About us, Blog

“Karibu Kahawa Camps” answers your questions? – 2

Tim and Peter, two Coffee Producers from Thika (Central Kenya)

“Karibu Kahawa Camps” answers your questions?

Hello all! I am Régine, the founder and owner of Karibu Kahawa Camps, SCA Education at Origin. The Karibu Kahawa Camps offer affordable SCA Training to the local coffee community, volunteer work for the small holder producers and organise Origin SCA Education Trips.

SCA Chapter and Coffee Championship 

#LetsKeepKenyaExciting with the #KenyaKahawaBrewers

Kenya is the only country which is a member of SCA. However, Kenya does not have an SCA chapter.  However, the Barista community is always in demand for more education, SCA and CQI. The barista community demands for more World Of Coffee Event Championship.

In order to satisfy the demand of such an exciting community, I  organise monthly coffee competitions with small fee to enter. With these fees I will purchase 3 SCA membership for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize and 2 SCA courses with certification for the 1st and the 2nd prizes.

This month it will be Brewers Cup, next month Cup tasters, December Roasting, January Latte Art, February Coffee in good Spirit, by March SCA members from Kenya should be ready to elect the members of their chapter, and create the first African SCA Chapter.

Well, that is it for today! I will answer more questions in 2 weeks. You can send me your questions at KaribuKahawaCamps@gmail.com Régine Guion-Firmin

About us, Blog

“Karibu Kahawa Camps” answers your questions? – 1

“Karibu Kahawa Camps” answers your questions?

Hello all!

I am Régine, the founder and owner of Karibu Kahawa Camps, SCA Education at Origin.

The Karibu Kahawa Camps offer affordable SCA Training to the local coffee community, volunteer work for the small holder producers and organise Origin SCA Education Trips.

It does look like a team is behind this organisation. The reality is that I run it alone. However, sometime some of my AST colleagues come to give me a hand.

In March 2019, I will run the first Bilingual SCA Education Camp in Africa, in four washing stations, in Nyeri, Kenya. The students will choose if the want to get their education in French or in English. The camps – there will be two, SCA Foundation Education camps and SCA Intermediate Education camps – will welcome SCA students and Origin Trips goers from all around the world. As any other SCA Education Camps, the students who successfully pass their exam will receive their certificate the last evening of the camps

During the March Camps, all the ASTs and coordinators will be volunteers!


Karibu Kahawa Camps Scholarship

~ March 2019 Students ~ A part of the International Students fees will fund
  • free SCA training for local small holder producers,
  • a part of the fee for African Resident students, as they cannot afford this education,
  • support for the local children
~ All year Origin / SCA Education Trips comers ~ A part of their fees will fund
  • free SCA training for local small holder producers,
  • Q Arabica training for local Coffee Professionals
  • Free / reduced price SCA membership and SCA education
Well, that is it for today! I will answer more questions next week. You can send me your questions at KaribuKahawaCamps@gmail.com Régine Guion-Firmin
About us, Blog, Courses

How to Run SCA Courses in Producing Countries: A Checklist

How to Run SCA Courses in Producing Countries:

A Checklist

Written for Perfect Daily Grind


Ethiopia – SCA training for EWIC (Women In Coffee Ethiopia) with Asli Yaman from Kimma Coffee


Producing countries could be the future of specialty coffee: they have the farms, the coffee shops, the roasteries, the passion and dedication to drive our industry forward. But they’re arguably also where SCA training is most in demand – and where it can have the biggest impact.
I’m a travelling freelance Authorized SCA Trainer and the Founder of Karibu Kahawa Camps, which provides affordable SCA education in East Africa. If you’re thinking of providing SCA training at origin, I encourage you to do it. Let me tell you why – and I’ll also share my checklist for preparing.

You might also like ​How Training Cuppers Supports Honduran Specialty Coffee

Why Are ASTs Needed?

Kenya – SCA Training for Embu University with Rafael Mlodzianowski

As an A​uthorized S​CA (Specialty Coffee Association) T​rainer (AST), I’m qualified to teach a variety of SCA courses. And as a traveller trainer, I must be ready to run coffee courses anywhere with what I have available.

But why am I needed? Especially when more and more producing countries have Q graders?
Q graders are certified coffee cuppers, meaning they can assess the quality of a coffee and also run assessment courses. However, an AST runs training courses. Both have their importance and are needed in producing countries.

