Last month, a group of 52 coffee equipment experts gathered for the first time in Kansas City, Mo., to form the first event of the newly established Coffee Technicians Guild, an official trade guild of the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
The CTG joins the Roasters Guild and the Barista Guild as official SCAA trade guilds, and it is currently seeking to build membership, which, according to the new CTG website, costs $200 per year. The CTG’s first executive council includes chairperson Shad Baiz of La Marzocco, and vice chair Dave Merkin of Espresso Parts. See below for additional executive council members.
While the question was explored of what skills, responsibilities and duties exactly constitute the title “coffee technician” at the inaugural summit — as were questions surrounding educational standards for technicians — the CTG has also addressed the larger question, “Why do we need a coffee technicians guild?” From the group:
We are just talking about maintaining and repairing coffee equipment, right? In fact, this is a critical piece in the puzzle at the coffee retail level and—as of now—there is no definition for what a coffee technician is, nor are there any standards for what they do. This is an opportunity for Coffee Technicians to work with SCAA to create this definition, develop standards, build an accreditation program, provide training and resources, as well as foster communication within the industry. Although this industry that has been around for well over three decades, we are now at the dawn of a new era for coffee technicians.
Following the Nov. 3 summit in Kansas City, CTG Executive Council Vice-Chair Merkin reflected in a blog post on the recently unveiled CTG website:
I have watched this Guild grow from concept to reality. You know that weird feeling when you see something for the first time, after thinking about it for so long? Disbelief, happiness, a little bit of anxiety? For months, the leadership of the CTG collaborated, brainstormed, and put in long hours towards this event. It was surreal to see all that planning come together with the help of the SCAA staff, to see our logo on merchandise, and to see techs from all over the world showing up to help give the Coffee Technicians Guild a future.
Other inaugural executive council members include Bryan Duggan (Counter Culture Coffee), Don Berquist (Rancilio North America), Larry Eister (La Marzocco), Kameron Ankele (Kaldi’s Coffee), Marty Roe (Service Call), Hylan Joseph, Scott Grimes (Wilbur Curtis), Mark Cater (Lamill Coffee), Randy Marran (Espresso Partners), Gene Lemos (Nuova Ricambi USA), and Tim O’Connor (Pacific Espresso).