Recently I was having a conversation..
with a stranger (lets be real, it was on Bumble. I'm single ladies, come at me) and I was asked how I developed my knowledge in the coffee industry from a technical dispatcher to a Director of Coffee in a short three years time. All the while never having worked in a cafe. My response immediately was I was "self-taught". This I realized is a half-truth. It made me sit down and think about what resources I utilized, and what I would recommend to those who are interested in specialty coffee; from the passive to the career oriented. I've compiled a short list of my top three educational resources. Complete with links and a short description of who they are, what the specialize in, and what I loved about them.
First off, my brah from another mah, Chris Baca. A.k.a. @therealchrisbaca on Instagram and YouTube. Chris' channel is a treasure trove of information. Years in the industry, competition, and running his own business has really fine-tuned his ability to smoothly get his point across. His relaxed, low-pressure take on training and development has really inspired me as a trainer. He also helped me in the early days of my interest in coffee. No judgement, just knowledge. Chris' videos have a wide range of topics. Whether you're looking to learn more about pouring latte art, coffee processing, or the basics of coffee extraction he's a great source for all of those things. On top of that he and his business partners at Cat & Cloud Coffee have a podcast that is absolutely worth a listen.
Secondly, as someone who has been interested in coffee roasting and science behind flavor I recommend digging into Sweet Maria's. This website is home roaster's, and in some cases a professional roaster's paradise. From articles about the science of roasting, to broader topics like origin breakdowns and proper milk steaming. This is a great spot to soak up all that you can. The other portion of this site is focused on home roasting and brewing equipment. You can also get some very high quality green coffee samples from all over the world. The same ones that professional roasters are serving in their cafes today. There aren't many places catering to home roasters in all aspects like Sweet Maria's. I can't say enough good things about the information and items there. Plus, I'm not even being paid to say that!
Last, but certainly not least I'd recommend Perfect Daily Grind. This website has a massive collection of quick and easy reads with lots of information. Not only will you find some overlapping content from some of the other resources, but you'll also find a more on cafe culture, issues at origin, future coffee predictions, and much more. The articles are well written and concise, which as someone who is often reading them on my phone is easier on my eyes, and gets me just the information I want from the article. Also you'll find a lot of articles from coffee events and expos around the world. This not only keeps you up to date on new products, but relevant revolutions in other portions of the coffee industry.