Who Should Attend

The Coffee Training Lab invites coffee lovers of all backgrounds to deepen their knowledge of the coffee supply chain- from crop-to-cup. With locations in Americus, Georgia, and Gainesville, Florida, the lab operates two Specialty Coffee Association Premier Training Facilities, meeting the SCA's international standards and protocols for coffee brewing and barista instruction.

Both locations offer a classroom setting and a hands-on learning lab. In classes, students can improve their skill-sets in such areas as:

  • Brewing and Tasting Coffee
  • Steaming Milk
  • Building Espresso-based Beverages
  • Working with Coffee Customers
  • Understanding the Coffee Supply Chain
  • Understanding Milk and Coffee Science
  • And much more

Coffee Training Lab Classes - Explained

Three types of classes are offered at the lab: Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Classes, Community Classes and our own Professional Training Classes.

SCA Classes are our most popular offering. Foundation, Intermediate and Professional-level classes in Barista and Brewing are fundamental for coffee-industry professionals looking to deepen their coffee knowledge or advance through the SCA's Coffee Skills Program.  The SCA Coffee Skills Program includes classes in roasting, sensory skills, green coffee grading and more.  Upon passing an SCA class, students receive a certificate that earns them credits toward an SCA Coffee Diploma.  Learn more about the Coffee Skills Program online.  SCA classes are multi-day, in-depth classes that generally include a practical and written exam.  Our current SCA class offering can be found here.

Community Classes are oriented toward the general coffee consumer who is curious about coffee- where it comes from - and how brewing techniques can create optimum flavor at home. 

Our In-House Professional Training classes are designed for baristas who want to improve their technique but may not be working toward an SCA certificate.  These classes are generally reserved for wholesale customers of Cafe Campesino and Sweetwater Organic coffee.  They are not currently on our calendar but can be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Trainers with Coffee House Management Experience

All Gainesville classes are taught by Hannah Mercer, an authorized Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) trainer who has worked as a barista and a coffee house manager for Cafe Campesino and who leads wholesale training for Cafe Campesino and Sweetwater.  Hannah also serves on the content creator committee for the SCA's Barista classes and has volunteered as a judge at U.S. Barista Champ competitions.  All Americus classes are taught by Nema Etheridge, an authorized SCA trainer and marketing director for Cafe Campesino and Sweetwater.  Nema has worked in the coffee industry for more than a decade and managed the build-out and relocation of Cafe Campesino's flagship coffee house.

Sustainability-focused Campuses

Both campuses are located at fair trade, organic coffee roasters that source green coffee directly from small-scale farmers around the world. Both locations offer a unique backdrop for professional baristas who want a direct connection to coffee farmers or a better understanding of a triple-bottom-line, sustainability-oriented business.