The Center is technically an offshoot of the Swiss company’s North American unit, although Sucafina Coffee Education Manager Tim Heinze said it has been created to serve a global audience, from farmers and producers to roasters and baristas.
The Center will be offering education programming in person and online.
“We hope to build a content and course catalogue that serves everyone evenly,” Heinze, a certified Q Arabica and Q Processing instructor, told Daily Coffee News. “And it’s important to note that it’s not just about Sucafina ‘dispensing’ knowledge. Our unique position in the supply chain — at the center — is certainly part of what is going to help us access and distribute information, of course, but one of the aspects we want to cultivate is an online learning community, where people can share information and resources with one another in a frictionless environment.”
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The Center launched two weeks ago with multiple online courses, including one led by Sucafina’s Greg Oddo on the relationship between weather and coffee, a CQI Processing Level 1 course and a free course that offers an introduction to post-harvest processing.
As more classes are added to the rotation, The Center is also offering a podcast on an array of coffee topics — such as “the infused coffee debate,” how frost in Brazil impacts the world, and potato taste defect — alongside other resources, such as a green coffee processing poster.
Heinze noted that while coffee education on the whole has evolved exponentially over the past 10 years, it has not necessarily evolved at an even pace throughout the seed-to-cup nexus.
“In particular, we put emphasis on origin and supply chain topics, which have been under-addressed in other programs,” Heinze said. “But even for roasters and QC professionals, for whom education and professionalization are very important, there are a whole host of topics that are crucial for building a career and a business that aren’t covered by current go-to education programs: market levels, sample roasting, an understanding of weather and logistics, and so on. So, really, the gaps we hope to fill are not just about the audience we want to serve but also the type of information we want to help people access.”
The Center has already engaged in some strategic partnerships for educational content, mentorship and delivery. Early partners include Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) for its postgraduate course in coffee excellence, The Wond’ry at Vanderbilt’s Innovation Center, and the coffee research center at Texas A&M.
SCA and CQI coursework will be offered through Sucafina’s SCA-certified campus in Sydney, Australia, while additional SCA coursework will be offered to baristas and roasters in the U.S. through a partnership with multi-location co-roasting facility operator First Crack Coffee.
Said Heinze, “Our long-term goal is to be a go-to for everyone, and if we don’t have the course or information, if you identify a need, we’ll try and help you build it – no matter where you are or what ‘segment’ of the supply chain you currently work within.”