A Q grader can help coffee producers understand the quality of their coffee and where it needs improvements. An AST can help a producer understand how to make those improvements. They also train baristas and café owners, roasters, and more – something that producing countries need to boost internal consumption of specialty coffee, creating
more demand for the product.

However, while Q graders are quite well-represented in producing countries, ASTs are often lacking – and it’s at origin where their courses are often needed the most.

Remember that coffee producers are always seeking more knowledge, not just for themselves but also so they can transfer this knowledge to their children, who, very often, leave the coffee farming life behind because it’s too hard to make a profit.


What Should You Do Before You Fly?

Get vaccinated​. Yellow fever is one of the most important ones, depending on your destination. Take Kenya: if you arrive overland during the rainy season, you won’t be allowed to enter without a certificate of vaccination.

Get good insurance that’s valid in the countries you’re going to – accidents can happen anywhere!

Get a bank card you can use abroad​. Whether it’s a prepaid cash card, Visa, or Mastercard, you want something that will be accepted by most ATMs and with minimal charges. (Or you can get traveller’s cheques, if they’re still in use where you’re going).

Get enough luggage! ​As you may need to bring your own equipment, choose the airline
that offers the biggest luggage allowance and/or most affordable extra luggage.


Plastic cupping bowls, aroma phials in plastic boxes…

What Do You Need to Pack for Your Courses?

Think plastic! ​It’s much more transportable and durable than either glass or ceramics. Putyour aroma vials in plastic boxes, bring plastic cupping bowls, plastic V60s…. you get the idea.

Think carefully about the coffee beans ​you bring. Generally, producing countries don’t import coffee from other countries, so if you want to expose your students to different origins and potentially different varieties or processing methods, you will have to bring that coffee with you.


Colombia – With a student, Angie Molina, from Insignia Coffee Roasters, in La Noreña, Tolima. (picture taken by Jhon Espitia)

Don’t Forget!

Language​: You may need a translator, whether it’s for Spanish, Swahili, French, Cantonese…

Respect​: You have been invited to a different culture. Be humble. In some cultures, men might be asked to not be alone with women. Or women may have to wear a head wrap.

Get involved​: One of the best ways to start is to do it gratis. In coffee-producing countries, most of your students won’t be able to afford SCA courses. However, they will be happy to offer lodging, food, and green beans for your services. Later, they can become great connections at origin, introducing you to new students and involving you in their coffee projects.

And finally: donate more, earn less, gain a lot!


Colombia – Specialty coffee shop proud owner of Café con Alma, Edward Gómez, in Ibagué

The result!

The future of Specialty coffee is at origin!

Régine Guion-Firmin.


Karibu Kahawa Camps first SCA Sensory Skills Foundation in Nairobi!

Karibu Kahawa Camps SCA Sensory Skills foundation Course!

Last February 2018 we ran our first SCA course  – Sensory Skills Foundation – for a great student, Kibunja Samson.

Kibunja works in the coffee industry for 3 years, from Dormans Coffee to Barista Pro , he also works in ministry and, once he becomes an AST (Authorized SCA Trainer), he would like to provide a good coffee education to young people living in the slums of Nairobi, to be able to run their own coffee trolley, and promote Kenyan coffee to Kenyans, as they drink mostly tea… with a lot of milk and sugar!

Kibunja, after spending the all day enjoying our training centre for his SCA Sensory Skills, which he passed, and all our equipment necessary for the course, will come back for more SCA training this week – SCA Brewing Intermediate and SCA Barista Skills Intermediate.

Our courses and training are open to all, from Kenyan residents to anyone else around the world, from Coffee Farmers to Nairobi Baristas. The particularity of our SCA training centre is that the ASTs and Barista Trainers are all volunteers coming from all over the world to deliver Coffee Education at an affordable price and SCA Training just for the price of the SCA certification.


  • Worldwide residents will be housed in Nairobi and have a day trip at origin.
  • East African Residents can pay by installment.
  • To book for a course contact Regine KaribuKahawaCamps@gmail.com

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Regine L. Guion-Firmin.


Meet some of our Volunteer Trainers

Meet some of our Volunteer Trainers

As you know, I am the Volunteer Head of Training of the Beanstitute.

Since we started our Teaching Exchange Program, we received a lot of positive answers from Trainers,Roasters and ASTs ready to help.

Kibunja, our first SCA student, is planing on becoming and AST soon and becoming a part of our Teaching Exchange Program.

