EDUCATION sessions

Wednesday, September 19

10:00am - Session #1 (choose 1 of 4)

Espresso Fundamentals

Exceptional espresso preparation is a requirement for anyone in specialty coffee retail. In this demonstration workshop, students will learn the basic factors and variables that are involved in espresso extraction, as well as the steps in the espresso preparation process.

Cherry to Seed: Experiments in Fermentation


Experimentation during the fermentation stage of coffee processing is becoming more and more popular. These methods often result in the accentuation of particular organic acids, such as lactic or malic. In addition to a review of typical coffee processing methods, this workshop will explore the impact of fermentation on flavor. Participants will sample a selection of current experimental offerings and discuss how coffee professionals can best introduce them to consumers.

Water Chemistry, Beyond the H20


The mineral makeup of water can vary significantly from region to region. Not only does this affect the flavor of your coffee, but it can also have a significant impact on the life of your cafe's brewing equipment. In this workshop, participants will learn how to analyze the contents of water. Activities will include defining and measuring total dissolved solids, alkalinity, chlorine content and more. Bring samples of your cafe's water to get real time data for use in your program.

Sign Language for Baristas


In partnership with Crossroads and The Texas School for the Deaf, you will learn basic signs for the cafe setting, along with how to communicate with understanding and respect for the deaf and hard of hearing community. This workshop will give you the time to learn and practice American Sign Language with highly esteemed teachers who will walk you through conversations you may encounter in both your cafe and in the coffee community as a whole.

1:00pm - Session #2 (choose 1 of 4)

Dissecting the Espresso Machine

Journey under the hood of an espresso machine with members of the Coffee Technicians Guild. This hands-on workshop takes you on a guided tour through an espresso machine; from the water inlet valve to the driptray drain, and everything in between. This session will help participants better understand the components involved in pressure brewing and what role they play.

Organic Acids

Organic acids are some of the most important flavor compounds in coffee and this workshop introduces participants to four of the most prevalent organic acids found in coffee. By deepening knowledge of chemistry behind taste, coffee professionals can better describe the product to their customers and have a better understanding the of the chemistry behind the sensory experience.

Brewing Fundamentals

Brewing coffee is at the heart of what baristas do every day. Understanding the basics of coffee extraction and how it relates to strength of flavor is essential to being a well-rounded coffee professional. Learn the principles and foundations of coffee brewing through a mix of lecture and demonstration.

Pursuing Careers in Wholesale

This panel is designed to explore wholesale from the perspective of coffee roasters, vendors, and cafe owners. What does a career in wholesale look like? We will go over what account management, training, and sales are, and how they differ from retail. It is an in-depth look on the needs and expectations that each group has in order to run and keep a successful wholesale account.

3:00pm - Session #3 (choose 1 of 4)

Espresso Exploration

This workshop exposes students to strategies for anticipating the extraction of a coffee based on roast level, processing, and maybe even age. This lays the groundwork for baristas to explore new coffees and manipulate how they perform as espresso.

Foundation of Tea

Join a discussion of seasonal teas and its importance within specialty coffee. In this workshop we will talk about the chemistry of the tea leaf followed by a dial-in exercise where baristas will apply their newfound knowledge to unlocking tastes from a cup of tea. This will be followed by a tasting of seasonal teas and an open discussion of workflow.

Crafting Seasonal Cold Brew Beverages

Seasonal beverages can bring excitement and notoriety to a café menu. Not only can these menu offerings keep things interesting for your customer base, but this creative challenge can boost the morale of the most passionate baristas . Cold brewed coffee is a flexible, concentrated ingredient that can be a springboard into an infinite number of flavor pairings to refresh and intrigue consumers. In this workshop, we will review common flavor associations with seasons and holidays; explore prominent and experimental approaches to flavor pairings in both the coffee and cocktail industries; demonstrate good drink building practices to achieve flavor balance; and facilitate hands-on experimentation

Starting Your Own Café

Cafe owners shed light on the details of what it looks like to open a cafe - from concept to opening the doors for the first time. Panelists will range from new to seasoned entrepreneurs who will give their perspectives, advice, and opinions on this subject. Opening a cafe can be a struggle, but this panel will give you an inside look on how to make it just a little bit easier.

