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Café Campesino Staffer Earns License to Train in Specialty Coffee


Americus, Georgia- Sept. 22, 2017- Café Campesino Coffee Education and Sales Person Hannah Mercer received an elite coffee trainer designation this summer that allows her to teach coffee classes according to internationally recognized industry specifications.

Mercer earned an Authorized Specialty Coffee Association Trainer (AST) license last month, which is the highest level of distinction in Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) instruction. The AST designation is a part of the SCA’s newly launched Coffee Skills Program, an internationally recognized curriculum that focuses training on five key areas: Introduction to Coffee, Barista Skills, Brewing, Green Coffee, Roasting and Sensory Skills.

Hannah cupping at Fondo Paez's cupping lab in Cauca, Colombia.
Hannah cupping at Fondo Paez’s cupping lab in Cauca, Colombia.

With her license, Mercer can teach classes and administer exams for the Introduction to Coffee, Brewing and Barista Skills modules. Earning the AST license was the natural next step for Mercer, who had already earned her Barista Level 1, 2, and Lead Instructor Certificates, and who also believes that brewing an exceptional cup of coffee is an integral part of the coffee supply chain.

“Educating myself about how I can uphold the hard work that came before me, and ensure that our customers experience the very best flavors possible has always been an intense passion of mine,” Mercer said.

Hannah teaches Fondo Paez's cuppers about cold brew coffee preparation.
Hannah teaches Fondo Paez’s cuppers about cold brew coffee preparation.

Based in Americus, Georgia, Mercer is one of only a handful of AST’s located in the Southeast U.S., and the only one in Georgia and Florida.

“It’s an honor to be able to expand the educational opportunities for baristas in our part of the country by offering the SCA curriculum and paying forward the passion and care for coffee that my first instructors instilled in me,” she added.

Café Campesino is a fair trade, organic coffee company that is a founding member of Cooperative Coffees, a green coffee importing cooperative of roasters. Since it opened in 1998, it has sourced exclusively fair trade, organic coffees from farmer-owned cooperatives, returning year after year to work with the same farmer groups. In 2009, it acquired the Gainesville, Fla.-based roastery, Sweetwater Organic Coffee.

The SCA is an international association of coffee businesses and professionals that formed this year when the 35-year-old Specialty Coffee Association of America merged with the 19-year-old Specialty Coffee Association of Europe.

Nema Etheridge


Hannah at the cupping lab of farmer co-op Fondo Paez in Cauca, Colombia.
Hannah at the cupping lab of farmer co-op Fondo Paez in Cauca, Colombia.
September 22, 2017
BY blog2_q3hku8
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