Coffee has never been so complicated. Coffee lovers have so many options to get a cup of Joe in 2020, it can make even a connoisseur feel a bit unsure. That's where Coffee Project New York comes in. It's part coffee school—a place to learn about all aspects of the coffee industry—and part coffee shop.

Chi Sum Ngai and Kaleena Teoh opened the school last month in Long Island City, Queens.

“We had this idea of like, how come there is no space in New York City that can actually allow coffee professionals from different companies to come together without hesitating,” Chi said.

The 3,725 square-foot space offers everyone from industry professionals to coffee lovers the opportunity to educate themselves on the entire process of getting coffee from the farm to the consumer.

The curriculum, developed by the Specialty Coffee Association, a trade group, works to improve the coffee supply chain and the skills of brewers, baristas and roasters.  

“We have the barista skill set. We have the brewers skill set … and then you have the green coffee module, where you learn how to grade green bean, roasting module, and finally, sensory,” Chi said of the school.

The program, which can take up to a year to complete, can open doors to a variety of positions in the coffee industry.

“Think about bigger corporate companies: [they] need someone that always curates the flavor of their coffee before packaging it,” Chi said. “So, all there are actually people who are in [the] coffee [industry], but they’re just not in front of you making coffee for you.”

Students say that having the certification they receive from the classes is a bonus for their resume.

“They see that you’re passionate because you’re putting your time and energy into taking classes like this outside of your work area,” said student Alexandra Zepeda of the classes.

So, if you’re brewing to know what it takes to make that great latte that perks you up in the morning, then you may want to take a SCA class.