Coffee Consulting Services

The Crown: Royal Coffee Lab & Tasting Room

Learn with Us

 

Opportunities for learning at The Crown now include specialized one-on-one instruction. Our team of coffee professionals are ready to take your skills to the next level in the topic of your choosing. Our on-site private trainings at The Crown make use of state-of-the-art coffee equipment in a setting designed specifically for learning. Off-site consultations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Check out the course descriptions below and set up a time for a phone call with your instructor: a 30-minute introductory conversation is included in the cost of the course to make sure your needs are heard and understood. 

Pricing below is intended for individual attendees. Group Pricing is available upon request.

Services

Starting Your Coffee Business: Your Guide to Critical Skill Building and Success

You’re probably heard the phrase “It’s just coffee, how hard can it be?” at least once, but you’re wiser than that! 

We’ve seen enough folks struggle to understand the nuances of modern coffee businesses enough to know you’re unlikely to get everything you’ll need from YouTube and a dusty copy of All About Coffee. 

However, we’ve noticed that business owners and managers who invest in learning the skills of the coffee trade themselves are usually better equipped to hire the right employees and make the kinds of critical decisions necessary to create a thriving specialty coffee workplace. 

Our team of educators at The Crown have put together a list of must-have trade skills intended to get your core team onboarded, regardless of initial knowledge level. Our curriculum includes on-site training at The Crown in key coffee business and craft techniques, including: 

  • “Seed to Cup” Training – Coffee 101, including introductions to farm practices, supply chain management, history and origins, and much more in a compact and digestible format 
  • “Tasting Coffee Like a Professional” – Learning to Set Up and Execute a Cupping, and exploring the Coffee Flavor Wheel & Sensory Lexicon 
  • Roaster Operations – Introduction to small batch manual coffee roasting, including an overview of safety and maintenance and  
  • Production Cupping – Efficiency and Repeatability in Quality Control at the Roastery
  • Inventory Management – Keeping an Eye on Your Supply, plus tips and tricks for blending 
  • Introductory Bar Skills – Perfecting your Pour-Over, Dialing a Batch Brewer, Pulling Espresso Shots, and Steaming Milk on professional equipment 
  • Equipment Selection – from the café to the roastery, choosing the best tools for your business 
  • Intro to Green Coffee Purchasing – working with importers and supply partners 

These pillars represent what we would consider a solid base of training for the start up coffee business professional. It will create a foundation-level understanding of the main operation and information streams you’ll encounter in the specialty coffee industry. The training includes digital documents, a Certificate of Completion, follow up from your instructor, and an introduction to one of our green coffee traders. It requires a minimum of three 6-hour days to complete, at a rate of $1500 per day for one student. Additional students may attend at $250 per day per person, up to a maximum of four students total. 

For those seeking more depth, custom options are available in multiple fields at varying levels of skill building. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with inquiries or special requests, including advanced roasting training, green coffee analysis, latte art instruction, and much more. 

For those under time constraints, a la carte options are available upon request. 

We’re looking forward to working with you and your team to build a better specialty coffee industry, one business at a time. 

Hours: 18 hours split into three 6-hour days.

Price: $1500 per day, $250/per additional student up to 4 students total.

Personal Roasting Lessons

Production Roasting

Learn to operate professional roasting equipment in a safe and accessible environment. You’ll get access to your choice of roasting on a 5kg Deidrich or 15kg Loring. You’ll receive instruction on how the various functions of the machine affect how coffee roasts, learn how to profile roast a coffee, and operate the machine under the guidance of one of our professional instructors. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers, and you’ll take home the coffee you roast to taste on your own. Your instructor will also take a sample of your roasts and provide sensory feedback and guidance in a follow up communication.

Hours: 4 hour minimum

Price: $250 per hour

 

Sample Roasting

Learn how to sample roast various coffees in a professional setting on multiple machines. We’ll look at the process of logging data and taking sample-roast specific measurements to aid your success, and practice roasting on style machines, as well as an Ikawa Pro V2 and V3 — Bluetooth enabled electric roasters. You’ll take home the coffee you roast and your instructor will take a sample to evaluate and provide sensory feedback and guidance in follow-up communication.

