Ciro Coffee Academy launches internationally acclaimed coffee qualifications

Thursday, 6 October, 2016
Lani Snyman is one of the most highly respected individuals in the South African coffee industry. We caught up with her about this massive achievement in the SA coffee scene. We can't wait to do some of the modules and increase our coffee skills!

The Coffee Magazine: You have been campaigning for coffee education for many years and have always seen barista education as highly important, what led you to engage with SCAE in bringing their modules of coffee education to South Africa?

Lani: I have been engaging with SCAE since 2011, when I attended the first course of the Coffee Diploma. I have been tracking the progress of it since and also waiting for the right time in South Africa to launch it, as we are on a very special journey with coffee. The SCAE courses have become favourably well-known on a global level in the coffee industry and this is evident on the SCAE training calendar on their website ( I therefore feel that this is the next level for the Ciro Coffee Academy courses, as we have exhausted the current foundation level and need to move onto new more in-depth coffee educational modules, and SCAE has proven to be the right partner for it, at the right time.

Ciro's Coffee Academy has already done a lot for the level of education in SA, why the move to an international system?

Ciro Coffee Academy’s current courses have set the foundation for South African baristas, for over 6 years with over 6000 certified baristas nationally. There is a need and a demand for more in-depth coffee knowledge to support this specialised skill, which did not exist a few years ago and the aim is to saturate the market with this education, as it will uplift the industry’s barista skills to a new level. International organisations are exposed to and have access to greater and faster educational systems, therefore choosing this international qualification, who are focussed on coffee only, would be beneficial to bring to the South African Barista.

How many AST's are available through Ciro and how rigorous was the process to train the trainers
8 Authorised SCAE Trainers are training in 9 different training centres nationally ( The training from SCAE was done within one week and due to the well-laid foundation of the current training structure of the Ciro Coffee Academy, the trainer’s competency was well received by SCAE’s representative, Annemarie Tiemes.

You recently climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, an amazing feat, congratulations! Can you tell us how this experience effected you?
I realised that the impossible is possible and that giving up is not an option. This is the greatest learning that I have had and gives a silent confidence that I did not have before going up that mountain! It was a very intense experience which brought about a new way of looking at life.

World-renowned coffee training programme launched nationally

The Ciro Coffee Academy’s (CCA) announcement of their newly-launched Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) training modules will lead to world-class excellence in the local coffee industry and provide a much-needed boost to South Africa’s skills development.

The CCA is the first national coffee training academy to offer the prestigious SCAE Coffee Diploma System modules. Recognised as the most advanced and respected coffee training in the world, the SCAE modules set the industry benchmark for education in the coffee industry. With its focus on coffee excellence, the SCAE is at the forefront of innovation, education, research and communication; its material having been developed over years of scientific research.

Born out of Ciro’s trusted name as the largest manufacturer of pure coffee in SA and the expert in the local out-of-home coffee market, the CCA has been raising the standard of coffee training and support in SA since its inception in 2010. Their introduction of the SCAE training scheme will further enrich South Africa’s coffee culture as well as its training and expertise. Ciro’s values of service, integrity, honesty and excellence will simultaneously be entrenched. Lani Snyman, Customer Services Executive at Ciro, believes this first-class, global qualification will allow South African trained baristas to compete with the best in the world, firmly placing them on the global coffee stage.

The SCAE system is specifically designed to allow people to choose their own education paths to best suit their individual needs and levels of experience. The Coffee Diploma System allows for various levels of training, from foundation to professional, within four different modules. The modules include Introduction to Coffee; Barista Skills; Brewing; and Roasting.

The ‘Introduction to Coffee’ module, offered at a foundational level only, maps the origin of coffee, the processes it undergoes from start to finish and includes a tasting of the various flavours of coffee; ideal for anyone new to the coffee industry.

The ‘Barista Skills’ module has been specifically designed for those requiring key skills in grinding and espresso and cappuccino making. This module includes practical skills for milk technique and latte art and covers health and safety, customer service and basic business skills for a barista with experience.

The study of Brewing module provides an introduction to the different ways of brewing coffee and includes the scientific measurement of coffee strength and the charting of coffee extraction. The professional level covers elements such as the impact of temperature on brewing and acidity levels during the brewing process.

An understanding of the roasting process is covered in detail in the ‘Roasting’ module; including the roast cycle, how to control sensory aspects of the coffee, roast defects and workspace management. The professional level covers skills and knowledge required by managers to plan and execute quality control, create a product range to meet different preferences, calculate production costs and ensure efficient production.

“We believe that these globally recognised modules will significantly raise the bar in terms of excellence and professionalism in the coffee industry, taking coffee training, expertise and quality to a new level in South Africa”, says Snyman.

The CCA Authorised SCAE Trainers (ASTs) are currently conducting SCAE training at nine CCA training centres in key regions nationwide, providing current and future baristas the opportunity to participate in a world-class, professional training programme.

Ciro’s ongoing commitment to skills upliftment has already seen over 6 000 baristas trained to the World Barista Championship standard through the CCA.

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