Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, May 20, 2010

University Unions employees learn a latte at coffee workshop

“It all starts with the cow,” was the opening line given at the Milk & Latte Art course presented by The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) at the Coffee Skill Building Workshop held at Pierpont Commons.

Erika Earp, manager of Beanster's at Pierpont Commons, prepares a latte during the Coffee Skill Building Workshop. (Photo courtesy of University Unions)

Approximately 60 local and regional coffee café personnel attended the May 13-14 event, including 10 University Unions Food Service staff.

In addition to the Milk & Latte Art course, the day and a half-long workshop included courses on customer service, cupping and espresso. The event was hosted by University Unions and Coffee Express and was sponsored by Zingerman’s Coffeehouse, Da Vinci Gourmet and Brunn.

Erika Earp, manager of Beanster’s at Pierpont Commons attended the workshop. “I really enjoyed both days,” Earp says. “I learned how to make latte art and I’m getting pretty good at making hearts now. I also experienced cupping, which is coffee tasting — kind of like wine tasting.”

Keith Soster, University Unions Food Service director, was excited to have the SCAA organization on campus. “Our café managers are always looking for ways to offer better product and service to university students, faculty and staff. This workshop provided a great opportunity to learn new skills and gather and exchange ideas from other regional coffee cafes,” Soster says.

Established in 1982 by a small group of coffee professionals seeking a common forum to discuss issues and set quality standards for the specialty coffee trade, the SCAA is now the world's largest coffee trade association with nearly 3,000 company members.