Seattle’s Visions Espresso to Welcome Students in Exciting Summer Pathways Classes

Right in the heart of specialty-coffee country, Visions Espresso launches Pathways classes at its Seattle Coffee Education Lab in July and August.


Feeling a little summer slump? With the annual slowing down of the trade-show and coffee-conference circuit for summer, this might be the perfect time to up your education game. And what better place to do it than in Seattle, the spectacular Pacific Northwest city that positively glows in the summer, not to mention is known as a coffee mecca?

Look no further than Visions Espresso, one of Seattle’s original specialty-coffee marketplaces that boasts a beautiful, world-class Coffee Education Lab. As I write this, the lab is being primped and prepped for Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Pathways classes taking place throughout the summer. Accredited by the SCA, Visions’ Coffee Education Lab will set the stage for the Pathways classes Foundations of Coffee, Barista Level 1, and Barista Level 2. Registration is open, so secure your seat now!)

The SCA Pathways class Foundations of Coffee—to be offered twice this summer at Visions Espresso in Seattle—serves as an introduction to all SCA Pathways.

SCA educational Pathways programs are internationally recognized and respected as the premier source of industry knowledge, and an SCA study recently revealed that Pathways graduates have the potential to earn as much as $200,000 more over the lifespan of their careers than non-certified baristas.

Upon successful completion of the SCA Pathways classes at Visions in Seattle this summer, students will receive course credits toward certifications and a mastery diploma through the international Specialty Coffee Association.

“Pathways classes give students a set of standards by which to orient themselves as they move through their coffee career, and a common vocabulary that can be used to communicate effectively both across coffee professions and outward to the general public,” says Katherine Hartline, coffee education coordinator and sales specialist at Visions Espresso. “They’re also great exercises in peer calibration! Pathways events often have students from all over the country, and soon, world. Knowing that one is on the same page as people from other communities is hugely valuable and allows one to lead confidently within their workplace. Furthermore, it acts as an opportunity to network and meet people who are excited about the same things who might otherwise be outside one’s circle.”

Visions’ highly qualified staffers are ready for students! At right, Pathways instructor Tim Brisnehan is a 10-year veteran coffee professional who is SCA Barista L1 and L2 certified, a graduate of the SCA’s Instructor Development Program (IDP), and a Specialized Instructor. At left, Visions’ Katherine Hartline is an IDP graduate with 12 years in specialty coffee who has worked in logistics and importing, quality assurance, purchasing from importers and roasting, cafe management, and as a barista.

That’s right—Visions’ Pathways classes will offer the social aspect of specialty-coffee that we all know and love, and not just inside the classroom. “Another fun thing about taking classes here in Seattle in general is that we have unique proximity and access to vendors and coffees here,” says Katherine, who notes that Visions plans to offer café crawls, vendor visits to espresso and brewing manufacturers, and more to its Pathways students.

In the Pathways Barista Level 1 class at Visions this summer, students will learn Espresso Essentials, Milk Basics, Drink Building, and Customer Service. In Barista Level 2, they’ll focus on Advanced Espresso Preparation, Latte Art, Bar Management and Efficiency, and Espresso Equipment Preventative.

And because of that proximity, and the unique and long-term relationships Visions has with the best equipment companies, you can bet the Coffee Education Lab is outfitted with some of the best, most sought-after machines and tools available in specialty coffee today. “Since Visions is an equipment and service company first, we have unique access to some of the most exciting and new equipment in our Coffee Education Lab, and it rotates often,” says Katherine. “We also have the relationships and connections to sometimes bring in a piece of equipment at request. For example, if you wanted a certain number of your staff trained on the equipment you have in your cafe all ready, that is something we can organize.”

This Unic Stella boutique espresso machine is just one of a variety of top-of-the-line espresso machines available for students to use during the SCA Pathways classes offered at Visions this summer.

Equipment currently available for students to use at the Visions Coffee Education Lab includes a La Marzocco Linea EE, Nuova Simonelli Aurelia, Marco Jet Brewers and Ecosmart Boilers, Mahlkonig EK43 and K30 Espresso Grinders, Nuova Simonelli Mythos Clima Pro Espresso Grinders, Ditting Bulk Grinders, VST Refractometers and Extract Mojo Software, High Resolution Projection System, and much more.


Foundations of Coffee
July 10 & August 28

Barista Level 1
July 11–12 & August 29–30

Barista Level 2
July 13–14 & August 30–September 1

So get yourself out of that summer slump and sign up for some SCA Pathways classes at Visions’ Coffee Education Lab. You’ll not only have fun and learn a ton about coffee and technique, but you’ll be investing in your future earnings potential as well.


About Sarah 934 Articles
Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.