We are delighted to again be partnering with the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) to invite coffee lovers to learn more about coffee.

Introduction To Coffee Course – £40 (includes festival entry)

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. Specialty Coffee is a diverse industry and we are here to help develop your passion and sharpen your skills. This course allow you to start to follow and develop your interest in this, from a hobby through to a career.

Be taught by qualified SCA trainers in this exciting practical 3.5 hour course. 10 points towards the SCA Coffee Diploma. £40 (includes festival entry).

10.15 – 13.45

14.00 – 17.30

The Coffee Skills Workshops – Free to attend (only valid with a festival entry ticket)

Barista: 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.

Brewing: 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.

Roasting: 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.

Sensory: 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.

Coffee Skills Class times are as follows. You can only attend one class per timeslot.

Although the skills classes are free, they are only valid alongside a festival entry ticket.

11.35 – 12.35  Sensory, Barista

13.30 – 14.30  Brewing, Barista

14.50 – 15.50  Sensory, Brewing, Roasting

Meet the Trainers

Sean Elder:

Sean Elder is a SCA Diploma holder and an Authorized SCA Trainer in Introduction to Coffee, Barista Skills and Brewing. Sean ran his own coffee shop until 2017 when he decided to gain new skills in blending, tasting and roasting coffee and is currently gaining SCA certification in Roasting. Sean is Head of Blend Development & Training for James Aimer Ltd in Dundee.


Tim Cox:

After starting out many moons ago as a television engineer (remember those?!), Tim moved into the wine trade to work for Fuller, Smith and Turner. Once he had passed his wine diploma in 2000, he naturally jumped at the chance to work an exciting new start-up company – Coffee Nation; the world’s first ‘self-serve gourmet coffee machine’ supplier. Tim’s engineering skills and well-trained palate quickly earned him his place as Head of Service and Chief Coffee Taster within the fast-growing company.

In 2011 Whitbread acquired Coffee Nation under the Costa umbrella and rebranded it ‘Costa Express’. At that time, the company had around 750 machines: today, Costa Express boasts over 8500 machines worldwide and sold 105 million cups of coffee last year.

Since 2012, Tim has taken up the mantle as Express’s in-house coffee expert and in 2016 he solidified that expertise by earning the SCAE coffee diploma. Last year, he qualified as an Authorised Speciality Coffee Trainer and now teaches the diploma in house with his trademark flare and enthusiasm.

Constantly striving for the best cup of coffee possible from a fully automatic machine, Tim’s also involved in Research and Development for Express and has had a hand in the design of every machine over the last 18 years. He’s passionate about coffee, cares deeply about the company that’s built up around him since 2000, and can’t believe his luck that he gets to do his dream job every day.


Jim Watson: 

Jim Watson has trained over 6000 people in the last twenty plus years and is an Accredited SCA and City & Guilds Trainer.  Jim oversees all the training courses provided by the Scottish Barista Academy.

Jim’s love of coffee, expert knowledge and dedicated enthusiasm shines through everything he does.

He started out in the coffee industry in 1988 and built a successful coffee roasting and supply business that grew into today’s Scottish Barista Academy, established in 2013.

Call 0800 848 8808 or email info@scottishbaristaacademy.com for more information.


Ryan Waddock:

Ryan started his working life as a Mechanical Manufacturing Engineer and after all relevant training progressed to Subsea Robotics for the oil and gas industry.

Having always loved coffee he decided to Join Costa Express as a field service engineer. Within the business he has had the opportunity to develop my knowledge of coffee working closely with Tim Cox our Drinks Innovation Manager and by training in the Specialty Coffee Association. He has completed Foundation, Intermediate and Professional courses in Barista Skills and is booked to complete the AST course in October this year. Alongside this he has also completed his City and Guilds Level 2 in Barista Skills.

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