Training for Common Goals

Every day the coffee trainers at Stockton Graham & Co. are working with our wholesale and distributor customers. They are training for common goals, which means providing the knowledge and expertise required to deliver an outstanding coffee experience with every cup.

And that means that our coffee trainers are very busy people. They are the team our wholesale and distributor customers count on to teach café managers, baristas and employees the essentials of coffee and espresso.

While converting coffee enthusiasts to budding coffee professionals in six hours flat is rewarding, it’s also a very big task. Interest from large multi-unit foodservice organizations now means they’re taking our Coffee College 101 course on the road too.

Between reviewing the anatomy of coffee fruit (skin, pulp, parchment, seed) and practicing proper milk steaming (and why a latte is different from a cappuccino) – we seldom have time to talk about WHY coffee training is important anyway.

But it is very important. Here’s why.

Quality & Service

Primary to any coffee business is the reality that there are literally millions of places that serve coffee, and every day consumers make a choice. Do they have time in the morning to park the car and walk into a coffee shop for a latte? Are they driving through for a 32oz cup of brew? Did they put a pod in their home brewer, or did they take the time to grind their own beans for a French Press?

With so many choices, the coffee business that provides the best quality product and service is sure to win. In a recent survey of out-of-house coffee drinkers, the most important consideration when choosing a place to buy their coffee beverages was consistent service or quality (86%).

But what does that mean?

When we asked coffee shop patrons to break it down for us, a few words kept coming to the top: “knowledge,” “friendliness,” “confidence,” “competency” and “consistency.”

When it comes right down to it, consumers will bypass places that sell inexpensive or speedy coffee in favor of the comfort of knowing that their favorite coffee beverage will be prepared properly and served with a smile.

In short, what’s best for the consumer is best for the business. The most successful coffee businesses know that training is the key to achieving these common goals.

Training for Common Goals

Whatever level of service your business provides — from wholesale distribution to serving prepared beverages — Stockton Graham & Co. believes all coffee professionals should be aware of these fundamentals:

  1. The path of coffee from seed to cup
  2. Taste characteristics of different coffee and roast levels
  3. The seven essentials of coffee brewing
  4. How to pull an espresso shot and steam milk
  5. Basic food safety, cleaning and maintenance

With the guidance of a professional coffee trainer, these five essential coffee topics are best introduced and explored in a hands-on lab setting. In this type of setting, conventional book training is reinforced by hands-on practice in basic coffee and espresso skills. The biggest benefit of this dual-approach is the opportunity for repeated practice with expert guidance. It doesn’t matter how much natural talent a participant has, they can still improve in a skill by practicing.

The common goal, of course, is that every training participant is “on the same page” when they return to the business, confident in their understanding of the skills learned in training. This knowledge and confidence will translate into the friendliness, consistency and service quality that will drive repeat business and long-term coffee profits.

Training for common goals is important. To explore coffee training options for your business, please call our Authorized Specialty Coffee Association Trainer, Brady Butler, at 800 835 5943 or email us at inforequest@stocktongraham.com.

Visit Stockton Graham Three Ways At SCAA Main Event

Stockton Graham at SCAA Main Event with Torani and Grounds for HealthWhen it comes to developing and promoting the specialty coffee industry, there are few organizations more respected than the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). And the SCAA Main Event is the most attended coffee event of the year. If you’re headed to Atlanta on April 13-17 for the event, there are three ways you can visit with Stockton Graham & Co. Raleigh coffee roasters, baristas, marketing guru and sales team during your time there.

Pathway Class: Golden Cup Brewing (CP 158)

Stockton Graham & Co.’s Brady Butler, who is Chair of the Brewing Pathway Committee for the Specialty Coffee Association of America, will lead the Brewing Pathway course on Friday, April 15.

Brady has been in the coffee business for over a decade. He started as a barista at Dilworth Coffeehouse in Matthews in 2006. He then joined his family in opening their own coffee shop called The Coffee Garden in Stallings, NC. He then started his own business called Carolina Espresso Services, where he advised coffee shop owners on how to brew the best coffee.

Stockton Graham SCAA Brewing Pathway“The class is a must for any coffee professional who is serious about their drip coffee, whether you use a commercial batch brewer, Chemex or Hario V60,” Brady Butler said. “It builds on great brewing fundamentals and gives everyone the tools and knowledge to make their coffees shine.”

The SCAA offers the Brewing Pathway because competence in brewing coffee is essential for industry professionals. CP158 is the third of four classes that make up the Golden Cup Technician Certificate.

Grounds for Health Booth 1524: Every Sip Can Save a Life

Stockton Graham will be showcasing our Grounds for Health Blend coffee in booth 1524 at the SCAA Main Event. Created in partnership with international non-profit Grounds for Health, every sip of this coffee helps provide vital health care for women in coffee growing communities.

Grounds for Health, formed in 1996, addresses the one of the most eye-opening disparities in women’s health globally: cervical cancer. Cervical cancer kills more women in coffee growing communities than any other cancer, and it is expected to kill six million women in the next 15 years alone. Yet, with simple screening and inexpensive treatment, cervical cancer doesn’t have to be deadly.

Grounds for Health Blend Coffee from Stockton Graham & Co.

Stockton Graham Coffees is donating $1 for every retail bag and $5 for every 5lb wholesale bag of Grounds for Health Blend to help fight cervical cancer on coffee farms in Nicaragua, Peru and Ethiopia. Drop by booth 1524 to learn about Grounds for Health Blend and how you can help by putting the coffee on your menu.

“The health of the coffee industry depends on the health of the people who plant, harvest and process coffee at its source,” said Lane Mitchell, marketing director for Stockton Graham & Co. “Through Grounds for Health Blend, we are helping coffee businesses of all sizes make meaningful contributions to the health and wellbeing of the people who work on coffee farms. Because it costs so little to prevent and treat cervical cancer at coffee’s source, we can truly say that every sip gives Grounds for Health the opportunity to reach more women and save more lives.”

Torani Booth 829: Bringing Flavor to Life

2015 Blender SpecialsIn the center of the room, Torani will be brining real flavor to life with the help of Stockton Graham & Co. baristas. Drop by booth 829 at the SCAA Main Event and try some traditional coffee house style drinks like a vanilla cappuccino and hazelnut latte, as well as more cutting edge offerings like coconut iced coffee, hibiscus margarita and white chocolate coconut frappe.

Our SCAA-certified baristas, Alex Jeans and Chris Bennett, will be manning the Nuova Simonelli espresso machine in the booth. While Debra Dolan will be discussing how to easily implement new menu ideas at your store.

Debra boasts several SCAA certifications including in Introduction to Espresso, Hands on Espresso, Brewing Fundamentals and Comparative Cupping; she is also a SCAA-Certified Level 1 Barista. Over her decades in the coffee business, Debra has earned a BGA Certificate and a Serve Safe Certification. A frequent volunteer at industry events including the SCAA Regional Barista Championships, Debra also served as a judge at the 2013 Coffeefest America’s Best Coffeehouse competition in New York City.

“Last year, Torani won the SCAA’s Best New Product award for its Ginger Lemongrass Syrup,” said Stockton Graham & Co.’s Debra Dolan. “We can’t wait to partner with Torani to share their newest innovation. We’re sure it’s going to spice up the Best New Product category again this year.”

 

Registration is Now Open: Don’t Delay

Anyone can attend the SCAA Main Event. One day passes start at $150 and full three-day passes run $275 for SCAA members and $345 for non-members. All expo passes include access to the exhibit hall, lectures, competitions and networking events. Visit https://www.scaaevent.org to register for the SCAA Main Event.