New times call for new measures: Taking coffee education online

At Ciro Coffee Academy, education is at the heart of everything we do. We have always prided ourselves on our varied array of training courses, covering every aspect of the specialty coffee industry – from modules on latte art and pouring the perfect shot of espresso to fully qualified local and international accredited qualifications.

Any passionate educator will tell you that there is no substitute for personal interaction, whether one-on-one or in small groups, especially when making coffee. Yet training as we’ve always known it suddenly had to change drastically.

The current global pandemic has forced everyone to think, act and execute differently, and our industry is no exception. Sitting back and waiting for COVID-19 to pass has simply not been an option, and adaptation has been the order of the day.

The challenge has been finding the right way to interact and engage with our customers through a digital platform, and without direct human interaction – the one thing that teachers and trainers thrive on!

Enter the launch of Ciro Coffee Academy e-Learning – an online training solution that allows customers in all sectors of our business to connect with us virtually from anywhere in the world; a platform where we can talk, befriend, teach and learn, all of which are important to people during these trying times.

Yes, there were concerns to raise – would people be willing to pay for online training; how will they access the platform; will data be an issue and how do we overcome any bandwidth problems – and the apprehension of creating a poor user experience, without the practical demonstrations that we are so reliant on, kept us up at night.

Fortunately, human beings are more resilient than we give them credit for, especially if the need to adjust to changing environments is driven by a love for coffee. Sign-ups for the courses started picking up rapidly, with some people simply keen to learn a new skill during lockdown, and others wanting to remain relevant in our very competitive environment.

More about the Training Courses

The 3-day Coffee Shop Course (CSC) is recommended, before you embark on the SCA Coffee Diploma journey. It will set you up to continue your studies with greater ease.

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) – through the Ciro Coffee Academy – offers some of the most advanced and respected coffee training qualifications in the world. Their main purpose is to improve coffee standards through their Coffee Diploma System, constantly furthering knowledge and education. Through the various modules – which cover the coffee journey from bean to cup – you are allowed to choose the coffee education path that most suits your needs and interests.

The foundation courses, which require no previous experience and are open to all coffee enthusiasts, are just the beginning of your journey and a great way to get some initial insight into the basic skills of a coffee professional. Then, as you are working through the introductory modules, you will be introduced to the balance of the SCA coffee courses available, as the online training courses evolves from classroom to virtual. Theory is mostly covered during the online training, and some courses do need to finish a practical session in class. This is scheduled for a session post Covid Lockdown.

For more information on the SCA and the other courses on offer, please download this brochure.

The future is now

While the decision to launch our e-learning hub was a necessity for our industry – an industry in which professional skills development is invaluable – it also signals a long-term move toward expanding online programming to complement our physical campuses.

The nationwide COVID-19 lockdown may have accelerated the launch of our online platform but the concept has been many years in the making.

We aim to take the lead in coffee education. The cycle, of course, is never complete without evaluating our customers’ satisfaction, which is done by asking people to complete a survey, giving us feedback on ways we can improve.

Our goal at Ciro Coffee Academy remains, as always, to make training more accessible, engaging and informative for everyone who is passionate about our industry – with every barista course allowing learners a chance to earn a certification.

South African Government COVID-19 Resource Portal

For the latest information from the South African Government on COVID-19, please visit the Resource Portal.