Thursday, September 20

9:00am - Session #4 (choose 1 of 4)

Designing Efficient Barflow

Efficiency is a critical component of balancing customer service with excellence in quality. This workshop is designed to leverage barista skills to improve efficiency while maintaining quality of beverages and service. Students learn a variety of approaches to increase drink production speed, ensure quality control, and maintain a station even in the busiest of cafes.

Cherry to Seed: Experiments in Fermentation

Experimentation during the fermentation stage of coffee processing is becoming more and more popular. These methods often result in the accentuation of particular organic acids, such as lactic or malic. In addition to a review of typical coffee processing methods, this workshop will explore the impact of fermentation on flavor. Participants will sample a selection of current experimental offerings and discuss how coffee professionals can best introduce them to consumers.

Water Chemistry, The Impact on Flavor

It is no secret that water plays a critical role in the extraction and taste of your coffee. In this workshop, participants will examine the effect of the water chemistry on the physical attributes and flavor dynamics of brewed coffee. Spend time brewing the same coffee with different waters to discover the water recipe that best fits a certain offering.

Demystifying Competition

Hear from veteran competitors and judges on how to prepare for all levels of the U.S. Coffee Champs and how to participate beyond just competing. This will be a first-hand conversation on what competition is and what it takes to compete in all respective fields.

11:00am - Session #5 (choose 1 of 4)

Crafting Seasonal Espresso Beverages

Seasonal beverages can bring excitement and notoriety to a café menu. Not only can these menu offerings keep things interesting for your customer base, but this creative challenge can boost the morale of the most passionate baristas. Espresso is a flexible, concentrated ingredient that can be a springboard into an infinite number of flavor pairings to refresh and intrigue consumers. In this workshop, we will review common flavor associations with seasons and holidays; explore prominent and experimental approaches to flavor pairings in both the coffee and cocktail industries; demonstrate good drink building practices to achieve flavor balance; and facilitate hands-on experimentation.

Exploring Roast Profiles

Have you ever wondered how a roaster chooses their roast profile for a coffee? In this workshop, you will take a look behind the curtain to witness one roaster's procedure for determining the best approach for a particular coffee. Participants will learn the basic premise of profile roasting, key points in the roast process, and experience the impact of the roasting style through a tasting of several versions of the same coffee.

Compulsory Brewing – A Competitor’s Approach

The United States Brewers Cup is the premier manual brewing competition in the nation. Achieving success not only requires a solid understanding of coffee, but also the rules and regulations. Learn compulsory-round approaches from recent national Brewers Cup finalists, review the official scoresheet, and dial-in a sample compulsory coffee.

A Guide to Advancing Your Customer Service

What does customer service look like and how can we do better for both our coworkers and customers? Retail managers and trainers will share their perspective on how to enhance the cafe experience. Based off their own experiences, panelists will talk about how to handle internal and customer-based interactions, what accountability looks like and how to put that into affect. They will also offer team-building activities, appropriate verbiage, and an overall look into how to make the cafe a more inclusive and safe place for all.

2:00pm - Session #6 (choose 1 of 4)

Dissecting the Espresso Machine

Journey under the hood of an espresso machine with members of the Coffee Technicians Guild. This hands-on workshop takes you on a guided tour through an espresso machine; from the water inlet valve to the driptray drain, and everything in between. This session will help participants better understand the components involved in pressure brewing and what role they play.

Foundation of Tea

Join a discussion of seasonal teas and its importance within specialty coffee. In this workshop we will talk about the chemistry of the tea leaf followed by a dial-in exercise where baristas will apply their newfound knowledge to unlocking tastes from a cup of tea. This will be followed by a tasting of seasonal teas and an open discussion of workflow.

Batch Brew Exploration

Batch brewing has become an essential tool in meeting the needs of a coffee consumer market that requires both excellence and convenience. Modern commercial brewers have several features and technologies designed to bring the most out of your brews. Learn what variables you can manipulate to improve your ready-to-drink coffee and how equipment choice affects workflow and service.

Beyond the TNT: Starting and Growing Your Coffee Community

Industry leaders chime in on how to develop and diversify community events - from ground up to getting their voice heard in an already existing network. How-to challenge your community, and put together events beyond latte art throwdowns. How-to come up with and put together events for all people involved in the industry, from coffee enthusiasts to professionals (and all fields within). Alongside, we will talk about how to create safe and inclusive events for all folks.


So many great options, how to choose right? We’ve grouped the workshops we think would be most helpful for different coffee professionals. Check it out!