Crimson Cup creating Ohio’s first SCAA accredited Innovation & Training Campus


Columbus coffee roaster Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea has begun construction on a 7,000-square-foot dedicated innovation and training laboratory built to the standards of the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

Under construction inside the company’s former headquarters building at 700 Alum Creek Drive, the facility is expected to open fall 2015.

“We’re creating a space for both consumers and coffee professionals to learn about what goes into a great cup of coffee – from the origins of the beans to roast level, grind, brewing techniques, drink preparation and more,” said Founder and President Greg Ubert.

The lab is being built to SCAA standards for equipment, lighting, ventilation, water quality and overall environment. Following completion, Crimson Cup plans to seek SCAA Campus accreditation for the facility.

“We intend to become the first SCAA Campus in Ohio – and the largest in the Midwest,” Ubert said. “This will give us the ability to host a wide menu of courses taught to the highest standards in the specialty coffee industry.”

The facility also will feature classrooms for training through Crimson Cup’s 7 Steps to Success coffee franchise alternative program.

“With at least a dozen new independent coffee houses opening each year, plus a need for ongoing training for existing coffee house owners and staff, we outgrew our old training lab,” Ubert said. “Opening a new, 20,000-square-foot roasting facility earlier this year gave us the space to dedicate more of our former headquarters to cupping and training.”

The new lab will include a sample roaster and a cupping room for evaluating the sensory qualities of coffee. Crimson Cup’s coffee buying and roasting team will use the lab to experiment with roast level, grind analysis, blending and brewing techniques to bring out the optimum qualities of imported coffees. They also plan use this space to develop innovative new coffee house beverages with coffee, tea and other all-natural ingredients.

In addition to offices for the company’s coffee buying and innovation teams, the new facility will include five separate areas for coffee evaluation, roasting and training:

• Classroom – a multi-purpose room used for classroom learning and meetings.
• Application Lab – used for training baristas on hot, iced, and frozen drinks, Modbar training and friendly barista competitions.
• Cupping Lab – used for analyzing coffee samples, ensuring coffee quality, establishing roast profiles, cupping classes, scientific analysis of brewed coffees and green coffee analysis.
• Roasting Lab – used for teaching roasting courses, analysis of coffee roasts, roast profile analysis, green coffee analysis and roasting experimentation.
• Employee Café – a gathering place for employees and guests.

Kimberly O Design created conceptual designs for the lab space. Mode Architects drew up plans, which were approved by Columbus City Council on Thursday, July 16, 2015. General contractor Compton Construction will begin renovation the week of July 27.