coffee that tastes good. coffee that does good.
In 2009, Street Bean was borne out of a need to provide supportive employment training for the young people of Seattle.
Around 1,500 unaccompanied young people (ages 12-26) in King County spend each night without stable housing. Most have been disconnected from opportunities to succeed due to a myriad of reasons outside their control.
Young people need more than just a job to move beyond street life; they need the opportunity to form a new identity and the chance to discover who they are and can become.
As a 501(c)(3), Street Bean Coffee Roasters' mission is to provide an opportunity for street-involved young people to discover and employ their gifts by serving coffee in our community. Our hope is that this experience will serve as a catalyst to move onto successful future employment.
The Apprenticeship Program
Coffee isn't just about the transfer of goods and services – it's a catalyst for so many other things. Every day, people meet over coffee to discuss business, decide their weekend plans, or to catch up with old friends. Every day, coffee shops are utilized as community spaces to engage with the local culture. The specialty coffee industry itself serves as an avenue for social justice, climate impact awareness, and so much more.
With our apprentices, we want them to see and experience this side of coffee. We also want them to see that if coffee isn't their thing, they're going to learn the skills and habits necessary for becoming a strong employee, no matter the industry they go into.
Over the course of four months, our apprentices will go through a three-tier program that focuses on specific aspects of working in the coffee industry and the job field at-large.
The first six weeks are training intensive and apprentices learn the soft skills of customer service and working with a team. During this tier apprentices also learn the hard skills such as dialing in and pulling espresso, learning pour over brew methods, coffee processing and roasting, as well as milk steaming and latte art. After these first six weeks, apprentices transition to working shifts in the cafe space alongside baristas - this is the second tier of the program. This is a time where we are building on the hard skills learned thus far while also working on soft skills like communication, customer service, and how to work well in a team environment under pressure. During this time we help apprentices get into regular rhythms of life by having consistent work schedules and responsibilities similar to those they may have in a future workplace.
During the final tier of our apprenticeship, our program staff will meet with apprentices to work on resumes, job interview skills, seek job placement as well as future opportunities as they prepare to graduate from our program! The end goal is to help apprentices transition from a place of instability to that of stability by helping them gain job experience, valuable resources, and a support system around them.
Week 1: Orientation
Week 2: Customer Service – Cash-handling, roasting basics & processing methods, bar task lists, bar flow
Week 3: Brewology – Pour-over methods, exploring the Flavor Wheel, studies of variables (grind, water temperature, etc.)
Week 4: Espressology – Tools and components, preparing a shot, process overview, studies of variables (grind, water temp, tamp, ratio, etc.), phases of extraction, espresso machine components
Week 5: Milk – Milk Chemistry, steaming for different drinks, latte art
Week 6: Coffee Roasting & Sourcing
Weeks 7–12: On-bar
Weeks 12-16: On-bar, Job Readiness Training