001: Our Beginning

 


001: Our Beginning

Firstly, I want to introduce myself.

My name is Josh Wilson, Founder of Swan Song, and I am an Authorised Speciality Trainer for the Speciality Coffee Association. 

I’ve been working in speciality coffee since 2013. I started out whilst studying abroad in Melbourne at Sevens Seeds in Carlton.  I remember in 2008, whilst still at secondary school, being taken by some friends to my now favourite shop, Coffee Aroma, in my hometown of Lincoln. Here I tried ‘HasBean’ coffee for the first time, which was the moment of realisation I think all coffee enthusiasts have. 

From that point onwards it has always seemed to be in the back on my mind that I wanted to work in coffee and one day own a coffee business of my own.

Whether it was the dynamic of the shop, the seemingly endless possible variations of the exceptional coffee or the people who gravitate towards these spaces, I felt at home and  I wanted in on this in any way I could. So once I finished my degree in photography,  it took all my attention. I moved back home and took a part time job as a barista and started down this path to where I am now. 


The Company

Swan Song is a 100% independently owned and operated speciality coffee business. 

My goal for Swan Song is for the business is to focus on pop up coffee bars, delivering high quality training and consultancy. I aim to try new approaches within the coffee industry to grow our local community here in Manchester and working on collaborative projects with other like minded people to further our passion for coffee.

For me, the personal development of individuals, who are passionate about coffee is what really brings me great satisfaction. Seeing someone develop a specific skill, gain a life long passion and a new found confidence in themselves is what I hope to give in some way to each trainee.

I want baristas to be armed with the essential knowledge and techniques to step into any role they wish. Whether you wish to become a manger at the current shop you work at, open your own business eventually, become a green coffee buyer for an importer or simply just really love coffee and have the desire to learn all you can,  I want to give you the advice, support structure and educational resources to make those goals a reality.


Our Training Space

Our home and training space is located at Islington Mill in Salford. This is an ever-evolving creative space, arts hub and community which started in 2000. Located between Manchester City Centre and the University of Salford, it straddles the two cities. We are simultaneously at the heart of Salford’s creative community and just a 10-minute walk down Chapel Street to Manchester city centre.

Our space is the first dedicated training space to deliver Speciality Coffee Association courses in Greater Manchester and we couldn't be prouder to be a part of a space already built on an ethos of independence, experimentation, creativity and inclusivity.

One thing that does separate us from other training spaces, academies and schools is that we are 100% independently owned, not tied to any specific roaster or investment groups.  This means our focus is solely on training and your experience. No hidden interests, small class sizes, barista resources and continued support after the course has finished. 

We love different roasters, varietals, processes and origins, so we want to give our trainees as much choice and selection as possible. This can only lead to developing your palate further, a deeper understanding of varietals, the effects of processing on the sensory experience and the difference between roasting approaches from place to place.


The entire space was built by my father and I over the span of 3 months. Our equipment and space meets all requirements for running high quality Brewing and Barista Skills modules. 

As time passes on, my aim is to reinvest money back into the space adding iconic, unique and innovative equipment to constantly give more to the people who pass through our door.

The space is ideal for freelance AST trainers that wish to host courses in the area and is available for hire to anyone interested in running a course or event.

I hope by the end of 2019 to add Sensory, Green and Roasting modules to our SCA course offerings with the addition of a new AST to oversee these areas.


My Gift To You.

As my gift to you, for all the support and interest in the lead up to the opening,

I will be offering for a limited time, an introductory price on all CSP module courses during March and April.

This is the cheapest price anywhere in the UK currently.

I hope to see some old friends and make some new ones during this time.

So if you have any questions, please visit our website and do not hesitate to contact us.



Speciality Coffee Association:

Coffee Skills Programme


The SCA Coffee Skills Programme is an education system aimed to meet the needs of coffee professionals everywhere. It is a controlled and certified system with a curriculum written and updated by the leading experts in the coffee industry. 

It allows the coffee professional to sit courses in six subject modules and three levels of certifications at locations and times of their choosing, accumilating credits each time a certification is successfully passed that count towards the 100 needed for the full Coffee Diploma.

It’s your choice on the modules you take to get you to 100 points.

Certifications are based on both technical knowledge and practical examinations.

DATES FOR THE COURSES

8 courses over 2 months.

Running froM:

28th February to April 24th

Please note, all trainees must be a registered member of the SCA for this pricing.

(Courses are arranged in order of date)


March

SCA CSP Intermediate Barista Skills

Date: 28th February - 1st March

Price £450 (Including Certification fee)

Duration: 2 days

Class Size: 2 people

SCA CSP Intermediate Brewing

Date: 4 - 5th March

Price £450 (Including Certification fee)

Duration: 2 days

Class Size: 2 people

SCA CSP Foundation Barista Skills

Date: 12th March

Price: £200 (Including Certification fee)

Duration: 1 day

Class Size: 4 people

SCA CSP Foundation Brewing

Date: 14th March

Price: £200 (Including Certification fee)

Duration: 1 day

Class Size: 4 people


April

SCA CSP Intermediate Brewing

Date: 2nd- 3rd April

Price £450 (Including Certification fee)

Duration: 2 days

Class Size: 2 people



SCA CSP Foundation Barista Skills

Date: 9th April

Price: £200 (Including Certification fee)

Duration: 1 day

Class Size: 4 people


SCA CSP Foundation Brewing

Date: 11th April

Price: £200 (Including Certification fee)

Duration: 1 day

Class Size: 4 people


SCA CSP Intermediate Barista Skills

Date: 25 - 26th April

Price: £450 (Including Certification fee)

Duration: 2 days

Class Size: 2 people


 
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