In July 2016 I was privileged enough to be invited to hold the first ever SCAE diploma course in Belarus.
My group was made up of Roasters, Trainers and Baristas from the Minsk coffee community. My first reaction was inspiration. This small, growing coffee scene has so much passion and drive. Everyone was so keen to learn and share knowledge that this become more of an intense coffee forum with Brewing Intermediate as the centre of the debate.
Upon arrival I was shown around the coffee scene and introduced to many passionate coffee people. The trip was, putting it lightly, a crash course in the Minsk coffee scene. Cafes in Minsk are open late (midnight-ish). Thanks to my host Jana who took me to sample the best brews on offer after each training day I really got to understand the vibe of the city.
I was also invited to host a UK vs Belarus cupping. Let me just say the UK has to start planning to up their game, Minsk is hot on our heals. With import regulations green coffee is not as easy to access for them but they do wonderful things with what they manage to get.
Visiting Minsk has inspired me to push myself and help develop those who wish to better our beautiful coffee world. Europe has so many fantastic coffee scenes, the future looks set to be delicious and well brewed.
There is so much potential in this young coffee community and fortunately I am going back again this month. The students on my course were fantastic and I am looking forward to seeing them all again.