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Award-Winning Coffee Roastery Launches Scholarship Program for Black Baristas

Coffee Project New York is offering six scholarships for a comprehensive barista training program to African American baristas in New York
Chisum & Kaleena
Coffee Project New York founders ChiSum Ngai and Kaleena Teoh. Photo: Supplied.

Coffee Project New York, an award-winning coffee roastery, training center and cafe, has launched a scholarship program to support diversity in the coffee industry.

The company, that has cafes in Brooklyn and Manhattan, is offering six scholarships for a comprehensive barista training program to African American coffee professionals.

"We're launching this scholarship program because promoting diversity is part of our core value," Kaleena Teoh, Coffee Project NY co-founder and director of education, told BK Reader.

"Being able to provide quality coffee education to marginalized baristas is in line with our mission statement of increasing quality of life for everyone in the coffee supply chain."

Prior to the pandemic, Coffee Project New York held workshops at the training facility. Photo: Supplied.

The scholarship program is being launched during Black History Month with support from Chobani, which is covering 100% of the costs and providing a welcome kit to each barista, as well as 25 cases of free Chobani Oat Barista Edition.

The course includes two full-day virtual coffee skills programs certified by the Specialty Coffee Association focusing on skill development such as espresso bar skills, proper methods to grind coffee beans, milk techniques and latte art, health and safety, customer service and basic business practices. Upon completion of the course and passing of the exams, attendees receive a certificate of recognition from the Specialty Coffee Association.

Coffee Project New York is a female-owned brand with a loyal following and a track record of community work. Founders Chi Sum Ngai and her partner Kaleena Teoh aim to promote an inclusive and sustainable coffee culture by prioritizing thoughtful sourcing practices, the welfare of their employees and communities and increased access to educational opportunities for people to pursue careers in the coffee industry.

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