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Cafe Imports Launches ed+u Program for Coffee Learners and Educators


All images courtesy of Cafe Imports.

Minneapolis-based green coffee importer Cafe Imports is diving deeper into professional training through a new education hub called ed+u.

Unveiled last week, the entirely free program led by Cafe Imports Coffee Educator Dylan Siemens will include live classes on a variety of coffee-related subjects through the Microsoft Teams platform, as well as video recordings, supplementary materials and other resources.

The first class — “Coffee is: a plant” — kicks off a six-course introductory series under the “Coffee is:” banner. The company described the series as like “an expanded take on a traditional Seed-to-Cup class” and said it will provide the foundation for future classes. Each class runs 1-2 hours. The next live class is scheduled for Nov. 16.

“I’ve always heard from passionate, professional baristas throughout my career: ‘I want to learn more, but I’m not sure where to find the information,'” Cafe Imports’ Siemens recently told DCN. “This program was inspired, on a personal level, by the fact that the coffee industry lacks a centralized and comprehensive coffee education that isn’t behind a paywall or provided by an employer. This leads to misinformation, marginalization, and gatekeeping, placing a professional development ceiling over coffee professionals. That’s exactly the problem we are trying to help solve with ed+u.”

Dylan Siemens

Cafe Imports Coffee Educator Dylan Siemens.

The ed+u platform is designed not only for learners, but also for other coffee-focused educators. Each ed+u class from the recently anointed B-Corp company outlines lesson plans and resources, making the curriculum available to all.

“I believe coffee companies want strong curriculums, but it takes time and resources to develop them,” Siemens said. “If we can aid in that, I’d be ecstatic. I hope that by releasing these materials with high visibility, we can provide a resource for both individuals and organizations, strengthening the overall industry.”

Siemens said the ed+u program will continue to be free moving forward, with no sales obligations to participants.

“That’s a core part of the ed+u mission,” Siemens said. “I only ask for feedback or dialogue so we can continue to strengthen the program. Think of it as a live service. Classes and documents will continuously be added and updated based on feedback, discovery, and ease of use. This will be a constant work in progress as we discover how this can best suit most people.”

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