Introducing the new coffee skills program


The SCA is proud to introduce its new unified education program. This program consists of education in the following specialties within the coffee industry:

  • Introduction to Coffee
  • Barista Skills
  • Brewing
  • Green Coffee
  • Sensory Skills
  • Roasting

Together these modules of learning are known as the SCA Coffee Skills Program. Students can take advantage of learning through three stages of knowledge and skills in each module: Foundation, Intermediate and Professional. 

The Coffee Skills Program is the result of more than a year’s worth of collaborative work between professionals from both the American and European specialty coffee communities — involving passionate volunteers from the heritage SCAA’s Pathway Committees and the heritage SCAE's European Coffee Diploma System Creator groups.

Modules and levels

The Coffee Skills Program consists of six different modules: Introduction to Coffee, which is available at one level, and five specialist modules; Barista Skills, Brewing, Green Coffee, Roasting and Sensory Skills,

Each of the specialist modules is available at three different levels, with points attached at every stage. You may choose the modules that fit your interests and needs. Once you have achieved 100 points, you will be awarded the SCA Coffee Skills Diploma.

6 Modules


Learn about coffee’s journey from its origins in Ethiopia to the major commodity it is today. From growing the cherries through grading, roasting, and brewing, this module provides an overview of the coffee value chain.


Learn the practical skills you need behind the espresso bar: learn how to set your grinder, milk techniques and latte art, health and safety, customer service, and basic business practices.


Learn about the variety of methods for brewing coffee and the brewing variables that affect quality. The Brewing module provides hands-on learning on grind profiles, brewing methods, measuring coffee strength and charting a coffee’s extraction.


Learn about the key concepts surrounding green coffee: production, processing, grading, shipping, storage, arrival at destination, as well as coffee contracts and portfolio management.


Learn about the roasting process, including roast cycle, roast levels, identifying defects, the physical changes that beans undergo during the roasting process, as well as workspace management and lean production.


Learn about the essentials of sensory evaluation in a practical and interactive manner. Sensory Skills investigates the way we perceive what we taste, how to evaluate coffee’s natural characteristics, and implementing this knowledge in business.

3 Levels


The Foundation level provides a first taste of a specific coffee discipline and is a great way to get insight into a module to help you decide if you want to go on to learn more. The Foundation level requires no previous experience. Courses at this level usually take 1 day.


The Intermediate level is suitable if you are already part of the industry, working in the field covered by the module, and have a firm knowledge of the basic skills. Experience working in the field is recommended for this level. Courses at the Intermediate level usually take a minimum of 2 days.


The Professional level is suitable if you want to pursue specialist knowledge at a high level in your subject. Success at this level should indicate to employers competence to work in the field. Extensive relevant experience is recommended before attempting this level. Candidates must hold the Intermediate qualification in the module before attempting the professional level. Courses at this level would be expected to take a minimum of 3 days.


Your AST will usually charge a fee for the educational courses you take leading up to the qualification. The course fee will usually reflect its length, skills level, and the costs involved in running it, and is at the discretion of the AST.

SCA charges a fee for administering the exam and awarding the certificates. Pricing for each level can be found in the CSP brochure below. 

Level Points SCA Member Price Non-Member Price
Introduction to Coffee 10 60 EUR / 72 USD 60 EUR / 72 USD
Foundation 5 60 EUR / 72 USD 60 EUR / 72 USD
Intermediate 10 100 EUR / 120 USD 180 EUR / 216 USD
Professional 25 180 EUR / 216 USD 270 EUR / 325 USD


Download the CSP Brochure

The Coffee Skills Program has options for every stage of your career— and it's available in seven languages! Download our brochure in PDF format to share or print. 

Translations available: German | French | Korean | Italian | Spanish | Chinese

find a course

SCA courses are taught by hundreds of Authorized SCA Trainers (ASTs) in locations around the globe. Check out our course calendar for upcoming opportunities to get started on earning your Coffee Skills Program diploma. 

*All courses are now located on one course calendar. Please note that learners logging in from North America will be asked to login twice. Use the same login credentials both times. Should you have any questions or require assistance, please contact us at We will be happy to assist you.

Heritage pathway program

What is the equivalency of an SCAA certificate in the new SCA Coffee Skills Program? SCAA Pathway Certificates will be honored in the unified SCA Coffee Skills program. See this chart for further information about equivalency and your next educational steps. If you are interested in becoming an AST based on a professional certificate earned by way of an SCAA Pathway certificate equivalency, please contact Kim Ta at to discuss next steps.  

View Next Steps Chart

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