272 : Coffee for Dummies w/ Major Cohen

Keys To The Shop : Equipping Coffee Retail Professionals

Mar 23 2021 • 53 mins

How we talk about coffee, relay information about coffee, and represent coffee to our customers and consumers in general, not only determines their attitude toward coffee but will literally shape the coffee industry. Often we get bogged down with details, side tracked with minutia, and overwhelm people in our bid to show them how precious coffee is to us. What is needed is a distilled and approachable treatment of the industry the opens up opportunities to more learning. That is what today's guest has accomplished through his new book Coffee for Dummies. I am thrilled to welcome back to the show, Major Cohen!

Major Cohen is a coffee lover who has enjoyed a dream realized. After being a teacher of photography and film at the high school level for 20 years, his second career brought his passion for teaching and passion for coffee into alignment and he worked as a coffee educator for more than 25 years for Starbucks.
His work for Starbucks began in 1995 when, as a Barista, he leveraged his passion and curiosity for coffee and business and after 8 years in operations in 5 roles was invited to move to the Seattle headquarters and join the coffee team. In the next 17 years he had the opportunity to be part of some of Starbucks most innovative efforts, and during his final 7 years traveled extensively in Asia as a coffee educator and brand ambassador. Although recently retired from Starbucks, Major is continuing his involvement with education in his role as an Authorized Specialty Coffee Association trainer, AST, and has written his first book, Coffee for Dummies.

In today's conversation with Major we get to hear the story of how this book came to be, what went into deciding its content and we dive deep into discussion about communicating with consumers about the drink we all love!

We cover:

  • Connecting past and present day industry
  • Creating impactful and simple content
  • Distilling the topics
  • The danger of making coffee too precious
  • What makes information valuable
  • Opening doors to further learning
  • How we can effectively communicate with customers


Buy the book here!

Link to Starbucks video:


Related Episodes:

127 : Passion and Curiosity: A conversation w/ Starbucks Global Sr. Project Manager, Major Cohen

242 : A Conversation with James Hoffmann

198 : The Evolution of the Coffee Shop w/ Prof. Jonathan Morris

215 : Communication and Marketing Master Class w/ Spencer M. Ross, PH.D.

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