Communities of Practice Event: Cafe Owner-Barista Workshop

This Café Owner-Barista Workshop and Retreat, held at Ally Coffee’s learning department at our US specialty headquarters and learning lab in Greenville, South Carolina, will help you end the year with reflection, encouragement, and motivation to make 2019 the best year for your cafe. Make the time for your own professional development and get feedback from recognized industry pros.


This event is tailored for cafe owners, managers, and/or head baristas. It will cover advanced brewing and barista and tasting skills, with pointed discussions on applying the learning for positive profitability. Participants must have two years minimum experience and job responsibilities as owner, manager, or lead barista. This criterion ensures that the discussions during the event are relevant and readily applicable to each participant’s workplace. The concept of a communities of practice event is that everyone can take the fruits of the workshop’s conversations and hands-on practice and apply them at their businesses as soon as they get back to work!

Register HERE

Best Practices, Best Year


Lem Butler- 2016 U.S. Barista Champion, 4th Place World Champion, 5-time regional barista champion, Co-Owner at Black & White Coffee Roasters, 10 years trainer at Counter Culture, B.A. Political Science UNC.

Brady Butler- Brewing Committee Past Chair and current SCA Brewing curriculum leader, SCA AST, Pure Intentions Coffee Educator, B.S. Mechanical Engineering Purdue U.

Ildi Revi- Ally Coffee Director of Learning, Q-Arabica Instructor, Certified Performance Technologist, SCA Coffee Diploma recipient, Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel Lead Instructor at 3 SCA events, AST, former roaster-cafe owner, M.Ad.Ed. Organizational Learning NLU.

  • December 27–28, 2018
  • Thursday 8:30 a.m. — 6:30 p.m.
  • Friday 8:30 a.m. — 4:30 p.m.
  • Price: $385


How do we successfully orchestrate the many aspects of our coffee business, maintain our passion for coffee, and inspire our staff and customers? This retreat will explore best practices and new directions in coffee brewing and espresso, while at the same time discuss strategies to leverage knowledge and skills for positive profitability. The course ends with a session on leading an inspiring business for staff and customers.

Please note that this course begins with advanced coffee brewing and espresso work and is not for new baristas. Please email if you are interested in Barista Skills 101 or introductory level coffee preparation and service classes.

December 27 — Thursday

  • Sensory alignment- Flavors of the Wheel and brewed coffee evaluation form
  • Advanced Brewing Theory and Practice
  • Multiple brewing devices- structured experimentation and tasting
  • Catered lunch
  • Water, water systems and tasting
  • Guided Discussion: How to transfer these experiences to the business to bring in more revenue
  • Drinks and hors d’oeuvres with host Sara Frinak, Ally Coffee Account Manager for the Southeastern US

December 28 — Friday

  • Espresso — Manipulating the espresso for flavor impact
  • Espresso Practice vs. Tasting rotations — 2 groups on machines, 2 groups in tasting room for Part 2 — Flavors of the Wheel, organic acids, basics of coffee chemistry
  • Catered lunch
  • Espresso and Milks — Steaming practices with various milks; adjusting the espresso to match the milk
  • Guided Discussion: How to transfer these experiences to the business to bring in more revenue
  • Cafe Leadership: Bringing it all together

Ally Coffee’s learning department, headquarted at the US specialty office and learning lab in Greenville, South Carolina, is a center for communities of practice, a place where specialized groups of people who share a common passion and profession come together to learn and improve what they do through regular interactions and conversations with their peers. Ally’s learning department is the premier hub for specialty coffee communities of practice; we are an organization that understands, supports, and serves specialty coffee operations by providing coffee professionals and coffee businesses with the skills and support they need to be prosperous. Convening, sharing, and growing together — this is how we are moving coffee forward!

See you there!

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