Hours: 4 hour minimum

Price: $250 per hour

 

Home Roasting

Practice roasting on your choice from our suite of home roasters with our professional instructor. You’ll get access to aAillio Bullet R1 V2,  Behmor 1600 Plus, and/or a Quest M3S, and learn a little about the idiosyncrasies of these roasting machines, including operation, data logging, and maintenance. You’ll take home the coffee you roast and your instructor will take a sample to evaluate and provide sensory feedback and guidance in follow-up communication. 

Hours: 4 hour minimum

Price: $250 per hour

Personal Bar Skills Lessons

Drip Coffee, Espresso, and Milk technique are the three pillars on which excellent coffee service is built. These key skills can be learned using the equipment and expertise of our staff of seasoned barista trainers at The Crown, or on site at your facility and your equipment. You’ll get a primer on extraction theory and lots of practical experience learning to “dial in” your drip offerings, espresso machines, and learning to steam and pour milk for lattes, cappuccinos, and other classic bar drinks.

Hours: 4hrs

Price: $600 per student. Small group pricing available upon request. 

Cup Quality Consultation

If you’re in need of a roast evaluation or have quality questions about your roasted or green coffee, we have an experienced team of Q-graders and QC Specialists ready to assist. You can send us roasted or green coffee for quality evaluation, or show up with your coffee(s) in hand to taste alongside us. Price varies depending on the service you need, so be sure to provide details like how many coffees you need evaluated, whether they are roasted or need to be roasted, and if you want a physical evaluation as well as a sensory one. You’ll receive specific feedback on the coffees in written form and have the opportunity to respond with any followup questions that might arise.

Price = varies, starting at $200

+$150 to attend and cup & discuss with instructor (2 hrs max)

Sensory Skills Training

The Crown’s one-on-one sensory training workshop includes a number of important sensory-skill-building exercises to improve your ability to taste and evaluate coffee, under the guidance of one of our veteran cup quality specialists and Q-graders. Among other skills, you’ll learn to triangulate (discriminate for differences in cups), detect coffee-specific defects like phenol, mold, and ferment, align to the industry’s standard SCA cupping form and calibrate with your instructor, and participate in a sensory skills training to evaluate the intensity of sweet, salty, and sour concentrations. The multi-hour session includes opportunities for questions and feedback with your instructor.

Includes a customizable selection of the following skill-building exercises under the guidance of veteran coffee sensory professional:

  • Introduction to Cupping – Setting Up and Tasting Coffee Like a Professional
  • Triangulation & Defect identification (phenol, mold, ferment)
  • Standards & Calibration (SCA form, cup taster alignment)
  • Sweet / Salty / Sour intensity training
  • Aromas and Flavors of the Coffee Flavor Wheel & Sensory Lexicon
  • Differentiating Coffee Qualities of Similar Processes & Origins
  • Production Cupping – Efficiency and Repeatability in the Roastery

Hours: 2 hour minimum, up to 6 hours per day

Price: $150 per hour

Elevating the Restaurant Coffee Experience

All too frequently coffee is a forgotten or neglected element of restaurant service. We can sympathize: all of us come from service backgrounds and know keeping track of the little things can be a chore that takes up valuable time and energy. We want to help. Coffee doesn’t have to be an afterthought, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Our short coffee-skills class for service industry professionals will focus on a couple of easy-to-learn essentials that will make your coffee match the quality of the rest of your service. We’ll focus on machine choice and maintenance, some game-changing barista skill basics, and do some sensory training as well so you can get an insider’s perspective on how we talk about coffee quality at our roasting and QC labs.

Comparative tasting, equipment maintenance, light bar skills 

  • Short cupping – 3 coffees
  • Cafiza, machine calibration, grinder etiquette, programming espresso & auto-drip functions (as necessary)
  • Pour-over technique. Tasting for extraction. Ratio/dosing protocols. 
  • Choosing the right roaster/coffee – (a chance to highlight the skills of local roasters, encourage the chef/service manager to listen to the talented coffee professionals in the same way the would a high-quality wine or beer or cheese supplier, etc.

