The Specialty Coffee Association Launches New Membership Model

The SCA has announced revisions to its membership model, including a free option for individual memberships.


The Specialty Coffee Association is significantly revising its membership model with the aim of making it easier for coffee professionals to join, connect, and access SCA resources. Most notably, the new membership model involves a shift from four individual membership options (Barista, Roaster, Technician, and Associate) to two: the Associate Membership—which is free—and the Professional Membership.

A group of people gathered around a cupping table.
The SCA hopes to make their resources more accessible to coffee professionals around the world through the new membership model. Photo courtesy of Specialty Coffee Association.

About SCA’s Memberships

The Associate Membership caters to individuals interested in accessing resources and standards and participating in SCA events, education, and competitions. The Professional Membership, which is priced at $100 USD, offers additional benefits like voting eligibility and promotional advantages.

The organization is also working to improve company memberships (which currently vary in pricing depending on the company’s size), allowing businesses to connect as many staff as they want to their company account and introducing a simpler discount model for event tickets. The new membership model also includes a feature that allows a company to create a customized professional development pathway through SCA’s education and publications.

Image in green and blue with SCA logo reads: "MEMBERSHIP. New membership model in 2024. Launching later this year."
The new membership model will launch later this year, and includes a free option for individual memberships. Image courtesy of Specialty Coffee Association.

SCA’s Future Plans

SCA CEO Yannis Apostolopoulos shared with us how the revision is part of the board’s multiyear strategy to expand the organization’s global network, enhance user experience by utilizing local communities, and create even more opportunities for professional engagement and individual growth.

“The introduction of the free Associate Membership will support professional development in our community through more networking opportunities, facilitation of knowledge exchange, and encouraging broader participation in SCA events, education, and initiatives,” Yannis shares.

He continues, “For those contemplating joining the SCA, it’s a perfect opportunity to become a part of this thriving global coffee community committed to making coffee better through a wide range of resources, educational programs, networking opportunities, industry insights, and research all aimed at supporting sustainable, equitable, and prosperous practices throughout the coffee value chain. Whether you’re a coffee enthusiast, professional, or company, SCA membership offers access to a wealth of knowledge and connections to enrich your journey and contribute to the advancement of excellence in our industry.”

You can learn more about the new model on the SCA website here.


Emily Joy Meneses (she/they) is a writer and musician based in Los Angeles. Her hobbies include foraging, cortados, vintage synths, and connecting with her Filipino roots through music, art, food, and beverage.

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