no additional cost. Classes are limited to 24 attendees and lunch is provided on Friday and Saturday. Both days begin in the classroom and the afternoons are spent roasting and tasting in our roastery. Go to our Mill City Campus page for travel and accommodation information to plan your trip to our beautiful Twin Cities.
Beginning with Basics
We begin in the classroom with the fundamentals which is a great starting point for people brand new to specialty coffee and a good refresh for even the seasoned coffee veteran. We will examine how coffee is grown, processed and graded, green coffee anatomy, farming challenges, and your place in the supply chain. We then dig into the roasting process and how the intentionally controlled application of heat roasts a coffee toward a particular flavor outcome.
Buying green coffee can be daunting but selecting the right green coffee is one of the most important quality decisions you will make. We will discuss strategies of green buying including working with importers, pricing, contracts, green coffee grading, cupping analysis, and more. After all, a roaster can only be as good as the coffee they roast.
Safety & Operations
Safely and effectively operating your equipment requires knowledge of the system and a plan for when things go wrong. We will equip you with this knowledge and provide pointers on how to develop your own action plan.
Like driving a car, the best way to learn is through hands-on experience. Our in-house roastery is equipped with roasters sized from 500g to 15kg. You will work in small teams to roast several batches allowing you to gain confidence before transitioning to hitting a roasting profile.
Roast Profile Development
Once you have an excellent coffee in your hands you will need to roast it in a way that best interprets it for your market. We will not teach you how to roast coffee to our liking, but enable you to control the roast for results that are to your desired outcome.
Cupping is not only a skill but a language that is used to communicate quality through the supply chain. You will be exposed to how this language and specific vocabulary can help your business both internally support a quality control program and externally communicate with your suppliers. We will cup coffee on both days incorporating both SCA Cupping Protocols and utilizing our own abbreviated cupping methods.
Blends are a great tool for distinguishing your brand within the market and provide reliable coffee experiences for your customer. Beyond marketing, we will discuss strategies to create blends to improve your bottom line including moving coffee inventory that is fading, cost less, or can no longer stand on its own. These obtuse coffees may find their perfect fit in a well-designed blend when supported with the right marketing, roast profile, and intentional plan.
Quit Your Day Job
We want you to be wildly successful in whatever way you chose to define success. We aim to provide tools & concepts that empower your roasting business to respond to your unique market and throughout the class, we share strategies that will enable you to start where you are and grow a business that suits your goals.
Attendees of this course will be automatically qualified to take the ‘Intro to Coffee’ and/or the ‘SCA Roaster Foundation’ tests. If you are interested in taking these tests, they take about an hour and will be administered as we wind down on our last day of class. No additional testing fees – all certifications fees for students who pass these tests ($144 value) will proudly by paid for by Mill City Roasters.
Thursday (optional): Cupping Session at Cafe Imports, 1:00pm-4:30pm
Friday and Saturday: Mill City Roasters, 9:00am-5:00pm
We will email students 1-2 weeks before class with parking & lunch details. More information to help plan your trip is available on our Visit the Mill City Campus page.