The Specialty Coffee Association fosters global coffee communities to support activities to make coffee a more sustainable, equitable, and thriving activity for the whole value chain

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) is a trade association built on foundations of openness, inclusivity, and the power of shared knowledge. As of January 2017, the Specialty Coffee Association of America, established in 1982, and the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe, established in 1998, have officially become SCA. One of the 52 pioneer members of SCAE, who also published the SCAE magazine “Café Europa”, is an external collaborator of ArtOn Café.

SCA’s purpose is to foster global coffee communities to support activities to make coffee a more sustainable, equitable, and thriving activity for the whole value chain. From coffee farmers to baristas and roasters, membership spans the globe, encompassing every element of the coffee value chain. The SCA acts as a unifying force within the specialty coffee industry and works to make coffee better by raising standards worldwide through a collaborative and progressive approach. Dedicated to building an industry that is fair, sustainable, and nurturing for all, the SCA draws on years of insights and inspiration from the specialty coffee community.

Vision and mission:

To create an effective, authentic and dynamic organization to give voice and substance to the possibilities for specialty coffee worldwide.

Engage, inspire, and expand a sustainable global specialty coffee community through leadership in events, education, and research.

SCA’s strategic objectives are:

  • Actively live its values and demonstrate its commitment while providing access to knowledge, community, and influence.
  • Build and expand global communities, strengthening and professionalizing existing regions and SCA Chapters, while identifying areas for growth with a focus on facilitating local access to a globally connected community.
  • Expand the reach of its activities, growing the association through the strategically focused global deployment of existing education and events offerings— refining, adapting, and localizing as needed. 
  • Ensure the association’s financial durability, with a focus on capacity development, human resources, technology, and compliance while maintaining a long-term commitment to research, sustainability, and advocacy as the drivers of future value creation.

Once a community of like-minded individuals has come together in a location, there’s an option to explore the founding of a more formal structure: an SCA Chapter. These are communities led by an elected committee of passionate volunteers that represent SCA activities in a specific country or regional territory. There are 35 SCA Chapters as of December 2020 and they are responsible for engaging the community in their local region by delivering education and events.

Over the next few months, SCA’s staff and volunteers will be launching seminars, open discussions, and other resources—all available online, regardless of membership status, since the global COVID-19 pandemic has caused many of the SCA’s in-person events to be postponed or rescheduled.

You can see here the upcoming virtual meetings organized by the SCA, such as:

  • Barista Guild
  • Coffee Roasters Guild
  • Coffee Technicians Guild
  • and World Coffee Events.

The next online SCA event is the Sensory Summit, which will take place February 18 & 19, 2021, with talks by researchers and academics, paired with experiences in a shipped Sensory Kit*. This edition will be held on Central Europe Time (UTC+01:00), and builds on previous event linkages to the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). Sensory Kits will present both opportunities to reach some countries outside of Europe, and also may present some challenges for some countries within Europe, due to current customs situations.

Attendees at this edition of Sensory Summit will have access to online sessions, each paired with guided experiences using the Sensory Experience box shipped directly to them. Coffee sensory professionals learn by tasting and smelling: every Sensory Summit registrant will receive a complete Sensory Kit—a box packed with coffee samples, coffee preparation tools, sensory references, and other aromatic and tasting experiences. These experiences will demonstrate the concepts being explored in the lecture, allowing attendees to expand their skills and their knowledge wherever they engage with the lectures, and providing opportunities for deeper engagement with the speakers and topics.

World of Coffee – Athens, June 24-26 2021

Traveling to a different European city each June, World of Coffee is the essential event for coffee professionals – drawing a loyal audience from the global specialty coffee community. Brought to you by the SCA, the event has more than tripled in size and stature over the last six years, growing from 3,000 visitors and 45 exhibitors to 10,945 visitors and 240+ exhibitors.

The backbone of World of Coffee is the dynamic 5000 sq.m. exhibition featuring over 250 of the world’s leading coffee and Horeca industry suppliers. Europe’s largest coffee trade show is more than just a trade show – it is a festival of innovation, entertainment, knowledge and learning comprising of:

  • World Coffee Championships
  • The SCA’s cutting-edge lecture series
  • Two busy tasting rooms
  • A week-long social program of parties and networking events
  • The ever-popular Roaster Village
  • The highly-coveted Best New Product Awards & Design Lab
  • The SCA Shop

*In 1981, Jean Lenoir created Le Nez du Vin, a sensory kit for the olfactory appreciation of wines. Lenoir himself transferred the concept to the world of coffee, creating Le Nez du Café. An interesting book explaining the aromas is also included in the kit.