Hours: 2 hour minimum

Price: $150 per hour

Group Coffee Tasting Experiences

The Crown is pleased to offer private group coffee experiences. Bring a group of friends or coworkers to learn about coffee with our professional staff in an incredible one-of-a-kind environment. We’ll provide a basic introduction to our one-of-a-kind facility, coffee as an agricultural and specialty product, and engage together in a fun and enlightening taste experience. Be sure to reach out and communicate any specific needs your group might have in advance.

Base: Group pricing available upon request.   

Green Coffee Analysis

A holistic approach to green coffee grading includes training on understanding and evaluating Density, Screen Size, Moisture, and Visual/Physical defects. Our industry-leading team of professional Q-Graders and green coffee specialists have customized a curriculum that dives beyond the basics of grading and equips roasters and buyers with critical skill sets to work with and appreciate the complexity of unroasted coffee. This private training module covers theory and practice, with hands-on practice and cupping in each section. Each module takes roughly 1.5 hours, students may choose to select a single specialization or bundle modules together.

Hours: 1.5 per section

Price: $200/section

Interested in Learning More? Contact Us

11 + 6 =

Meet The Trainers

Sandra Elisa Loofbourow

Sandra Elisa Loofbourow

Director of Coffee Content

  • Q-Grader & Assistant Instructor
  • Barista Instructor
  • Sensory and Quality Specialist
  • Professional Roaster
Chris Kornman

Chris Kornman

Director of Education

  • Sensory and Quality Specialist
  • Professional Roaster
  • Green Coffee Analysis Specialist
Evan Gilman

Evan Gilman

Creative Director

  • Q-Grader
  • SCA-AST
  • Home Roasting Specialist
  • Barista Instructor
  • Sensory and Quality Specialist

The Crown: Royal Coffee Lab & Tasting Room

The space is filled with natural sunlight fed through skylights scattered throughout the 27-foot ceiling. Various iterations of the space are possible with our movable walls and modular bars. The Crown is fully equipped with state-of-the-art A/V equipment and a wide selection of the latest coffee equipment from premier suppliers like Fellow, La Marzocco, Loring, and more.

The Tasting Room

Due to COVID-19, our Tasting Room is not open to the public. However, this room features the opportunity for stellar coffee service, diverse counter heights for drinks & light bites, an expansive 8-tap system, and a mobile modular coffee bar, called “Naaga”, built by Oakland artist Chambers Art & Design.

When the modular Nanawall moveable glass door system is opened, this room will connect to the adjacent Presentation Room. It can also operate fully independently.

The Presentation Room

This room is both the largest and most customizable room, perfect to create the layout that best fits your needs. 

With it’s acoustic paneling and 133″ inch projector screen, this room was designed for presentations, panel discussions, passed or shared appetizers and, of course, cuppings. 

When the modular Nanawall moveable glass door system is opened, this room will connect to the adjacent Tasting Room & is ideal for large gatherings. It can also operate fully independently.

When the pocket Nanawall moveable glass door is opened, this room will connect to the adjacent Brew Lab.

The Brew Lab

This room is the most technical room. It was designed for hands-on learning and more intimate training & presentations with it’s 92” projector screen.

When the pocket Nanawall moveable glass doors are opened, this room can connect to either the Roast Lab or the Presentation Room, making it ideal for viewership overflow, or to house a catering company.

The Roast Lab

The Roast Lab is The Crown’s hub for all of our roasting theory and practice. Equipped with a Proaster 2-barrel Sample Roaster, a 5kg Diedrich IR machine, and a 15kg “Falcon” Loring Smart Roast, a 1kg Aillio Bullet, two Ikawas Bluetooth sample roasters, as well as a ColorTrack Laser Color Analyzer, our skilled artisans have all the tools at their disposal to make great tasting coffee happen. Booking time in the roast lab is exclusively for educational purposes, and you’ll be paired with a talented roasting professional for the duration of your training.