NZSCA on strengthening communities

It’s safe to say 2017 was a stellar year in terms of NZSCA’s competition, training, and fundraising initiatives, but looking ahead at 2018, we’re keen to dig deeper to build and create more inclusive and stronger coffee community than ever before. 

To do that, the NZSCA has been busy collectively working to establish a Coffee Technicians Guild (CTG). Meetings around the three main centres of New Zealand were held to propose the idea, and the reception was popular with this group of previously unrepresented people. 

The plan for the CTG is to create a valuable information resource for coffee technicians. This niche community will be able to provide mutual support and knowledge, as well as opportunities to network, create educational pathways, develop skills, and learn best practices.  

The CTG is still in a planning phase as a working group sets out to ensure a cohesive resource for this area.

A focus on education in 2017 saw the NZSCA develop a program featuring international standards adapted for our local market. To continue this standard, the NZSCA, with the New Zealand School of Coffee, will host the Specialised Instructor Barista Level One from 19 to 23 February, 2018, at L’affare Roastery in Wellington.

David Green, a specialised instructor in Barista, and Emma Markland Webster, a specialised Instructor in Barista, Brewing, Sensory Analysis and Cupping, will lead the week-long course.

This instructor training program will provide attendees with the skills to train company staff and wholesale clients to internationally recognised barista instructor standards. 

Coffee professionals who elect to enrol in this course could be New Zealand Specialised Instructors by the end of the week, meaning they are qualified to teach the existing qualification standards to their own students directly, such as those within individual companies, wholesale customers or even to the greater public. Each qualified individual is helping grow New Zealand’s high standards of quality coffee to a broader audience. 

Last year, New Zealand held four national coffee championship events, with each winner representing the country and its coffee community proudly on the international stage. 

The 2017 Meadow Fresh New Zealand Barista Championship was held in August, late in the coffee competition year due to the World Barista Championship (WBC) falling in November in Seoul, South Korea.

In 2018, our national barista championship date moves up, with a tighter than usual turnaround to accommodate the 2018 WBC, taking place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands from 20 to 23 June. As such, the 2018 Meadow Fresh New Zealand Barista Championship will be held in Wellington on 14 and 15 April. Yes, it’s going to be a busy start to the year for baristas and judges alike.

The New Zealand Latte Art and Cup Taster Championships will take place in July, with dates and venues to be confirmed.

The World Cup Tasters and World Brewers Cup Championship will be held in in September at Gulfhost as part of Dubai International Hospitality Week, and the World Latte Art Championship will take place in November at Brazil International Coffee Week in Belo Horizonte. 

Between all that, the NZSCA Annual General Meeting has been locked in at the new location of Sherwood in Queenstown in May. Pre-AGM drinks and nibbles will kick-start the program on 24 May before the official AGM the next day. More networking, sponsorship opportunities, and drinks will follow in the afternoon.

Following a successful engaged year, the NZSCA is excited and enthusiastic about the upcoming competitions, education and events in 2018, and what we can achieve together. 

By Emma McDougall, the Communications and Administration Officer of the NZSCA

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