Aditya, is originally from Indonesia, and live in Qatar where he works as a roaster, and he is our first Volunteer Barista Trainer. After attending the SCA Brewing Intermediate and SCA Sensory Intermediate, his volunteer job will be to run a HomeBrewing/Office Brewing Class and Barista Training classes, then run a Sensory class at Kesh Kesh Roastery Grand Opening, and finally be an assistant AST for SCA Barista Skills intermediate!

Busy schedule!

Asante sana Aditya and Kibunja!


Regine L. Guion-Firmin.


Service, please!

Customers service… The forgotten words

Hopping from specialty coffee shops to specialty coffee shops, although your coffee can be more and more amazing, very often the customers service can become more and more absent…

Push the door of a coffee shop, on a late afternoon, and you will be welcome by an icy look and a sharp tongue ‘We are closing in 50 minutes!’… Great!… Nope!

Ask the origin of the lovely coffee that you are enjoying ‘Kenya… in Africa’ ‘But whereabout in Kenya, I would like to know more!’…. The barista raised his/her eyebrows, doesn’t know, doesn’t care, is annoyed by your question… all of the above!

What happened to us? Are we becoming tired or blasé with our job. I hope not.

Bad news travel fast!

An unhappy customer will advertise his/her frustration with your coffee shop on the social media. At the opposite, a satisfied customer will bring a friend to share his/her positive experience in your coffee shop.

How to resolve and therefore, attract more customers to your coffee shops.

1) Hello! ¡Holà! Hej!

The Welcome: Smile to the customer who comes to spend some time and money in your coffee shop. Even if the customer comes five minutes before closing!

The ‘Bad Day’ barista: We all have bad days. However the customers are here to be served not to share your bad mood. We are humans after all, so if you have a bad, talk to your manager and colleagues to avoid working on the front of the house facing customers.

The ‘Monday Morning Take Away Latte I’m in a Rush’ customer:Greet them with a smile, serve them in a professional manner. They will be very thankful for that. They will always remember you and specially ask for you  if their promptly served coffee is delicious .

The ‘5 minute before closing’ customer: Welcome the customer and politely advise him/her to have the drink in a take away cup as you are closing shortly.

2) What Coffee?

Baristi, when you receive a new coffee, ask the maximum of information to the roaster. Think about questions that a  customers, educated in coffee or not, might asked.

Keep these information on memory cards, which you can share with customers who wants to know more about their coffee, practical during  busy time,  or learn them in order to have an interesting chat with your favourite customers during the quiet time.

Some of the coffee land can be hard to pronounce for some of us. If you can’t pronounce Buziraguhindwa, show the name on your carefully prepared memory card.

An informative board hung behind then counter can be very useful too!

3) Food order 10 minutes before the kitchen closes!

If a customer ask for a meal a short time before the kitchen closes, avoid starring at your watch with an upset look. Just smile (a smile resolves so many problems!). Then, inform the customer that you must check with the kitchen if they can still prepare your order. In case the kitchen cannot prepare the customer’s order ask for an alternative satisfying solution for the customer.

On your menu, make the kitchen hours very clear, and remove the menu off the tables when you are approaching closing time.

4) Become the highlight of their day… every day!

Obviously, for this to work, you will need passion.

Love your work. If facing customer is not your thing, it is alright, there are other places in your coffee shop where you can be a better fit.

Listen to your customers, understand their needs,  learn from them, slowly show them the way to a better drink.

Be the highlight of their day… every days!

5) Bye! Have a nice day!

Ask your customer if they enjoyed their coffee, don’t be afraid of the critics, as they can be very constructive and help you to improve in your work.

Say goodbye, and wish them a good day. You do not need to love the customers to do this, just be polite and think about the income they bring which can be beneficial for needed improvement in the shop, more SCA education for the staff,  pay rise!

6) Managers / owners working together with the staff

Dear managers and café owners, putting your staff under pressure will create a stress amongst them which will be felt by the customers, and will make them run away from your shop. You will also create a constant staff turnover, which, for the customers, will be a sign of poor management.

Take care of your staff, they will make customers happy and work longer in your coffee shop, therefore, you will increase you revenue as the customers will feel more welcoming and secure with a staff which they can recognize and a staff who know their orders.

Also avoid unnecessary sudden movement amongst staff and customers during busy hours, like changing the bins in the toilets in front of the customers! Just get larger bins. And put yourself aside during these busy hours, your staff knows what to do. Your help is always welcome, off course, but remember to work with them, and avoid shouting.

Last words…

A happy and professional barista will deliver a good service, which will provide happiness to the customers, which will make the day of this barista much more enjoyable!


Régine Guion-Firmin.